Jun 15, 2008

Getting relaxed after a night shift

Being able to wind down and take it easy, especially after a night shift, is just as important as being able to wake up and get going. Give yourself time to relax and get rid of work-time stresses. This will make home life and sleep easier. Find out what is best for you personally to help you relax best. It could be just sitting down and closing your eyes for a while. Or it could be meditating, praying, reading, taking a bath, or watching TV.  The following exercise may help:

  • Lie down on a carpet or bed, or sit in a comfortable chair.
  • One by one, tense the muscles in each area of your body, then slowly relax. 
  • Start with your toes and feet, and move up through your legs, torso, hands, arms, shoulders, face and head.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly throughout.  Feel the tension leave your body.

Source: Plain Language About Shiftwork (NIOSH)

Check out the National Shiftwork Information Center for other tips for shiftworkers, on sleep, napping, exercise, drowsy driving, and more.

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