How to Sleep During the Day

How to Sleep During the DayA lot of people these days work shift work. This means that they could start their jobs during the afternoon and their shift ends late (or early, depending on how you look at it) or their shift could be the complete opposite of what most people do, starting in the evening when others are tucking into bed and finishing up the shift when others are getting up and ready for work. It’s not necessarily just blue collar factory workers either, emergency medical technicians, ER doctors, and nurses all work shift work which requires them to sleep during the day. I’ve spent a lot of time doing shift work and have found a few key things needed to get a proper rest during the day.

The most important thing for me is to stick to a schedule. Our bodies use a circadian rhythm which tells us when to go to sleep and when to wake up. It’s not as easy as simply going to bed when you’re tired and waking up eight hours later. It can take days or even weeks to figure out a schedule that works for you, but the important thing is to find one and stick to it. When you have finally locked into a sleep pattern, it’s so much easier to fall asleep during the day and get a full seven hours of sleep without waking up wide awake after two or three hours.

Next is darkness. I think that our bodies need to be surrounded by complete darkness for them to shut down and rest. Heavy black out curtains and a sleep mask will help cut down on any light that may leak into the bedroom, allowing you to trick the body into thinking it’s night, making it much easier to go to sleep and stay asleep.

A good set of ear plugs is also key. Even though you’re sleeping, the rest of the world isn’t, and the rest of the world definitely isn’t quiet. Off the shelf ear plugs work well, but if you will be working shift work for a long period of time, consider investing in a pair of molded ear plugs. These ear plugs are much more expensive but they’re literally molded to the shape of your ear canal and are comfortable enough to wear while sleeping without causing any discomfort. The more comfortable you are, the longer you will sleep.

Finally, don’t let other people mess with your sleeping habits. Those who work traditional hours simply don’t understand that you need to sleep certain hours during the day. Let them know that you need to sleep at a certain time and that you’ll be out of commission until you wake up. It’s simply not as easy as going to bed four hours earlier so you can wake up four hours earlier. Messing with your schedule will lead to a tired night at work.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?

What's the Best Time of Day to Exercise?If you’re thinking that working out in the morning is better than later in the day because you’ll start your day burning more calories, you’re probably wrong. There’s nothing to suggest that working out in the morning compared to later in the day will burn more calories.

Working out in the morning can be difficult, maybe not physically, but mentally. I know that if I’m going to ride my bike to work in the morning, I’ll set my alarm for a half hour earlier than I normally get up, just so I can stretch and psych myself up for the morning commute via bicycle rather than car.

This is one reason why I prefer working out later in the day: I’m already awake and feeling good. I have to strike a balance though, because the later I postpone exercising, the greater the chance that I grow more tired and ultimately put off exercising all together.

On the other hand, working out first thing in the morning gives you the motivation to “be good” throughout the day. If you start your day off exercising, you might be more inclined to make better food choices knowing how hard you had to work to burn off those calories.

However, another advantage to working out later in the day compared to first thing in the morning is you may not have to warm up for as long. Joe Rogan said on one of his The Joe Rogan Experience podcasts that he warms up for about an hour before exercising in the morning because his body hasn’t had time to stretch yet. This makes sense but seems excessive to me, because I don’t even exercise for an hour, so warming up for an hour seems crazy! Then again, I’m not a savage like Joe Rogan is, though I do like to pretend I am.

Something to keep in mind is that if you workout later in the day rather than the morning, your body has stored enough energy throughout the day to help you power through your workout. Exercising first thing in the morning could deplete your body of any energy that you had stored up, leading you to crash or give up half way through your routine.

At the end of the day, it’s personal. Workout when you have the motivation to do so, and exercise when you have the time to do it. The important thing is that you’re exercising and not putting it off for tomorrow. Just ensure that you’re getting a proper night of sleep, you’re eating a well-balanced diet, and that you’re warming up beforehand to prevent any unwanted injuries.