If you have control over your work schedule, here are factors to keep in mind to make the adjustment easier.
- Try to keep the same sleep and wake times each day, even on your days off. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm , improve your sleep quality, and also help you be alert during your shift.
- Rotate shifts clockwise. A schedule that rotates clockwise is usually easier to adjust to. This means it’s preferable to go from a day shift, to an evening shift, to a night shift, rather than rotating the other way, or rotating without a pattern.
- To prepare for a new shift, adjust your sleep and wake time gradually. If you begin adjusting your sleep and wake time for three days prior to your shift, it will be a smoother change. If you’re rotating clockwise, this will mean you’ll delay your bedtime and wake up time by an hour or two each night (depending on the new schedule).