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How To Sleep During The Day

Updated on October 23, 2012

Sleeping during the day can be a really, really difficult task at times. Those of you who work night-shift -- nurses, doctors, cops, musicians, etc -- already know this firsthand. Having been on that sort of sleep cycle for nearly 15 years now, I've learned a few tricks of the trade and I can honestly say that I now get just about the right amount of sleep (I'm not sure it's possible to get 100% of it when you're a super light sleeper like me). These tips are meant to help those of you who need to sleep during the day get the most you can out of it.

No drinks before bed.

This is so important, because if you're the type who needs to get up to pee once or twice, seeing the sun and hearing daytime noise can put you into a state of mind which will make it impossible, or very difficult, to get back to sleep. Therefore, get your drinks in several hours in advance to ensure you won't have to get up to tinkle once you're in bed.

Make your sleeping area as dark as you can.

Your body will always sleep better in darkness than in light -- the darker, the better. 15 years ago, I actually put tinfoil between my windows and shades. Hey, it worked pretty well, especially with a curtain on top of it. Today, I've got two sets of curtains on my bedroom windows; one thick and one that allows some light through, so I can have light if I want it. It's important to have the right material for your curtains in these cases, as transparent colors are pretty pointless for obvious reasons. Blue, dark purple and colors of this nature will block out more sun than reds and pinks, etc.

Try a sleep mask.

Having my eyes covered with something dark works wonders for me. Some people feel silly wearing these masks, but you'd feel a lot better doing this, than laying in bed all day wishing you could sleep. If you'd rather not wear one, a shirtsleeve works just as well.

Get a white noise machine.

I've mentioned these before because I am big fan of them. Not only do they produce soothing sounds that will relax you, they drown out the noisy backgrounds that permeate the outside world. These don't have to be white noise machines if you're not into that kind of thing; there are loads of machines to choose from nowadays and tons of soothing sounds.

Tell people to be quiet.

I don't know what it is about people who sleep during the night, but they seem to think sleeping during the day is less important for some reason. Annoying as this is, it's a simple fact that most people will think like this. Therefore, it's in your best interest to ask people to please do their best not to bang doors or make other types of noise they wouldn't make during the night. Point out that you don't do it to them, and you'd appreciate them returning the favor. You may also want to point out that you are still only getting 8 hours of sleep during the day -- for some reason, many people view it as though you're sleeping in all day, as opposed to getting sleep your body actually needs!

Turn the phone off.

If you're someone who needs their mobile just in case of emergency, fine -- but you may want to turn the house phone off to avoid telemarketers and other sales people.

Don't eat before bed.

You may be tempted to eat breakfast before bed, but I recommend against this, as you may find yourself having to get up to use the bathroom a few hours into sleep. Or, you may wind up with nightmares that will wake you up too. (Yes, that really can happen.)

Don't read before bed.

In my experience, this can actually start your second wind if you do it right when you ought to be sleeping. I'm someone who gets tired by reading if I do it at the right time, but when you're coming off a shift this can get you going again. You want to wind down, not wind back up. Unless you're reading a very dull book, in which case, why bother??

Don't let people chat you up before bed.

Don't stand in the driveway chatting with your neighbor about stupid things when you really ought to be in bed. Again, this will just wake you up more. You wouldn't do it to your neighbor at midnight, would you? Well, don't let them do it to you. Like I said, most people don't understand what it's like to sleep during the day, so be kind about it -- but be firm, too.


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