How to Sleep During Daytime

Three Methods:Creating a Restful EnvironmentPreparing Yourself to SleepScheduling Your Day/Night

There are a lot of differences between sleeping during the day versus at night. The most obvious are that the world is louder during the day, the majority of the people you know are up during the day, your body is used to sleeping at night, and, of course, the sun is shining. While our bodies are preprogrammed to be up with the sun and sleeping at night, there are ways to make it easier and healthier if you have to reverse your schedule.

Method 1
Creating a Restful Environment

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    Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, hang blackout curtains or window shades, and consider an eye mask, earplugs, and a “Do not disturb” sign on your door. There is a lot more happening during the day, including the sun shining, and it all makes it more difficult to sleep. By blocking out as much of this external stimuli as possible you can create a faux nighttime atmosphere that will help trick your body into thinking it’s nighttime bedtime.[1]
    • If you have children and need to be reachable for emergencies, set your phone to vibrate on their school’s number only.
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    Put the word out to friends and family. Remind everyone closest to you that your schedule is reversed and to leave you alone during your sleep time. They will always understand and do their best to let you get the rest you need.
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    Use a white noise machine. This will help drown out the sounds of the daytime world which, as you would think, are usually much louder than the sounds of your world at night.[2]
    • You can also have a radio playing softly, a fan humming, or a personal audio device like an iPod playing sounds of the ocean, forest, or a river.
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    Keep your room cool. Whether using an air conditioner, fan, or ceiling fan, keeping cool is a very important factor in sleeping. Nothing interrupts sleep quite like being uncomfortably hot.[3]

Method 2
Preparing Yourself to Sleep

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    Avoid stimulants before bedtime. Since you’re sleeping during the day because you’ve been up all night, make sure you avoid coffee, tea, or anything caffeine or stimulant related after midnight. Something at the beginning of your long night is fine, but just as it is during the day, if you have something too late you’ll be tossing and turning and unable to sleep once you lie down.[4]
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    Take care of your body. This is really no different than a normal routine of working or being up during the day and sleeping at night. Eating healthy meals and getting plenty of exercise will help your body acclimate more quickly to being up all night and sleeping during the day.
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    Lay off alcohol before bedtime. While it may very well help you fall asleep, alcohol can cause problems staying asleep, sleeping soundly and comfortably, and may cause you to wake up too early. The best rule of thumb is to avoid any kind of stimulant or depressant when on this reverse schedule.[5]
    • The exception to this rule of avoiding any “medicinal value” items like alcohol or sleep-aids is if your doctor prescribes you medication to alleviate a sleep issue.
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    Shield your eyes from sunlight. Before going to bed, wear dark sunglasses and even a brimmed hat to keep the sun out of your eyes as much as possible. Sunlight triggers your natural circadian rhythm and can make it hard to fall asleep if you’ve been exposed to it.[6]

Method 3
Scheduling Your Day/Night

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    Take strategically timed naps. Think of it as the reverse of a typical schedule. You don’t want to take a nap at 6:00pm if you’re going to bed at 10:00pm because it will probably make it hard to sleep at bedtime. The same rule applies here. Generally, right before work and on break (if you’re working at night) are perfect times to catch up on any of the sleep you’re lacking.[7]
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    Create a routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help you quickly adjust to your daytime sleeping schedule. Since it goes against your natural biological clock to sleep during the day and be up at night, this is a very important part of making the change easy on your body.[8]
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    Avoid being up all night on multiple consecutive nights. Whether it’s work or other obligations that have you up all night, if you can be up just a couple nights at a time followed by a couple nights of sleep you will undoubtedly be able to recover more quickly and easily.
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    Go outside when you wake up. Getting into sunlight will help your body wake up faster and triggers your natural circadian rhythm so that it thinks it’s early in the morning when really it’s probably late afternoon.[9]


  • Reading a book can help you fall asleep, if you are very tired and cannot fall asleep.
  • Exercise or yoga are good if you are restless.
  • Don't lay in the bed if you are too tired to sleep. Get up and do something and come back later.
  • If your neighbors are too loud don't be afraid to go and ask them to turn down the noise.
  • Try to count sheep in your head.
  • Play rain sounds to help you fall asleep.


  • Sleep aids should be prescribed by a physician.

Article Info

Categories: Better Sleeping