The sleep restriction method sets your bedtime according to the time you choose to get up. It then provides the time spent in bed that you mustn't exceed.
If you've chosen to get up at 7:30 am and you are told to go to bed at 12:15 am, this means your time spent in bed should not exceed 7hr15.
In this case, if you have morning or afternoon shifts, you can get up at the same time and still get a good amount of sleep. This is ideal because regularity is key. If it's too hard, you can allow yourself a small variation of one hour (maximum). Or experiment with napping, as long as you do it properly.
If you have day and night shifts, it's more complicated:
- Take the time you choose to get up and calculate your bedtime from there so that you don't exceed your recommended time in bed (in this case 7hr15)
- As your schedule varies, so does the time you start to feel sleepy, which means you may not always be tired at bedtime. Remember that feeling sleepy enough is essential, so your bedtime is the earliest you should head to bed. If you're not tired enough, wait until you are. Don't change the time you get up.
- Finally, if you have a day off between a morning shift and a night shift, take advantage of this by gradually changing both the time you get up and the time you go to bed.
Remember to talk to your coach if you have problems adapting your schedule. You can work everything out together!