Sleep And The Shift Worker

By Jeff Foster

There are millions who work the non-traditional employment hours. Some choose to work outside the normal 8 to 5 block as a benefit to their family, for a more flexible lifestyle and even because they find themselves more of a night owl than not.

So what are you supposed to do about restorative sleep if you work shift work? The flexibility of shift work is great but it can cause you to have insufficient sleep which can cause you to be less than productive and unable to focus well.

This can completely throw your normal body functions into a whirl, throwing your natural sleep cycle, the Circadian rhythm, into chaotic turmoil.

The Circadian rhythm signals when you should sleep and when you should wake by the release and hold back of specific hormones, neurotransmitters and other brain chemicals.

When you work shift work your body’s normal sleep patterns are clearly interrupted, leaving you with fewer hours of sleep in general and a much lower quality of sleep. .

Sleep depravation symptoms begin to show up rather quickly leaving you with a lower capacity to concentrate and focus, with irritability, depression, tension and unbelievable fatigue. It can put you at risk during your time at work, leaving you more likely to make mistakes, cause accidents and to even have a propensity for absenteeism or chronic tardiness.

Regardless of whether you choose to work shift work or not, you must determine that you will get adequate sleep when you get off from work. Keep your room cool, quiet, and dark. Create the traditional nighttime environment. It can help you to get the restorative sleep that you need.

Sleep and the shift workers can make a beautiful marriage as long as you are willing to put forth the effort to make sure that you actually get the sleep your body craves.

About the Author: For more important information on getting a good night’s sleep be sure to visit where you will find advice and tips on sleep habits insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, and more.


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