Managing Your Sleep When Doing Shift Work


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Many people enjoy doing shift work. It has the advantage of greater scheduling flexibility for the worker and give the employer greater efficiencies as well.

Shift work has different implications from the point of view of people dealing with sleep disorders however. Shift work often leads to not enough sleep which in turn can lead to a greater chance of human error and a loss of productivity.

Our bodies have a natural cycle, or internal clock, that is known as the Circadian Rhythm. This rhythm helps us know when it is time to wake up and when to sleep. These are triggered by certain chemicals, neurotransmitters and hormones. When shift works requires working at night and sleeping during the day, it can lead to lower quality sleep.

Soon this can develop into insomnia, which is characterized by a diminishment of concentration, irritability, and feelings of tension or depression. Of course, the most obvious symptom is fatigue.

When someone is dealing with these symptoms at work it can lead to accidents, injuries, absenteeism and even fatalities in extreme cases. Aside from insomnia, common problems for shift workers include indigestion, high blood pressure and an increased chance of developing other sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

If your job requires shift work there are several things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. The most important is to be sure your sleeping area is quiet and dark. Darkness causes our bodies to release melatonin, a hormone that is significant to the Ciradian rhythm because it can initiate sleep.

While asleep, keep interruptions to a minimum and try to develop a consistent sleeping schedule. Avoid drinks with caffeine for several hours before going to sleep as well.

Another factor that many people overlook is to keep your working area bright when working at night. This will help your body to follow a normal light/dark sleep pattern.

Thomas Wilson offers helpful advice about devices to help you stop snoring and other snoring-related topics on the Snoring Solutions website. For more information and to receive your free copy of our special report “The Secrets To A Good Night's Sleep" visit


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