Shift Work Disorder, What Is It? + Coping Mechanisms.

Shift Work Disorder, What Is It? + Coping Mechanisms.

Shift work disorder – also known as shift work sleep disorder – is a condition that primarily affects people who work night, early morning, and rotating shifts for their jobs. The disorder may cause insomnia when workers attempt to sleep and/or excessive sleepiness while they are at work. Significant sleep loss usually occurs. The average person with shift work disorder loses one to four hours of sleep per night due to a circadian rhythm misalignment.

Circadian rhythms are largely guided by natural light and darkness. During the day, the retinas in your eyes perceive sunlight and signal the brain to release hormones like cortisol that keep you feeling alert and energized. As the sun sets and light fades, your brain produces another hormone, melatonin, which induces feelings of sleepiness and relaxation.

Night shifts for example, put this upside down/back to front resulting in poor sleep. 

So what can you do about it?

1. Don't drink caffeine 6 hours before the time you plan to go to bed.

2. Wear blue light filter glasses roughly 3 hours before bed. These will have to be very strong ones as you'll probably be getting a lot of light exposure during your shift.

3. Take Deep Sleep + Full Restoration 1-2 hours before bed. 

4. Keep your room as dark as possible to allow melatonin to increase and allow you to sleep. 

5. Give yourself enough time to actually sleep. So, if your shift finishes at 6am and you get into bed at 7am then make sure you don't have to be up for 7-9 hours. 




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