How shift work affects your sleep and how to cope

What really is Shift work disorder?

Shift work who work abnormal scheduling patterns such as split shifts, graveyard shifts, early morning shifts, and rotating shifts suffer from shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). There are multiple symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, including excessive tiredness, lack of sleep, and drowsiness. These symptoms can negatively impact both the work and personal lives of individuals.

It maintains a consistent pattern of alertness and drowsiness throughout the 24-hour day. When the circadian rhythm is disrupted, it may cause a slew of unpleasant symptoms, as it affects:

  • Sleepiness
  • Alertness
  • The temperature of the body
  • Hormone concentrations
  • Hunger


Insomnia: For those suffering from shift work insomnia, sleeping and staying asleep can be a challenge. Insomnia symptoms vary a lot from shift to shift. Those who start their morning shifts between 4-7 am have difficulty falling asleep, while those working evening shifts often wake up during the night. The average person who suffers from shift work disorder loses one to four hours of sleep each night.

Excessive sleepiness: Shift work problems may lead to exhaustion and decreased alertness when at work late at night or early in the morning. Most shift workers feel the need to take a nap during their shifts. Their performance level may suffer and they may even encounter danger.

How is a sleep issue caused by shift work diagnosed?

To establish whether you have SWSD, your doctor will employ diagnostic criteria. Their methods may include the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or a combination of both.

Your doctor will most likely ask you several questions regarding your sleep habits and disruptions and the shifts you work now. You’ll probably be question about your medical history and any drugs you’re taking right now.

Your doctor may first rule out narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea since SWSD can be mistaken for other sleep disorders. An examination of the sleep patterns may be need to rule out these or other sleep problems. During the sleep study, you will spend the night in a clinic with monitors attached to your finger, chest, or face. Waklert is the popular med use to resolve this disorder.

Shift work sleep disorder treatment

While lifestyle modifications are essential for getting a good night’s sleep, some people may need to use sleep aids. Melatonin is deem safe, and several employees report that it improves their sleep quality significantly.

On the other hand, Hypnotics and sedatives should only be take in moderation and for brief periods. These drugs include zolpidem (Ambien) and eszopiclone (Lunesta), which your doctor may prescribe.

Block out as many interruptions as possible to optimize sleep quality. For an hour before going to bed, avoid looking at your phone or other bright displays. Use white noise machines, peaceful music, or earplugs to block out the day’s background noise. Artvigil can help you cure this disorder.

Control your sleeping habits

Some individuals can work late without problems, while others suffer from sleep loss and exhaustion.  The body is governed by an internal body clock, also know as a circadian pacemaker, house in the hypothalamus’ suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN regulates behavioral and physiological functions in the body, including attentiveness, sleep, temperature management, and hormone synthesis, by generating circadian rhythms. Artvigil is a medicine that doctor recommends to control.

Control light exposure

Light causes chemical reactions in your circadian pacemaker, impacting your sleep and waking cycles. Melatonin, which causes sleepiness, is release by the body when it becomes dark in the evening. In response to morning light, the body suppresses melatonin and boosts cortisol levels to make the body feel more aware. Artificial light, like sunshine, may disrupt the circadian pacemaker, and timed exposure to strong light can assist change the body’s sleep cycle.

Consume caffeine precisely

A daily amount of coffee, when handled properly, may help a person stay attentive during a shift. On the other hand, Improper usage might result in gastrointestinal disturbance and muscular tremors.

Keep an eye on your nutrition

When a person’s daily routine is interrupt, their metabolism suffers. Due to poor nutrition and body clock disturbance, night shift workers are more prone to develop metabolic syndrome and are at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese.


Unusual shift hours are becoming more common among Employees. Non-traditional work patterns are unlikely to diminish in the future, given the present workforce and technological advancements, Changing your lifestyle and utilizing sleep drugs might help you obtain the greatest sleep possible throughout your vacation.

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