Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Working in rotational shifts

Working at night/irregular shifts can keep us from getting the regular snooze time that most daytime workers take for granted.
The body likes to operate on a routine schedule. The body likes to know what to expect in terms of production of certain hormones, When we expose ourselves to sunlight at some times during the week, but not others -- when we're sleeping at nighttime some nights and then during daytime at others -- the body has difficulty knowing what to anticipate and when to produce those transmitters and neurochemicals for sleep and digestion and proper functioning of the human body.
The hallmarks of shift work sleep disorder are excessive sleepiness during night work and insomnia when we try to sleep during the daytime. Significantly suffers from headaches, lack of energy and trouble concentrating.

Following are few tips (which you must have implemented in your daily routine to accommodate yourself for rotational shifts), but I would like to reiterate:
a)      Try not to work a number of night shifts in a row. We may become increasingly more sleep-deprived over several nights on the job. We're more likely to recover if we can limit night shifts and schedule days off in between.
b)      Avoid frequently rotating shifts. Rotation should like from day shift to evening to night rather than the reverse order.
c)       We should try to avoid long commutes that take time away from sleeping, (which is not possible in some of our cases)
d)      Limit caffeine. Drinking a cup of coffee at the beginning of your shift will help promote alertness. But don't consume caffeine later in the shift or we may have trouble falling asleep when get home.
e)      Avoid bright light on the way home from work, which will make it easier for us to fall asleep once hit the pillow. Wear dark, wraparound sunglasses and a hat to shield ourselves from sunlight.
f)       Don't stop to run errands, tempting as that may be.
g)      Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as you can.
Use blackout blinds or heavy curtains to block sunlight when you sleep during the day.

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