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Shift Work and Sleep

Working for a living doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sleeping like a boss!

Anyone who works nights, early mornings, or rotating shifts for their jobs probably knows all too well about insomnia at bedtime…or extreme sleepiness while at work. Either way, the end result is not enough sleep.

The average person with “shift work sleep disorder” loses 1-4 hours of sleep per night (or day). Not everyone who does shift work experiences shift work sleep disorder, but approximately 10-40% do.

So, who is impacted most? Well, anyone who works outside the “normal” workday of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. This can be manufacturing workers, healthcare workers, law enforcement, 24-hour retail workers, security, truck drivers, pilots, even childcare providers.

It starts by understanding that shift work messes with your internal body clock. Our circadian rhythms are guided by natural light and darkness. During daylight, our eyes recognize sunlight and signal our brain to release hormones that keep us awake. As natural daylight fades, our brains produce a different hormone that causes feelings of sleepiness and relaxation.

You can imagine how shift work impacts these natural rhythms. Left untreated, shift work sleep disorder can cause accidents, irritability, lower work performance, safety concerns, health problems, and substance abuse issues.

A sleep study will get to the root cause of your sleep disturbances. The experts at Sound Asleep Lab can determine if shift work is impacting your sleep – or something else. They will talk to you about treatment options like light therapy, improved sleep “hygiene,” chronotherapy, and lifestyle changes.

If you’re concerned about how your job impacts your nightly ZZZZs, let the experts at Sound Asleep Lab help you get your sleep schedule back on track. Talk to your physician or contact us directly by calling (866) 792-2792. > Read More