There are lots of jobs around the whole world and it is true that traditionally most of them were centered on the 9 am to 5 pm work schedules but since businesses, factories and workplaces functioning round the clock more and more people are working in shifts now.
There are many different types of shifts that such as night shifts, rotating shifts, graveyard shifts, and even on-call shifts. Nowadays many people have 9-5 jobs on paper but they work for a much longer time on most weekdays and even on weekends.
Some people who work in a profession such as security, research, emergency services, and even the entertainment industry work for many long hours and even days and nights at a time.
While these work schedules are necessary and inevitable in some cases as they are important for improving our productivity, meeting professional targets, and even our economic conditions.
But a grave fact is that these working schedules and shift routines often disturb the sleeping patterns of the people working around these demanding schedules and also hurt their work performances over time.
These kinds of working schedules also affect social life as well as physical and mental health.
But as this a way of life for most people, we must make certain arrangements to get quality sleep and rest to give enough time for a resting period for our bodies and our brain. Our bodies are not machines and they need some resting period during which they recharge, rejuvenate, and repair the wear and tear of the body. The best form of rejuvenation daily is sleep.
Normally our bodies start producing melatonin when it starts getting dark but now due to the constant exposure of light by the lights in our house, our workplaces, and our streets as well our mobile phones, the secretion of melatonin is restricted. But still, our body starts to feel lethargic and sleepy at night as per our natural sleep cycle.
But people who work in shifts often have to work against their natural sleep cycle. Due to this, the quality of their sleep is affected and they even face various challenges even when they try to sleep. Some people are not able to fall asleep when they are having their day-offs, and some people feel exhausted after oversleeping. Thus people working in shifts have an extremely vulnerable and difficult relationship with their sleep.
But there are a few ways which can help people working in shifts sleep better and give their body enough time to repair and recharge for their next day.
Create a Sleep-Promoting Environment in your Room:
If you have night shifts and you sleep during the day, make sure that your bedroom is completely dark when you sleep. Lowering the temperature of the room will also promote better sleep. Avoid exposing your body to too much sunlight as it will prevent you from enjoying a relaxing sleep. If your family members or roommates are noisy then it may disturb your sleep, so consider investing in a noise-canceling device or at least ask your family members to keep it down as you need your beauty sleep.
Avoid eating or drinking any type of Wakefulness Promoting Food:
There are different types of drinks such as tea and coffee which promote wakefulness. If you drink these kinds of stuff even 2-3 hours before you plan to fall asleep as once the effects wear off it will make you extremely exhausted but won't let you sleep properly.
Avoid having extremely heavy meals right before you plan to fall asleep as it will take longer to get digested and keep your body awake.
Getting proper sleep for shift workers can still be difficult but taking these few measures will surely ease it out for them.
Shift workers also have to keep their productivity high and work and even if they have slept well, our bodies' natural response is to fall asleep at night. This will not only affect work performance but also make them vulnerable to a work-related injury or may have accidents when they are handling sensitive apparatus or machines.
If you are not able to sleep well regularly or if your shifts that disturbed your sleep cycle so much that it has started affecting your work and health and you can't even focus at work or see a sudden dip in your work performance then it is best to get professional help.
There are wakefulness-promoting medication such as Modalert and Modvigil containing Modafinil which will give you uninterrupted hours of focus at work even if they have not slept well. These medicines are prescribed to treat serious symptoms of Shift Work Sleep disorder and work efficiently for shift workers. If your condition is severe, your doctor may prescribe Waklert which contains Armodafinil and treats excessive sleep disorders very well.
In this age and time, shift work is a necessary evil and most of us cannot avoid it for the betterment of our economic conditions. If you can, try scheduling all your night shifts together so that your sleep cycle does not change too often. When you have days off, invest time in getting in long, uninterrupted, and good quality of sleep to keep your mind active and your body healthy.
Prioritize your sleep whenever you can, give your best during your working hours, and live a satisfying life.