Shift World Sleep Disorder is described as people having difficulty sleeping and feeling rested due to working night or rotating shifts. The body’s natural 24-hour clock is compromised because we depend on light to determine when we should be active or resting. When a person changes their sleeping pattern to adjust to sleeping during the day or when their work schedule makes it difficult to have a regular sleep cycle, this can be quite a challenge that will eventually take a toll on your body.
Not everybody who has changes in the sleep cycle will experience shift work sleep disorder. In fact, some people only take a few weeks to fully adjust to sleeping during the day while others can never seem to cope with it. Like many other sleep disorders, shift work sleep disorder may be difficult to diagnose. It is important for people to keep a sleep diary that indicates how many hours of sleep they get on a regular basis and how rested they feel when they wake up. This will provide a solid history of what your sleep pattern looks like and can aid doctors is diagnosing your condition properly.
Shift work sleep disorder can certainly negatively impact your health. People with this condition are generally more susceptible to colds and flus because lack of sleep can seriously compromise your immune system. Not only can it increase your chances for common illnesses, but it can also make you more prone to high blood pressure, heart problems, and even cancer. Researchers indicate that the reason that your health may be at risk when having this disorder is that your body is not creating enough Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep cycles, builds the immune system, and protects the body from the growth of tumors.
There are some things you can do to ease into shift work thus lessening your chances of having this disorder. You should create a comfortable sleep area by decreasing temperature, sounds, and light. If you have to sleep during the day you should invest in window blinds that will keep out sunlight. You may even want to wear a mask to ensure that no light with interrupt your sleep. Since most people are awake during the day, naturally there will be more sounds than at night. You should wear ear plugs or play soft music to drown out unwanted noises. It is suggested to keep the temperature of your bedroom to around 65 degrees fare height. This will ensure that you are not too hold or cold. The slightest irritabilities may seem magnified because you are already trying to sleep in less than ideal conditions. It is important that you cut out as many annoyances as possible to make sure that you are setting yourself up for a peaceful sleep.
While shift work sleep disorder is definitely a reality that many shift workers face, it does not have to ruin your sleep cycle. Following these tips will make the transition much smoother.