‘Shift’ Your Sleep into High Gear

Are you working outside of the typical 9-to-5 workday and finding it hard to sleep? Shift workers, including doctors, pilots, police officers and more, often experience issues falling asleep (or staying awake!) due to the conflict between their natural circadian rhythms and their demanding sleep-wake schedule. Consequently, these problems can put them at risk for chronic illnesses and other harmful situations.

Inconsistencies between an individual’s natural circadian rhythm and daily sleep-wake schedule can negatively impact their concentration during the day and at work, increasing their risk for work-related injuries, motor vehicle accidents and other injurious instances. Shift workers also have an increased risk for developing heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases and other chronic illnesses.

Thankfully, there are several ways for shift workers to alter their sleep hygiene and “shift” their sleep into high gear.

·         Maintain a regular sleep schedule in order to adjust your body to a new sleep-wake schedule, even on the weekends.

·         Limit exposure to sunlight and blue-light-emitting devices after work in order to encourage melatonin production. Wearing dark sunglasses on the way home can help with this, too.

·         Avoid beverages and activities that will increase alertness at least four to six hours before bed time, such as caffeinated drinks and physical exercise.

·         Keep in mind that although alcohol can initially help you fall asleep, it will disturb the quality of your sleep in the long run by interrupting your transition into REM sleep.

·         Eliminate light and sounds as much as possible by using blackout curtains, sleep masks and earplugs.

Shift work plays an important part in many of our lives, but without certain precautions to protect ourselves, it can damage our health and affect our livelihood. Struggling to find a healthy work-life balance is an obstacle many of us face, but struggling to find quality sleep shouldn’t be one we need to face alone. Give the FusionSleep team a call today at (678) 990-3962 to schedule a consultation. We’ll be happy to help you find a sleep solution uniquely fitted for you!