28 May 08
Night shift workers may have increased sleep disorders, gastrointestinal complaints, ulcers, heart problems, high blood pressure depression, mood swings, substance abuse and fatigue. Most people need 8 hours of sleep a day to feel rested. Parts of the nights sleep are spent in light sleep stages and the other parts of the night are spent in deep sleep stages. The deep sleep portion is the most important time of the sleep process where you nourish and restore your brain and body functions. With out the deep sleep you will not feel rested. Through out the night we go back and forth from deep to light sleep. We stay in the deep for about 45 minutes and then if we are deeply disrupted we come back up into light sleep. It is normal to have five 45 minutes deep sleep cycles in an 8 hour period. Anything that upsets these cycles will cause sleep problems. If you work the night shift and sleep during the day, there are many things that can disturb your deep sleep and awaken you during your light sleep phase. Noise is the biggest problem. Daytime sleepers have to contend with noisy neighbors, children, traffic, lawn mowers and such. Noise is the most common complaint of people who sleep during the day; so, noise prevention should be given top priority. When looking for a home to rent or buy, always look for one in a quiet neighborhood. Look at the house after school hours and on Saturday when the neighborhood kids are home from school and day workers are home mowing their lawns. Look at the house more than once at different times of the day. Between 4:00 and 5:00 P.M. during rush hour traffic is a good time too. Make sure the house is not near any train tracks, noisy factories, or airport fly-bys. Make sure the bedroom is in a location as to not be near the street or noisy neighbors. Look in the backyards neighboring the house to see if there are any dogs that will bark during the day. If there is open properties near by, check to see if there will be construction in the future that could disturb your sleep. Check to see if there are dual pane windows in the house, they not only reduce cold and heat but noise as well. Wear ear plugs to block out all noise. It is also important to turn off your phone ringer and disconnect your door bell. For most night shift workers it is wise to stay on the same sleep schedule, even during the weekends. If you work 5 days a week for 8 hour shifts it would be very difficult to switch to sleeping at night on the weekends and back to days during your work week. If you work a compressed schedule of 4 - ten hour shifts it is easier to switch your sleep schedule because you have three days to do it in. Use naps to make the transitions easier, on the day you get off work sleep only 4 hours. Then get up and do some fun things with your friends and family and go to bed when they do. Do this for the next three nights. The day you go back into work, take a 2 or 3 hour nap in the afternoon to make sure you will be alert during work.
27 May 08
it won't kill you but I have had trouble sleeping at night as I used to do shift work and my doctor told me that I have messed my body up a bit and she explained to me how the body works, she said at night time your body slows down ready for sleep this is a natural thing for the body, the air changes to help this, this is nature, sleep is meant to be at night but it is not going to make you sick so to speak so long as you get some sleep it is just better for you to sleep when nature sets it up for you....