Shift Workers - Listen Up!!

HealthGal Health Guide
  • In these tough financial times - every job is now considered precious.  But as anyone who has done it knows - night shift work can be gruesome when it comes to sleep issues.  The challenge night shift workers face is trying to relax their body for a good "day's sleep" as the rest of the world answers the call of natural light and goes off to a day's work.  Well, listen up if you are truly suffering with sleep issues!!


    A new study reveals that three things are the key to conquering your sleep woes:


    (1) Light exposure therapy

    (2) Dark sunglasses

    (3) A strict sleep schedule


    These three things can create what's called a compromise circadian sleep position that not only allows for restful sleep, but may also provide more alertness during your night shift work.  You are basically defying your natural circadian rhythms of rest and wake periods.  The test subjects in this particuar study worked 11pm to 7am shifts and were exposed to five - 15 minute intermittent bright light pulses each night shift, wore sunglasses anytime they went outside (especially when leaving for home in the am), and received outdoor afternoon natural light exposure (after awakening).  The subjects also went to sleep the same time every am, upon arriving home.

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    The study hoped to delay the typical 4:30 am "tiredness/want to sleep now" phase that the shift workers were typically experiencing (which, once it passed, would make falling asleep after 7 am reallly difficult).  The study successfully achieved that delay and most of the subjects found that falling and staying asleep much more easy situations to achieve.  In order to keep those "happy results" in place, the subjects had to keep the 3 tools in place consistently.


    So if you or someone you know is stuck in a night shift rut - these 3 techniques may be true gifts for sleep.

Published On: December 04, 2008