Why Sleep Might Be An Issue For Shift Workers
The more we advance technologically, the more we need to evolve socially. There are things which we can do today which probably never even looked possible to our ancestors. The truth is that we’re advancing so quickly now that it can be really hard to constantly adapt and more than a little overwhelming to us. We’re working more hours and we’re doing more in that time. With modern technologies it takes less people to do more jobs which is great news for productivity but means that there aren’t many jobs left which don’t have high levels of stress. Stress has become rather a fact of life for a lot of people and it’s how we deal with that stress which is important.
The traditional 9-5 work day is becoming a thing of the past. Companies are international now and people have to work with other time zones, meaning late night conference calls or early morning Skype meetings. Shift work is also becoming much more common and people are working more during the hours where our bodies expect us to sleep. Some night workers may find it easy to get into the habit of shift work but for others it can be a little too much. Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) is a very real issue for many.
Advanced though we are a big part of us is that primal hunter gatherer. Our brains are pre-programmed to desire sleep after a certain time in the evening. When it gets dark we get tired. Shift work goes directly against this and can lead to a great deal of lost sleep. When you’ve stopped work and you need to sleep you might find you simply can’t, as your body struggles to adapt. Conversely, while you’re actually at work you might have issues staying awake!
If this is an issue you recognise then it might be time to see your doctor! There are a variety of things that they can suggest for you.