Primehealth Medical Center, P.C.
Primehealth Medical Center, P.C.

Coping With Night Shifts

We hear so often about people working a 9-5 and methods they can use to get to sleep at night.  What is often overlooked are those who don’t work a day shift job, or even worse have a job that rotates shifts on them fairly frequently.  These kind of schedules can make it difficult to get a steady sleep schedule, and our body’s natural tendency to be awake during the day can make sleeping once the shift is over difficult.  Over 20% of all people in the world are employed working shifts that aren’t a traditional daytime shift, and many of these workers suffer from a condition known as Shift Work Sleep Disorder.


Tips For Coping With Night Shift Work

SWSD is a common ailment that affects those working shifts that keep them up at night.  This condition can result in issues with insulin resistance, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and a prevalence of ulcers thanks to a constantly changing shift.  Try these tips to help you get restful sleep:


  1. If possible avoid working multiple night shifts in a row.  Night shift work, when paired with days off in between, can be managebale.

  2. Try to stick to a normal shift, as constantly rotating your sleep schedule will have a lasting effect on your feelings of exhaustion.  If you can’t avoid rotating shifts, at least try to stick to switching between day and swing shifts, rather than including a night shift.

  3. You should avoid long commutes that interfere with your ability to sleep.

  4. Keeping your workplace brightly lit can also help keep you awake during your night shift, especially when combined with blackout curtains at home.  This can trick your body’s Circadian rhythms into readjusting to your work shift.

  5. While caffeine can help you stay up through the grueling night shift, it can also contribute to your inability to sleep when you get home.  Make sure you start cutting back as the night moves on.

  6. Save your errands for the nighttime hours, and make sure you avoid the light on the way home. Sunglasses that wrap around and a hat that will help block the sunlight will help falling into bed easier.

  7. Turn off your phone during sleep hours so that friends and family members can’t interfere with your sleep schedule.  Interruptions can make it difficult to get enough sleep, and it can be difficult to get sufficient REM sleep if you’re constantly being woken by the phone.


If you’ve tried all these trips and you’re still experiencing difficulties sleep after your night shift, it’s time to talk to your physician to see what options they can offer.  Dr. Sam Olu Faleye has been working with patients who have to deal with the struggles of Shift Work Sleep Disorder, helping them find solutions that result in restful sleep. Call Prime Health Medical Center Today to make an appointment for a consultation at their Memphis, TN office, and take control of your sleep schedule today!



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