Take the time to design a sleep-friendly bedroom environment so that you can wake up each morning feeling refreshed. The National Sleep Foundation has compiled six easy-to-accomplish and cost-free tips to help ensure that your bedroom environment is ideal for sleep.
For more information on using your senses to design the perfect bedroom environment, visit NSF's special bedroom minisite.
Improving work conditions is important for a shift worker’s health and well-being, but it’s also key to safety and productivity on the job. Making improvements in the workplace is in the shared interests of both employees and employers.
If your doctor has prescribed medications for your shift work disorder to help you stay alert on the job (a wakefulness-promoting medication) or sleep when you’re off duty (a sleep aid), it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Take the proper dosage exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Medications can have side effects and need to be taken the proper way, or they can be ineffective and even worsen your sleep problem.
If you believe that you are suffering from shift work disorder, it’s important that you schedule a visit with your primary care physician or a sleep specialist. He or she will review your health history and ask you questions about your sleep patterns and symptoms. Your doctor may use certain tools to gather information about your symptoms, lifestyle, health history, and sleep.
People with shift work disorder can have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep for as long as their bodies require. They often wake up after just a few hours, or at least before sleeping a full seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period.
You know that sleep is vital to your physical and mental health. But, how can you tell whether you’re truly sleeping well? Especially if you work shifts, your sleep probably does not look exactly like other peoples’ sleep. It can be hard to measure your sleep patterns against those of the people around you.
Even though most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep in a 24-hour day, exactly when our bodies naturally tend to fall asleep and wake up each day can vary. Scientists believe that people have inherent differences in when they sleep and wake best. This natural pattern is a chronotype. Whether you’re a night owl (an evening person), or a lark (morning person) is partly determined by your genetics.
When you understand how the body’s circadian systems work, it’s easy to see how keeping an irregular schedule will affect this internal timekeeper.
The circadian system keeps us in sync with the 24-hour day. Our body’s internal clock sends signals to many different parts in the body, affecting things like digestion, the release of certain hormones, body temperature, and much more.