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Shift Work and your Sleep

Shift Work and your Sleep

How does shift work affect sleep?

Generally, the body is programmed to sleep best overnight and to be most alert during the day. Shift work isn’t easy because it involves working against your body’s natural rhythm. You need to be active and alert at night when your body is designed to sleep — and need to sleep in the day when you’re wired to be awake.

Working at night or irregular shifts can keep you from getting the regular sleep time that most daytime workers take for granted.Research has found that shift workers have 1-2 hours less sleep on average per 24 hours than non-shift workers.’

Memory and ability to focus can become impaired. People who are sleep-deprived often get irritable or depressed. Their relationships and social life can suffer too.

Shift workers also face potential health problems. Overall, those who work night or rotating shifts seem to have a higher risk of ulcers, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.

Lack of sleep is an occupational hazard

Fatigue is recognised as a workplace health and safety risk.

Being fatigued impairs you as if you were drunk or on sedative drugs. In fact, studies show that 17 hours without sleep impairs your driving in the same way as having a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent.

In addition to this, fatigue worsens your hand-eye coordination and makes it harder for you to communicate. Your brain does not process information or solve problems as well as it should. You also tend to take more risks. This means that your chance of making errors goes up. In turn this can be a danger to the health and safety of you and those around you. To make things worse, as you become sleepier, you are less aware of your reduced performance.

Shift workers are at especially high risk of the dangers of fatigue. They often need to work at a time when their body clock says they should be asleep.  

Shift workers often complain of being tired, both on and off the job. It may be harder to concentrate and be alert while at work. This means there is more danger of accidents at work and on the road driving to and from work. Research has shown that shift workers are six times more likely to be in a fatigue-related road accident than other workers.

Tips for better daytime sleep

  • Use window coverings that will sufficiently block out the sun and reduce the light level in your bedroom during the day.
  • Make sure the temperature in the bedroom isn’t too warm — cool conditions help you get to sleep and stay asleep
  • Try to make your bedroom as sound proof as possible. An air conditioner or fan can help mask noises. Sound insulation on doors and windows can reduce noise levels. Earplugs may help too.
  • If possible, unplug the phone and put a notice on your bedroom door to let people know you’re sleeping
  • Let friends, family and neighbours know your work schedule so that your sleep is undisturbed
  • Ask other household members to use headphones for the TV and stereo while you sleep
  • Avoid smoking. Research suggests that smokers have less restful sleep compared to non-smokers. This may be because nicotine is a stimulant.
  • Think about what you eat and drink before you go to sleep. Drinks containing caffeine — such as coffee, tea, cocoa and green tea — can keep you awake. Alcohol can make you sleepy at first but its effects can wake you up later on and can reduce your amount of deeper restorative sleep. Eating a heavy meal close can also keep you awake.
  • You may need time to unwind between work and bedtime. Some shift workers prefer to go straight to bed, while others find it’s better to read or watch television to wind down first.
  • Make time for enough sleep. Shift workers have to sleep when others are awake. Social and sporting events can sometimes be rearranged so that shift workers can still participate in these activities.
  •  Some workers are allowed to take a break during their shift. This time can be used for a short nap.
  • Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as you can

Roller Shutters WILL help create the perfect sleeping environment !

Light Control

This is often the biggest challenge for a shift worker who is trying to fall asleep while the sun is up! Even if your eyes are closed, light can be detected through your eyelids telling your brain that it’s daytime. Roller Shutters give you 100% control over the amount of light let into your bedroom. When fully closed they are capable of blocking out even the brightest direct sunlight on a window.

Noise Reduction

Outside noise can be another big problem for those trying to sleep during the day time. From the general neighbourhood sounds of traffic, barking dogs or lawnmowers to a sudden ambulance or blaring music. Even if you manage to fall asleep easily, as your body transitions through different stages of sleep, unexpected noise may wake you during shallower cycles. The slats of a Roller Shutter are all injected with Polyurethane. This insulating material will block outside noise by up to 50%!

Temperature

Your body temperature naturally drops as you drift into sleep, so cooling down your bedroom can jump start the process and make it easier to doze off. If your bedroom window faces directly into the sun, chances are your room becomes uncomfortably hot at times, making it almost impossible to get comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep. OzShut Roller Shutters are designed to prevent the transfer of heat by up to 90%! This also means you do not need to use your air-conditioning as much and will save 30-40% on the running costs.

Security

Especially if you are home alone during the day when you need to sleep, having Roller Shutters on your windows will give you great piece of mind and allow you to relax, knowing you are safe from unwanted intruders. Similarly Roller Shutters will provide the necessary safety for your family while you are working night shift or away for an extended time.

What our customers have to say

We installed our Roller Shutters as we both work shift work and often are required to sleep during the day. We love that our OzShut Roller Shutters turn day to night at the click of a switch. Additionally, the noise reduction makes an enormous difference when sleeping during the day. We would highly recommend your product”  Paul Konowalow

“They block out so much heat and light which is perfect for my shift working husband trying to sleep during the day.”  Letecia Davis

The Roller Shutters make the house quieter with road traffic. And I love how they make the room really dark during the day as well as cooler.”  Tess and Phillip Waller

The Roller Shutters have made me feel so much safer when my partner is on night shift and he loves having a dark, quiet room when sleeping during the day. Thanks Ozshut for such a great deal and for hooking us up with some good quality and affordable Roller Shutters! ”  Courtney Gooden, Byford

References

https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306887,00.html#keep-your-room-cool-0

biology.stackexchange.com ‘why-do-you-need-you-room-dark-for-melatonin-release’

http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/public-information/fact-sheets-a-z/shiftwork.html

http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/public-information/fact-sheets-a-z/tips-for-a-good-night-s-sleep.html

http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/public-information/fact-sheets-a-z/fatigue-as-an-occupational-hazard.html

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/night-shift-sleep#1