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Shift Work Sleep Disorder: Prevalence and Consequences

Shift work sleep disorder is a common condition experienced by many professionals who works in shifts. It effects negatively on the alertness and the sleep of an individual. According to a little research, as compared to difficulties with insomnia and excessive sleepiness, the prevalence and consequences of sleep disorder during sleep is generally experienced by workers who worked in day shifts. This study was designed to understand the negative results and relative prevalence linked with the disorder of sleep during the work shift.

How Working shifts Have Such a Devastating Effect On Our Sleep?

Shift Work Sleep Disorder

It is a fact that work shifts affect our sleep to a large extent. It all comes down to the 24 hour circadian rhythm or our body clock, which is quite difficult, wired in the brain. The circadian rhythm is controlled by dark and light. After the sun sets, melatonin, a hormone is produced in our brains. This hormone is basically a sleep inducing hormone that makes you feel drowsy. Though, when the sun rises, the level of melatonin drops and your sleep goes away. So melatonin is responsible for controlling our sleep and wake cycles.

Prevalence of Shift Work Sleep Disorder

There is some prevalence that can cause this sleeping disorder such as excessive sleepiness or difficulty in sleeping. The most common symptoms related to Shift Work Sleep Disorder are difficulty in concentrating, lack of energy and headaches. However, not every shift worker suffers from this condition, but if you are the one who find these symptoms, then consulting a physician is very crucial.

Consequences of SWSD

There are plenty of people who work in shifts, resulting lack of sleep. This condition is very harmful and can invite the sleeping disorder related to shifts. Though, some of the consequences of shift work sleep disorder are

  • Increased irritability or mood problems
  • Increased accidents
  • Increased sickness leave
  • Increased work-related errors

Maintain A Sleep Diary

Generally people get this problem when they start working in night shifts. This disturbs their normal sleep cycle and gives too many health issues. If you are suffering from this sleep disorder and consulting a doctor for its treatment, then he/she will carry out a test known as actigraphy. In this test, the sleeper has to wear a device on his/her wrist that seems very much like a watch. This device helps in calculating or measuring the movement during the day and night. Moreover, this device also helps your physician to learn the time you wake up and you go to sleep. No matter if you are suffering from insomnia, shift work sleep disorder or REM sleep disorder, it is wise to take certain precaution to avoid these condition. For that you can maintain a sleep diary, helping you in identifying the problem and observe its progression over time.