Know The Causes Of Shift Work Disorder

30 Oct 2018

Shift work disorder (commonly known as Shift Work Sleep Disorder or SWSD) is a rhythmic sleep disorder that generally happens due to lack of sleep or insomnia. It generally happens with people whose work time clash with their regular sleeping period. It is sometimes considered a neurological disorder but, in most cases, it is considered to be a psychological disorder. There are a variety of schedules of SWSD: Permanent, intermittent, etc.


The primary symptoms show excessive sleepiness, sleeping at work, lack of energy during work and, sometimes, it may lead to insomnia. The quality of sleep is decreased and daily sleep time is also reduced. People are having this disorder usually get a strong desire to sleep but, due to insomnia, don’t get sleep when they go to sleep. Dozing, irritability and reduced performance are also some common symptoms.


Insomnia is directly related to the timing and schedule of a person’s sleep cycle. If a person usually works during his typical sleep cycle, he is prone to having sleep work shift disorder. Sleep deprivation is also a common cause of SWSD. Studies on SWSD at acclaimed universities such as Harvard and Trinity show that SWSD is also associated with cancer. Other studies show that night worker are more prone to heart diseases, digestive disorder, and menstrual irregularities. Also, there has been an increase in the number of a road accident, and a high percentage of them are night workers.


Usually, this disorder can be cured by getting ideal sleep and improving your sleep cycle.

Prescribed Sleep/Wake Scheduling: There is no such thing as ‘ideal’ night work schedule. The human body has evolved in a way that nights are meant for sleeping. The release of hormones during the night leads to the lethargic body, therefore, the work done at night might not prove to be as good as done in the morning. But, some schedules may prove to be better than others. Scientists have suggested a schedule that is, research-based, better than others. They have suggested 1 or 2 days of night work with enough time for recovery. However, in major industries, 5 to 7 days of work with no rest remains to be common.

Taking short naps before shifts can work can also help. However, long naps can lead to sleep inertia, i.e., headaches or a groggy feeling immediately after waking up. Also, long naps can lead to an irregular sleeping pattern.

Medications to improve daytime sleep: Hypnotics are generally prescribed, but it is often seen that taking hypnotics effects nighttime sleep. Taking caffeine helps. Buy modvigil online, Modafinil and armodafinil produce hormones that are anti-amphetamine, i.e., the hormone that controls our sleep. These drugs, however, are also used for the treatment of narcolepsy.

Melatonin treatment; Melatonin is a hormone secreted, in darkness, by the pineal gland, usually at night. In many foreign countries including the US and Canada, melatonin is also available to take originally. It has been proved many-a-times to improve the circadian system to help produce sleeping hormones during the daytime.

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