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Are Night Shift Sleep Patterns Bad For Your Health?

Day Sleep Instead of Night Sleep?

For those who are nocturnal, it is almost lucky to be able to follow this lifestyle, but for the rest of the people, working when the world sleeps and sleeping when the world wakes up is a problem that affects health.

Biologically we are prepared to be awake when there is light and sleep when it goes out. But there are specific jobs that require night shift work. These cause problems with the internal clock, and despite working at night, many people cannot sleep when a glimmer of light enters through the window, no matter how minimal.

Remember that sleeping conditions during the day are less favorable than those at night: noise from the activities carried out by other people, whether they are neighbors or come from the street, construction sites, cars, or telephones ringing.

Something similar can also happen to workers who start their day at dawn and finish in the morning. The rest phase is interrupted, it is almost an obligation to go to bed much earlier than the rest of the world, so the schedules also change, including meal times. It can become a problem since we also have constrained meal schedules and may need help to bring them forward.

An even bigger problem is the sleep cycles that depend on the different work shifts. Your sleep cycles will change depending on your assigned work schedule. This situation is more difficult because in no case can a sleep or meal routine be established. The rhythm of life is constantly changing, making it much more challenging to rest well.

A sleep disorder is a serious problem because it can lead to other issues such as stress, lowering defenses, and being much more vulnerable to colds, viruses, or bacteria. On the other hand, working at night causes a lower production of melatonin, a hormone that helps control sleep and wake cycles.

Light and darkness actively affect melatonin: most of this hormone is produced at night. If you work at night with artificial light, the body may produce less melatonin than necessary. During the day, our body’s biological clock produces less melatonin. In addition, it is also an essential factor in the immune system, but on a large scale, this hormone helps prevent the growth of tumors.

All these symptoms cause a “sleep debt” that has consequences: from a bad mood to poor performance of work tasks, lack of concentration, reduced communication skills, to causing traffic accidents.

Tips for a Better Day Sleep

All the adverse effects caused by nightlife and activity require that we take care of our sleep cycle. Here are some of the steps you should take to get a good sleep:

  • Cover all devices that emit light so the room is dark, and have the blinds and curtains lowered so that no glimmer of light gets through.
  • Wear a mask if necessary to ensure complete darkness.
  • Earplugs to avoid any noise.
  • Adapt the room temperature to about 18º so as not to feel too cold or too hot.
  • When returning from the working day, wearing sunglasses or dark glasses is advisable to prevent the light from further damaging existing fatigue.
  • Exercise a bit to tire yourself out to help you fall asleep quickly.
  • A balanced and healthy diet is also essential to strengthen the immune system.

It is important to go to your doctor if you detect a disorder in your sleep cycle so that they can advise on what’s best for your particular case.

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