If you work the night shift, or graveyard shift, you may find it impossible to feel well rested when you have to sleep during the day. This article will give tips on how to be able to work the night shift and be able to get a good night’s sleep during the day.
Our society can not function without people working around the clock; the world cannot shut down at 10:00 P.M.. This is unfortunate for those that work the night shift and for society because accidents due to night shift errors is very common. Lack of sleep is thought to be the blame in the 1986 Chernobyl and 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power plant melt downs. Also, in 1986 the Columbia space shuttle nearly had a fatal launch due to “operator fatigue” of a night shift worker. In a 1988 study the Wall Street Journal reports; there is an estimated 70 billion dollars of lost productivity and mistakes due to fatigued night shift workers.
Experts now realize that sleep loss is dangerous and that night shift work has different effects on sleep, health and work performance. Night shift workers may have increased sleep disorders, gastrointestinal complaints, ulcers, heart problems, high blood pressure depression, mood swings, substance abuse and fatigue.
Most people need 8 hours of sleep a day to feel rested. Parts of the nights sleep are spent in light sleep stages and the other parts of the night are spent in deep sleep stages. The deep sleep portion is the most important time of the sleep process where you nourish and restore your brain and body functions. With out the deep sleep you will not feel rested. Through out the night we go back and forth from deep to light sleep. We stay in the deep for about 45 minutes and then if we are deeply disrupted we come back up into light sleep. It is normal to have five 45 minutes deep sleep cycles in an 8 hour period. Anything that upsets these cycles will cause sleep problems.