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Shift Work
affecting your sleep?

Shift work is becoming increasingly common across the world, and the demand for shift-workers, such as medical professionals, aviation workers, drivers, journalists, disciplined services, etc., continues unabated. Take our neighboring country - Taiwan as an example, the rate of shift-workers and regular-night-shift-workers is as high as 27%. In fact, shift work is like jet lag, you need to adapt to the new sleep-wake schedule almost every day, which result in disruption of circadian rhythm and negatively affect sleep. According to a survey, 19% of shift-workers suffer from insomnia, which is twice that of regular day workers. If we cannot get restful sleep all the time, it may lead to lower concentration, headache, depression or irritability, and drowsiness.

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According to the AASM International Classification of Sleep Disorders, “Shift Work Disorder” is a Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder, which means that the patient’s sleep-wake cycle is dysregulated, and has difficulty falling asleep even he/she is sleepy. “Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders” can increase long term health risks include colds and the flu, breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, and obesity. That’s because sleep and the immune system are tightly intertwined.

Why is it difficult to fall asleep

during daytime hours?

 

Since our body clock manages the sleep-wake schedule through light, if you turn night into day due to shift work, you will need to work at night when the secretion of melatonin is strongest. On the contrary, you will difficult to fall asleep after working night shifts, because the secretion of melatonin is weakest in the morning.

Do you have

“Shift Work Disorder”?

 

1) Do you have a schedule that requires you to work when you would normally sleep?

 

2) Do you have trouble sleeping or are severely tired due to your work schedule?

 

3) Have you had this work-related sleep problem for at least one month?

 

4) Does this problem hurt your social, family or work life?

If your answer is yes to all of the above questions, you might have “Shift Work Disorder”. Please check with your doctor about your own health and further treatment options.

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