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Alternate Work Schedule Sleep Disorder: What Can You Do About It
Alternate work schedule sleep disorder is a type of sleep disorder which affects people with shift work or work at night. The work schedule of these people go against their body natural Circadian rhythm. This is especially common for people who work non-traditional hours between 10.00pm to 6.00am.
Two of the common symptoms of alternate work schedule sleep disorder are disruption of sleep and excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms include difficulty in concentrating, headaches and lack of energy. This type of sleep disorder can bring adverse consequences such as increased auto or work accidents, increased work related errors, and bad health.
If you are a shift worker, there is not much choice but to deal with this disorder. You have to make sleep the top priority. Prepare mentally and physically for sleep during the day. If it helps, wear sunglasses on your way home from work from night shift work to avoid activating the body internal day clock. Set a bedtime ritual and follow it. Rituals such as taking a soothing warm bath, drinking soothing herbal tea or listening to relaxing music helps to relax your mind and prepare your body for sleep. Keep a regular sleep schedule and try to sleep at the same time every night. It is recommended to sleep as soon as possible after work.
Get the support of family members to minimize noise and activities. Get them to wear headphones while listening to music or watching television. Avoid house chores such as vacuuming, using the washing machine during your sleep time. Take the phone off the hook and switch off your cell phone or door bell. Put heavy blinds in your room to block off day light as much as possible.
As the effects of alternate work schedule sleep disorder can be serious, you should try your best to minimize these effects. Here are some tips how to do that:
*Do not work night shift for more than 3 to 5 shifts in a row. Generally night shift workers sleep less than day shift workers, thus they can become progressively sleep deprived over several days.
*Avoid extended working hours such as prolonged shift and overtime.
*Avoid long commutes if possible as this takes time away from sleeping.
*Do not rotate shifts for more than once a week as it is easier to get adjusted to same shifts then different shifts.
*Arrange a regular sleep schedule and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Beside these lifestyle changes, there are some natural sleep disorder remedies which will help you sleep better. Visit Sleep Disorder Treatments to find out more options on what you can do to overcome alternate work schedule sleep disorder.
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