Drinking coffee is probably one of the things that you enjoy doing every day. Having caffeine in your system can make you more productive for a given day. However, there are times when you wish coffee has no effects at all especially if you are trying to get a good sleep. Worry no more since you can still sleep soundly at night without giving up coffee.
It’s best to consult your doctor or physician if you think you have shift work sleep disorder. Your health history would be reviewed, and the doctor may ask questions regarding your symptoms and sleep patterns. He may also use some of these instruments to get an overview of your problem better.
The following instruments are:
- Sleep Diary. Before seeing your doctor, for at least two weeks, you have to record your sleep everyday pattern. The information gathered will help determine if a disorder causes your issues or not.
- Sleepiness Scales. Your doctor will determine if you may be experiencing an extreme level of sleepiness by asking questions regarding the level of drowsiness during periods that you wish to stay awake.
- Sleep Studies. You may be asked to undergo a non-invasive examination, a sleep study (Polysomnography), that take note of somebody functions while sleeping, like brain waves, heart rate, oxygen level, etc., if your doctor thinks that there is an underlying sleep disorder for your symptoms. These are conducted overnight in a lab or at home.
Questions Your Doctor Will Ask You If You’re Showing Signs Of Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Your doctor may ask you the following during your consultation about sleep symptoms resulted from your shift schedule:
- Medical history
- Detailed symptoms on how long, how frequent, and how these signs interfere with your life
- Your work schedule and sleep habits
- Any history with other sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and more
Your doctor will also talk to you and interview you about what you are feeling and experiencing. From there, and all the other tests are done, the medical expert will be able to diagnose if you have a disorder, or not.
You Need To Talk About These Things With Your Doctor
- Could it be that my signs and symptoms are indicators of my night shift work? Yes or No? And Why?
- How can I cope with this problem? If I have the disorder, how can I manage it? Can I make it go away? Will I be cured?
- If I have a disorder, what is the best treatment available? Is this treatment applicable to me and my sleep disorder?
Medication Safety & Shift Work Disorder
It’s essential to follow your doctor’s order if he put you under medication.
Medications may be useless and even make your sleep problem worse if not taken properly, and thus, you should take the proper dosage as prescribed.
Before a doctor put you on medication, they must know your health history, including those medications you’re currently taking. Drugs can have side effects, and it is essential to know about it and record any changes.
It is essential to understand the body still needs enough sleep to function, and those medications do not make up for the absence of sleep.
Thus, even if you are on medication, make sure to also apply the behavioral change for long-term healthy sleep, because these medications are not a long-term solution but somewhat as a temporary approach to help improve your symptoms.
Do you ever wonder if your sleeping pattern can affect your relationship with your partner? Have you noticed how your mood changes when you have a good night sleep? If you answered yes to these questions, then this article is perfect for you. We have laid down some of the possible consequences that lack of sleep can do to your romantic or intimate relationships:
People who have difficulty falling asleep, or remaining asleep for an extended period and as their bodies require may be suffering from shift work sleep disorder. Shift work sleep disorder can be similar to insomnia. The former is directly connected to a person’s employment schedule, while many sources cause the latter. In reality, it is more likely to have difficulty with one’s shift schedule.
Did you have a good night’s sleep during those times wherein you didn’t work night shifts? Since your started working graveyard, did you have difficulty sleeping during the day, and usually end up not sleeping, or chronically lack sleep? If you answered yes to both questions, then, it’s a sure sign that your night shifts cause your sleep issues.
Shift Work Sleep Disorder: Medical Treatments
If you have already tried the non-medical options (example; good sleeping habits, adjusting your sleep setting and schedule, and doing relaxation methods) and yet, symptoms persist, then, your doctor may suggest some medications.
Below are medications that could help you stay awake at work so that you could sleep during the day, which is what you need the most right now.
Alertness: Some prescriptions work by switching on the system that keeps your brain alerts, such as Armodafinil and Modafinil.
Sleeping: Sleep aids, such as, benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, and certain antidepressants to momentarily help a shift worker who needs to sleep during odd hours.
Ask your doctor which one suits you best, and if you have doubts, ask for the side effects of these medications on you.
Shift Work Disorder: Non-Medical Treatments
In addition to non-medical options mentioned above, these options help improve job alertness and regulate your sleep.
A person’s body produces melatonin. It is a natural chemical that makes a person tired. The melatonin level changes throughout the day and night. If at night, you are exposed to light, it disrupts the natural melatonin production, which can result in disturbed sleep and many health-related problems. If you need to alter to an odd schedule, consuming melatonin may help “reset” your body clock.
For your body clock, light is a powerful indicator. It affects your wake/sleep pattern with its alerting effect and gradually shifting your sleep pattern depending on the schedule of light exposure. This help establishes a healthier sleep or wake pattern based on your needs. This is prescribed as a way to help you change your sleep patterns to improve work alertness and productivity, but the extent of light therapy and timing should be appropriately determined.
This is a good source of alertness and productivity during shift. It has been found that caffeine even as low as 200mg improve attentiveness for those who like to be awake during the night. Caffeine consumption after a nap is beneficial, and it remains in your system for hours, so make sure to minimize caffeine intake as your shift ends.
A person needs to sleep at least seven hours each day, straight and nonstop. This is the time when our bodies are recuperating, and sleep restores the balance. If you are not sleeping right because of your shift at work, then, you will have to find a way to sleep during the day without disruption. As to how you will do that, if you are having problems, ask help from a medical professional.