Individuals who work atypical hours, such as split shift, graveyard shifts, early morning shifts, or rotating shifts, suffer from shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). Excessive tiredness, a lack of refreshing sleep, and drowsiness are all symptoms. These symptoms might have an impact on both professional and personal life.
1. Having Trouble Falling Asleep At Specific Times
If you need to fall asleep at odd hours like 2 or 3 at night, it might be difficult to fall asleep even though you are extremely tired, and sleepy. It can be downright frustrating to feel as if you could fall asleep anytime. Your body is literally crying to have some rest. You need a solid eight hours of sleep. Your bed is comfortable. The room temperature is perfect yet you can’t simply fall asleep. Whether it is wayward thoughts, or some other reason, you can’t relax enough to fall asleep. If you are having frequent episodes of such restless sleeping hours, it is time to consult a sleep consultant or your primary physician. It could be due to the effect of shift work or it could be something else altogether. If you can’t get enough sleep, it will lead to a whole array of issues later on.
2. Excessive Drowsiness At Work
If you get enough sleep everyday yet feel exhausted, and drowsy at work, it could be due to shift work sleep disorder. If there is too much secretion of melatonin while you are awake, it could lead to drowsiness. If you are not getting quality sleep, it would also make you feel tired. Simply sleeping isn’t enough. The REM cycle of the sleep, which is the deepest sleep where all conscious functions of your brain shuts off, is what helps your body and brain feel energetic when you wake up. If you are not getting enough REM sleep, your brain will always feel foggy and your body will feel overworked.
3. Attention Span Is Diminishing
Shift Work Sleep Disorder could lead to lower attention span. It means you will not be able to focus on anything really, even the things you used to enjoy. You might find yourself zoning out more often, daydreaming, and simply feeling brain fog. It could severely affect your professional and personal life. You might be able to excel at work and your relationships will be affected as well. It is best to get your symptoms checked by a professional and get your life back on time.
4. Mood Swings On a Regular Basis
We’re irritated and grouchy, finding it difficult to focus, and lacking in energy. When things don’t go our way, we tend to overreact, and when things go well, we tend to be less enthusiastic. Long-term sleep deprivation, which is common among shift workers, can have a negative impact on your mood. Sleep deprivation and mood disorders are inextricably related. It can also operate both ways: sleep deprivation can affect your mood, and your mood can influence how much and how well you sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in negative emotions (anger, irritation, impatience, and melancholy) and a decrease in happy moods, according to studies. Sleep deprivation is a common sign of mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
5. Stomach Problems
Constipation and diarrhoea are more common in night-shift workers because our digestive system falls into ‘neutral’ overnight, leaving our stomach more sluggish. When your body’s natural clock is affected due to sleeping in different hours, it also affects how your brain controls the acids and enzymes in your stomach. As the acid levels in the stomach fluctuate throughout the 24-hour cycle, heartburn and peptic ulcers become more common for shift workers. If you have any of these issues or multiple of these, consult your primary physicians who can help you make necessary changes to avoid these issues.