Most Americans are familiar with sleep deprivation. It’s not unusual for people to work long hours and heap on the extracurriculars in our go-go society, treating sleep as a luxury and reveling in that extra hour they get when Daylight Savings Time ends. (Which it does this Sunday at 2 a.m.!) For shift workers, though, it’s an even greater challenge to get adequate sleep and some suffer from Shift Work Disorder.
Try having a schedule at odds with those of family and friends and returning home to sleep just as the world around you is waking up. Garbage trucks rumble by, dogs bark and people talk. Nurses, police officers and others working alternate shifts will tell you: it’s not easy.
More than 21 million wage and salary workers or 17.7 percent usually work a shift that falls at least partially outside of daytime work hours, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.
Early morning shifts, night shifts or rotating shifts, can all throw off a person’s circadian rhythms, which disrupts sleep patterns.
“With shift work disorder, you have a hard time sleeping when sleep is desired, needed or expected,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s a chronic condition and it’s directly related to a person’s work schedule.
It’s such a problem that the NSF launched a Shift Work Disorder website to educate the public about it. It estimates roughly 10 percent of night and rotating shift workers have the disorder. Approximately 25-30 percent of shift workers experience excessive sleepiness or insomnia.
The site has so much good advice including tips for sleeping during the day, a couple of which Indow can help with.
- Wear sunglasses on the drive home to limit the light, which makes people more alert and influences their internal clock. (Indow doesn’t sell sunglasses but we can help out with the next two!)
- Darken your bedroom (Learn more about Indow’s Blackout Grade window inserts, which block all light coming through your bedroom windows. Bestselling New York Times cookbook author Nom Nom Paleo installed them when she was still working a night shift, which she wrote about in this post on Surviving the Night Shift.)
- Make your bedroom quiet (Learn more about Indow’s Acoustic Grade, which dampens up to 70 percent of sound coming through your windows)
- Keep people informed that you need to sleep undisturbed
- Keep your home cool
- Limit your caffeine consumption
- Avoid alcohol before bed
- Maintain good sleep habits
Those suffering from Shift Work Disorder aren’t the only ones who can benefit from making their bedrooms quiet and dark. Do you live in a vibrant city? Are you near a busy street or freeway? We give comfort to all!