What is shift work? A shift worker is someone who works outside of the ‘traditional’ 9-5 business day. Due to increased global demands, more and more people are on ‘shift work’ in our society to be available 24 hrs. Millions of Americans are considered shift workers from Doctors & nurses, pilots, bridge workers, fire fighters, drivers, manufacturers, police officers and many many more.
Many shift workers suffer from frequent sleep disturbance and excess fatigue due to interrupted sleep patterns. This can lead to poor concentration, accidents, errors, and injuries.
Tips during shift work hours
- Avoid long commutes and extended hours.
- Take short nap breaks throughout the shift
- Work with others to help keep you alert
- Be active during breaks. Talk short walks.
- Do your most tedious tasks first. Studies show shift workers are most tired between 4 and 5am.
- Stay hydrated
- Wear dark sunglasses on the commute home (if driving back in the early morning) so the sun does not disturb your eyes
- Try to keep the same sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
- Utilize eye masks and ear plugs.
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid alcohol