Updated: July 20, 2021

Shift Work Disorder (What it is, what causes it, and how it can be diagnosed and treated)

Written by Sumit Pandey

Shift Work Disorder is a condition characterized by insomnia as well as excessive sleepiness while working during the night. While there is no exact definition of this disorder, most people with Shift Work Disorder are affected by a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. 

Additionally Find: Best Memory Foam Mattress For Stomach Sleepers

Shift Work Disorder occurs when there is a misalignment between the timing of the sleep-wake rhythm and the time at which a person needs to work or perform other daily activities. This creates an internal conflict, which can cause headaches, insomnia, and other health issues. 

Additionally Find: Best Budget Mattress

For this reason, Shift Work Disorder is considered a sleep disorder, but it is important to note that most people with Shift Work Disorder are not simply sleepy. They are often unable to fall asleep at the times they need to and remain awake at the times they should be sleeping.

Additionally Find: Best Hybrid Mattress Medium Firm

If the condition is not dealt with, it can lead to derealization, which is the loss of an individual’s ability to distinguish between dreams and reality. If this occurs, it can result in the patient needing to be hospitalized due to dangerous behavior related to sleep deprivation. 

Additionally Find: Best Side Sleeper Mattress

It is also important to note that Shift Work Disorder is not just a condition experienced by workers in the night-time shift. It can occur in people who work at other times, such as doctors who work overnight. 

It is also possible for people who work at night to have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that does not result in Shift Work Disorder if their schedule allows them to fall asleep and wake up at more suitable times than people with the same sleep disorder who work during the day. 

Additionally Find: Best Hybrid Mattress Under 300

While Shift Work Disorders can occur in people who work day shifts, they are usually affected by circadian rhythm sleep disorders that do not affect their schedules at work.

In any case, Shift Work Disorder is a serious condition that affects many people worldwide and it needs to be studied further. 

Additionally Find: King Size Mattress Under 200

While many aspects of this condition have been studied and researched, there are many aspects that have not yet been explored. This article discusses the various aspects of Shift Work Disorder, including what it is, what causes it, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.

What causes Shift Work Disorder?

  • First hypothesis
  • Second Hypothesis
  • Third Hypothesis

The underlying cause of Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder is still unknown. However, as described in the chapter on what it is, it can be described as a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that results in a delay of the body's sleep wake cycle, which is normally 24 hours, to a period longer than 24 hours. 

Additionally Find: Best Memory Foam Mattress For Hip Pain

This circadian rhythm sleep disorder occurs because the sufferer's circadian rhythm has become desynchronized from the 24-hour day-night cycle. 

As a result, the sufferer's sleep wake cycle is not in synchrony with the 24-hour day-night cycle. Instead, the sufferer's sleep wake cycle is longer than 24 hours. 

The underlying cause of the circadian rhythm sleep disorder is not known. However, scientists have proposed three hypotheses of what might be the underlying cause of Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder.

Additionally Find: Best Mattress In a Box Under 500

The first hypothesis is that there are abnormalities in the circadian clock gene that causes Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder

The second hypothesis is that there are abnormalities in the genes that regulate the body's sensitivity to light. The third hypothesis is that there are abnormalities in the genes that regulate the body's circadian rhythm.

Once the underlying cause of Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder is better understood, it may be possible to develop better treatments for Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder.

What are the best-known treatments for Shift Work Disorder?

There are many treatment options available for Shift Work Disorder and there are several things to consider and weigh when choosing a treatment.

Additionally Find: Best Queen Mattresses Under 1000

For mild cases, changes to the work schedule may be all that is necessary. For example, if the employee works the night shift, they can have the day off instead. Or, the employee may be able to switch shifts with one of their coworkers. 

If the employee is working several nights in a row, they may be able to take a few days off during the week. Again, making simple schedule changes may be all that is needed for mild cases of Shift Work Disorder. 

Additionally Find: Best King Size Mattress Under $1000

If the employee is on the road a lot, a portable sleep mask and earplugs can help them get some sleep when they are on the road.

It is important to get plenty of sleep when working a night shift because sleep deprivation can cause drowsiness, which can then lead to accidents or injuries on the job. Getting enough sleep helps to reduce the symptoms of Shift Work Disorder.

If schedule changes and other lifestyle changes aren’t enough, there are several treatment options available for Shift Work Disorder. For Shift Work Disorder related to the day shift.

Medication may also be used to help people with Shift Work Disorder sleep better. Medications for Shift Work Disorder are meant to be a short-term solution and are not meant to be used long-term. 

It is important to note that some medications may be unsafe for people who are driving or operating heavy machinery during the day.

It is also important to note that not everyone will respond well to one particular medication. It is also possible for the medication to stop working. If this happens, it may be necessary for a doctor to try different medications.

According to the American Sleep Association, “a treatment plan should be tailored to each individual” and that “the goal of treatment is to restore the patient’s ability to sleep without daytime impairment and with minimal side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Shift Work Disorder (SWD) is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder in which a person's internal clock is out of sync with the 24-hour light/dark cycle of the environment. SWD is caused by shifting the sleep-wake schedule to an abnormal time, or by working at night and sleeping during the day.

  • The main symptoms of SWD are insomnia and excessive sleepiness during waking hours. Insomnia typically occurs at the "off" work period, while excessive sleepiness occurs during the "on" work period. Individuals may also experience excessive sleepiness outside of regular shifts, making it difficult to maintain a 24-hour schedule. Shift work disorder symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

  • Shift work disorder is caused by exposure to light at night, which desensitizes the brain's internal clock. This is why rotating shifts are more disruptive to sleep than permanent night or day shifts.

  • Some people are more sensitive to light at night than others. There is also evidence that certain genetic factors may be involved in susceptibility to SWD.

  • Shift workers may not recognize the negative consequences of sleep deprivation until it is too late. They may have other commitments that make it difficult to change jobs. They may be afraid of losing their jobs. Others may be unaware of the connection between sleep loss and their performance, health, and safety.

  • Shift work disorder and jet lag are different circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Jet lag occurs when crossing several time zones too quickly, while SWD occurs when crossing time zones too slowly or working a rotating schedule that crosses only one time zone. A person can develop jet lag immediately after a flight, while it can take weeks to months to develop SWD. Alcohol and caffeine can cause jet lag, while drugs cannot cause SWD.

Written by Sumit Pandey

My name is Sumit Kumar Pandey and I’m a content writer and blogger who specializes in writing about technology, web design, and online marketing. After working as a research scholar in the engineering field for many years, I’m now a full-time content writer, helping people get more exposure and generate more leads for their businesses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

bagittoday.com participates in the Amazon Associates Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. This means that whenever you buy a product on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price.
Bagittoday USABagittoday India
A202 Babylon Towers, VIP Chowk, Raipur, C.G.
India
492001
Privacy PolicyTerms Of Use