a woman with a coffee cup tries to wake up after a sleepless night

Does your work schedule require you to work at night? Do you have irregular shifts or variable day/night schedules? If this makes it hard for you sleep regularly, you may suffer from shift work disorder. Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder characterized by insomnia and excessive sleepiness affecting people whose work hours overlap with the typical sleep period.

Shift work can lead to metabolic problems, heart disease, ulcers, gastrointestinal problems and obesity. Added to these biological factors, shift workers sometimes have irregular eating habits and poor diet, both of which can increase health risks. Also, when a person works at night, the light exposure suppresses melatonin (which is normally secreted at night).

People who work night shifts or rotating shifts also often don’t sleep enough, and long-term sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on overall health. Shift work also disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms and causes them to become out of sync with the external environment and/or behavioral cycles. This can perpetuate snoring, sleep apnea and a host of other sleep issues that lead to serious long term problems.

If you work irregular shifts or night shifts and have trouble sleeping, please contact us today via the short form below, or call us at (913) 203-4040.