Tag Archives: Circadian rhythm

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

shift-work-sleep-disorder
I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The only real problem was that after two shifts, it was hard to function during the days in between shifts. After three it got harder to function during the shifts. I’d find myself fighting moodiness and catching colds more easily.
Well, as luck would have it, there’s a name for that pain: shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). It shouldn’t be a surprise that working nights is problematic. Night work runs counter to the body’s natural biological cycle (called the circadian rhythm), and its attempts to compensate still don’t result in ideal body function, particularly related to sleep.
What is shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)?
SWSD is the consequence of recurrent sleep interruption in a way that runs counter to our circadian rhythms. Individuals working between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are particularly at risk for SWSD, although not everyone in this situation develops SWSD.
swsd
What are the symptoms of SWSD?
The most common symptoms of SWSD are difficulty sleeping and excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms associated with SWSD include increased irritability, moodiness, higher risk for illness, difficulty concentrating, headaches or lack of energy. Those with SWSD are more prone to have accidents and make errors at work. Additional discussion of long-term health effects of SWSD is available at http://www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
swsd1
Here are some tips to help you handle working nights and addressing SWSD.

  • Go to sleep as soon as possible after work.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule that includes at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  • Control your home environment when you’re trying to sleep. Limit light from coming into your bedroom and keep things quiet. Discuss this with your roommates so they don’t engage in disturbing activities.
  • Understand that the effects are compounded the more nights you work in a row, as night shift workers sleep less than day workers. Decrease the number of night shifts you work in a row and try to limit shifts to five a week or four in a row.
  • Attempt to normalize your life while awake (excluding your sleep time). Engage in routine social activities when possible.
  • Avoid long commutes.
  • Avoid rotating shifts, which are even more difficult to deal with than it is to work the same shift for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during your home time.
  • Plan a nap just before or during the night shift, if allowed. These can improve alertness.
  • Additional medical interventions are available at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by Word Press

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

shift-work-sleep-disorder
I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The only real problem was that after two shifts, it was hard to function during the days in between shifts. After three it got harder to function during the shifts. I’d find myself fighting moodiness and catching colds more easily.
Well, as luck would have it, there’s a name for that pain: shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). It shouldn’t be a surprise that working nights is problematic. Night work runs counter to the body’s natural biological cycle (called the circadian rhythm), and its attempts to compensate still don’t result in ideal body function, particularly related to sleep.
What is shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)?
SWSD is the consequence of recurrent sleep interruption in a way that runs counter to our circadian rhythms. Individuals working between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are particularly at risk for SWSD, although not everyone in this situation develops SWSD.
swsd
What are the symptoms of SWSD?
The most common symptoms of SWSD are difficulty sleeping and excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms associated with SWSD include increased irritability, moodiness, higher risk for illness, difficulty concentrating, headaches or lack of energy. Those with SWSD are more prone to have accidents and make errors at work. Additional discussion of long-term health effects of SWSD is available at http://www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
swsd1
Here are some tips to help you handle working nights and addressing SWSD.

  • Go to sleep as soon as possible after work.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule that includes at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  • Control your home environment when you’re trying to sleep. Limit light from coming into your bedroom and keep things quiet. Discuss this with your roommates so they don’t engage in disturbing activities.
  • Understand that the effects are compounded the more nights you work in a row, as night shift workers sleep less than day workers. Decrease the number of night shifts you work in a row and try to limit shifts to five a week or four in a row.
  • Attempt to normalize your life while awake (excluding your sleep time). Engage in routine social activities when possible.
  • Avoid long commutes.
  • Avoid rotating shifts, which are even more difficult to deal with than it is to work the same shift for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during your home time.
  • Plan a nap just before or during the night shift, if allowed. These can improve alertness.
  • Additional medical interventions are available at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

shift-work-sleep-disorder
I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The only real problem was that after two shifts, it was hard to function during the days in between shifts. After three it got harder to function during the shifts. I’d find myself fighting moodiness and catching colds more easily.
Well, as luck would have it, there’s a name for that pain: shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). It shouldn’t be a surprise that working nights is problematic. Night work runs counter to the body’s natural biological cycle (called the circadian rhythm), and its attempts to compensate still don’t result in ideal body function, particularly related to sleep.
What is shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)?
SWSD is the consequence of recurrent sleep interruption in a way that runs counter to our circadian rhythms. Individuals working between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are particularly at risk for SWSD, although not everyone in this situation develops SWSD.
swsd
What are the symptoms of SWSD?
The most common symptoms of SWSD are difficulty sleeping and excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms associated with SWSD include increased irritability, moodiness, higher risk for illness, difficulty concentrating, headaches or lack of energy. Those with SWSD are more prone to have accidents and make errors at work. Additional discussion of long-term health effects of SWSD is available at http://www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
swsd1
Here are some tips to help you handle working nights and addressing SWSD.

  • Go to sleep as soon as possible after work.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule that includes at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  • Control your home environment when you’re trying to sleep. Limit light from coming into your bedroom and keep things quiet. Discuss this with your roommates so they don’t engage in disturbing activities.
  • Understand that the effects are compounded the more nights you work in a row, as night shift workers sleep less than day workers. Decrease the number of night shifts you work in a row and try to limit shifts to five a week or four in a row.
  • Attempt to normalize your life while awake (excluding your sleep time). Engage in routine social activities when possible.
  • Avoid long commutes.
  • Avoid rotating shifts, which are even more difficult to deal with than it is to work the same shift for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during your home time.
  • Plan a nap just before or during the night shift, if allowed. These can improve alertness.
  • Additional medical interventions are available at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

shift-work-sleep-disorder
I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The only real problem was that after two shifts, it was hard to function during the days in between shifts. After three it got harder to function during the shifts. I’d find myself fighting moodiness and catching colds more easily.
Well, as luck would have it, there’s a name for that pain: shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). It shouldn’t be a surprise that working nights is problematic. Night work runs counter to the body’s natural biological cycle (called the circadian rhythm), and its attempts to compensate still don’t result in ideal body function, particularly related to sleep.
What is shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)?
SWSD is the consequence of recurrent sleep interruption in a way that runs counter to our circadian rhythms. Individuals working between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are particularly at risk for SWSD, although not everyone in this situation develops SWSD.
swsd
What are the symptoms of SWSD?
The most common symptoms of SWSD are difficulty sleeping and excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms associated with SWSD include increased irritability, moodiness, higher risk for illness, difficulty concentrating, headaches or lack of energy. Those with SWSD are more prone to have accidents and make errors at work. Additional discussion of long-term health effects of SWSD is available at http://www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
swsd1
Here are some tips to help you handle working nights and addressing SWSD.

  • Go to sleep as soon as possible after work.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule that includes at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  • Control your home environment when you’re trying to sleep. Limit light from coming into your bedroom and keep things quiet. Discuss this with your roommates so they don’t engage in disturbing activities.
  • Understand that the effects are compounded the more nights you work in a row, as night shift workers sleep less than day workers. Decrease the number of night shifts you work in a row and try to limit shifts to five a week or four in a row.
  • Attempt to normalize your life while awake (excluding your sleep time). Engage in routine social activities when possible.
  • Avoid long commutes.
  • Avoid rotating shifts, which are even more difficult to deal with than it is to work the same shift for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during your home time.
  • Plan a nap just before or during the night shift, if allowed. These can improve alertness.
  • Additional medical interventions are available at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Insomnia – You are Not Getting Sleepy…

hypnosis

Talking about insomnia makes me, well, tired. You know what the problem is. You either can’t fall asleep or you can’t stay asleep. You’re tired when you wake and throughout the day. Lack of sleep saps your energy and your productivity.

Insomnia really isn’t very cool to deal with, either as a person or as a physician. Patients are frustrated and sometimes cranky from being tired, or they can be extremely nervous and stressed, which will perpetuate a vicious cycle. There are so many mental factors that can disrupt your ability to sleep.

insomnia

Medical professionals tend to think of insomnia in two forms for purposes of evaluation. Either the insomnia is the main problem (primary insomnia), or it’s secondary to another condition (secondary insomnia) such as reflux, uncontrolled asthma, arthritis or other pain syndromes. It could be due to medications, depression or just stress. It could be due to some undiagnosed condition, such as cancer, an enlarged prostate (making you have to get up to urinate throughout the night), thyroid disease or sleep apnea. Then there’s the caffeine (coffee/tea), nicotine (cigarettes) and drunk scene (alcohol).

hyperinsomnia

The thing is, whether acute, intermittent or chronic, any type of insomnia really is an inconvenience and can even be incapacitating. Before you subject yourself to a million dollar medical workup, just remember: If it’s secondary insomnia, and you know (for example) that your pain is keeping you awake, try dealing with the primary issue. Alternatively, if it’s primary insomnia, there are a lot of things you might try. In fact, consider this my Top Ten Tips presented in the order you might consider implementing them.

  • Adhere to good diet and exercise habits, which make your body perform as it should and which will clean up a lot of potential problems that will affect sleep.
  • Avoid naps during the day. You want to be good, tired and ready to sleep when night comes.
  • Develop the habit of only using your bed for sleep or sex. That conditions your body to be ready to sleep when confronted with the stimulus of your bed.
  • Get your snoring partner some help if s/he is part of what keeps you awake. Check here for tips to deal with snoring.
  • Try not to eat for several (3-4) hours before you sleep. Nothing says “no sleep” like heartburn all night. (By the way, this is the real reason you shouldn’t eat after a certain hour – not concerns about your weight.)
  • Avoid nighttime stimulants (e.g., cigarettes, coffee, tea and exercise close to the time you want to sleep, if this proves to be a problem).
  • Don’t drink and sleep. Although alcohol is a sedative, it’s also on the “don’t do” list, because it can cause restless sleep and interrupt the sleep cycle.
  • Find a way to relax before sleep. Consider a bath, sex, a book or soothing music … or all of them.
  • Set the alarm for the morning. Then hide your clock. You don’t need to have a clock to remind you that you aren’t sleeping all night.
  • Use “white noise” for background if you’re bothered by other sounds.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you fell asleep during the reading of this post, keep it for future reference.
As Edward R. Murrow used to say (well before I was born),

Good night and good luck.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

shift-work-sleep-disorder

I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The only real problem was that after two shifts, it was hard to function during the days in between shifts. After three it got harder to function during the shifts. I’d find myself fighting moodiness and catching coldsmore easily.
Well, as luck would have it, there’s a name for that pain: shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). It shouldn’t be a surprise that working nights is problematic. Night work runs counter to the body’s natural biological cycle (called the circadian rhythm), and its attempts to compensate still don’t result in ideal body function, particularly related to sleep.
What is shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)?
SWSD is the consequence of recurrent sleep interruption in a way that runs counter to our circadian rhythms. Individuals working between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. are particularly at risk for SWSD, although not everyone in this situation develops SWSD.

swsd

What are the symptoms of SWSD?
The most common symptoms of SWSD are difficulty sleeping and excessive sleepiness. Other symptoms associated with SWSD include increased irritability, moodiness, higher risk for illness, difficulty concentrating, headaches or lack of energy. Those with SWSD are more prone to have accidents and make errors at work. Additional discussion of long-term health effects of SWSD is available at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

swsd1

Here are some tips to help you handle working nights and addressing SWSD.

  • Go to sleep as soon as possible after work.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule that includes at least seven hours of sleep every day.
  • Control your home environment when you’re trying to sleep. Limit light from coming into your bedroom and keep things quiet. Discuss this with your roommates so they don’t engage in disturbing activities.
  • Understand that the effects are compounded the more nights you work in a row, as night shift workers sleep less than day workers. Decrease the number of night shifts you work in a row and try to limit shifts to five a week or four in a row.
  • Attempt to normalize your life while awake (excluding your sleep time). Engage in routine social activities when possible.
  • Avoid long commutes.
  • Avoid rotating shifts, which are even more difficult to deal with than it is to work the same shift for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine during your home time.
  • Plan a nap just before or during the night shift, if allowed. These can improve alertness.
  • Additional medical interventions are available at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant with any questions you have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Insomnia – You are Not Getting Sleepy…

insomniahypnosis

Talking about insomnia makes me well, tired. You know what the problem is. You either can’t fall asleep, or you can’t stay asleep. You’re tired when you wake and all throughout the day. Lack of sleep saps your energy and your productivity.
Insomnia really isn’t very cool to deal with, either as a person or as a physician. Patients are frustrated and sometimes cranky from being tired, or they can be extremely nervous and stressed, which will perpetuate a vicious cycle. There are so many mental factors that can disrupt your ability to sleep.
Medical professionals tend to think of insomnia in two forms for purposes of evaluation. Either the insomnia is the main problem (primary insomnia), or it’s secondary to another condition (secondary insomnia) such as reflux, uncontrolled asthma, arthritis or other pain syndromes. It could be due to medications, depression or just stress. It could be due to some undiagnosed condition, such as cancer, an enlarged prostate (making you have to get up to urinate throughout the night), thyroid disease or sleep apnea. Then there’s the caffeine (coffee/tea), nicotine (cigarettes) and drunk scene (alcohol).
The thing is, whether acute, intermittent or chronic, any insomnia really is an inconvenience and can even be incapacitating. Before you subject yourself to a million dollar medical workup, just remember, if it’s secondary insomnia, and you know (for example) that your pain is keeping you awake, try dealing with the primary issue. Alternatively, if it’s primary insomnia, there are a lot of things you might consider trying. In fact, consider this my Top Ten Tips, presented in the order you might consider implementing them.

  • Good diet and exercise habits make your body perform as they should and will clean up a lot of potential problems that will affect sleep.
  • Avoid naps during the day. You want to be good, tired and ready to sleep when night comes.
  • Develop the habit of only using your bed for sleep or sex. That conditions your body to be ready to sleep when confronted with the stimulus of your bed.
  • Get your snoring partner some help if s/he is part of what keeps you awake. Check here for tips to deal with snoring.
  • Try not to eat for several (3-4) hours before you sleep. Nothing says ‘no sleep’ like heartburn all night (By the way, this is the real reason you shouldn’t eat after a certain hour – not concerns about your weight.).
  • Similarly, avoid nighttime stimulants (e.g. cigarettes, coffee, tea and exercise close to the time you want to sleep, if this proves to be a problem).
  • Although alcohol is a sedative, it’s also on the don’t-do list because it can cause restless sleep and interrupt the sleep cycle.
  • Find a way to relax before sleep. Consider a bath, sex, a book or soothing music. Or all of them.
  • Set the alarm for the morning, then hide your clock. You don’t need to have a clock to remind you that you aren’t sleeping all night.
  • Use ‘white noise’ for background if you’re bothered by other sounds.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you fell asleep during the reading of this post, keep it for future reference.
As Edward R. Murrow used to say (well before I was born): Good night, and good luck.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress