Recently we had been assigned for 4 night duties compare to before that was only 2 night duty straight. This cause of action happened since they increase the night duty staff and the lack of staffing lately. Since they start up back with 4 night duties back, I had always been in the 4 night duty roster which I always feel happy about it….hehe…I had done a few times of straight 4 night duty and now it started to show some effect of it.
One of it that I just started to notice recently was :-
- I feel hard to sleep during night time or we can said as INSOMNIA. It is so hard to sleep early lately even though I know that I need to go for morning duty on the other day. I will only sleep for 2-3 hours at night before going for my morning duty and after came back from morning duty for sure I will need a back up sleep from the lack of sleep at previous night.
- Late night snack or heavy supper. It began to be my habit to eat something at late night since during night duty we always eat late at night and that is my only back up for lunch also since I am asleep during the day. I started to feel that lunch hour had no fix time in my routine this day…..huhu…
- Urge to do something even though I know its sleeping time. It was like I feel at work that I need to do something to avoid me to fall asleep. I will just do anything from eating….reading novel and play video games….(o_O)
- Body fatigue. The body started to feel fatigue during day time if I am on morning or evening duty because of lack of sleep at night.
I did search out for some article regarding the effect of working for night duty. Most of the result of the research were that most of the nurses or other night duty workers will encounter the same side effect like I did. It seems that our body had adjusted to make night like day time and day like night….huhu…
This is one of the research they conduct about Effect of Night Shift on Nurses Working in Intensive Care Units
at Jordan University Hospital.
The research did expose the real life of the nurses on night duty especially like me that working in the Critical Care Unit. If compare to the ward staff, they had less work than us during the night duty. I did find a few articles regarding the effects to health for night shift workers and also how to help with productive sleep hours during the day time. Hope this will help me and others that do the night time works…..^^
Night Shift Health Effects
(article from http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/night-shift-health-effects-2581.html)
- It becomes quite impossible to have a sound sleep during the
daytime. Not only because a human brain is programmed to rest and sleep
during the night, but also because of the noise, which is perhaps the
biggest disturbing factor. People who sleep during the day have to deal
with noisy neighbors, children, traffic, etc.
- The brain generally requires at least 8 hours of sleep to feel
nourished and rested. But because of the busy environment during the
daytime, it is not always possible to sleep 8 hours
everyday. As a result, your body will be tired and you will feel
fatigued the whole time.
- The sleep/wake cycle of the body is disturbed because of working
in shifts. When you are awake during the night and asleep during the
day, your body does not receive the proper, positive biological cues
because of the amount of light that is present in the environment during
the daytime. These signs are very important to regulate the circadian
rhythms that control the sleep/wake cycle of the body and brain. Inturn,
this will pose difficulty in sleeping.
- Working in shifts can have an effect similar to jet lag. The
body, on an average, needs one hour per day to adjust to the changes in
the sleeping habit but working in shifts disrupts this. Hence the person
who works in night shifts finds it quite impossible to sleep properly.
- Working the whole night can also cause heart attacks. People who
work during the night and sleep during the day are more susceptible to
heart diseases and even heart attacks, mainly, because of their work
pattern. This is because of lack of proper sleep, stressing your body
during the night, chronic stress, etc.
- Not only heart attack, an irregular heart beat is a good
indicator of the condition of your heart and your body as well.
Irregular heart beat can occur when you work during the night and try
and sleep during the day. It is also a good indicator of how your body
is taking this whole change in the sleep cycle. An irregular heart beat
can cause several other diseases in the body as well.
- Another very important problem that night shift workers face is
they are not able to relax from the work environment, after their shift
is over. This might not seem to be an important thing, but it sure is.
People who work during the day time mostly have 3-4 hours before they go
to bed. But night shift workers generally come home and get right into
the bed with all the stress and tension of work with them. It is very
important to relax and distance yourself from the stress of the work
before you go to bed. One can listen to music, eat something healthy or
watch some kind of TV show to relax
DEALING WITH NIGHT SHIFT AND SLEEP (article from http://longevity.about.com/od/sleep/a/night_shift.htm)
There are a number of things that you can do to make sure you get enough good quality sleep even while working the night shift:
- Bright Lights: While at work during the night, try to be in
as much bright light as possible. A full-spectrum light would be best,
but any increase in light will help your body to regulate its sleep/wake
- Dark Bedroom: When you are trying to sleep, make your
bedroom as dark as possible. Close the curtains and the door. Some
people find that sleep masks help block the light, allowing for more
- Increase Your Total Sleep: Add naps
and lengthen the hours you spend sleeping to make up for a loss in sleep
- Limit Caffeine: Use caffeine only in the early part of
your shift. Try to avoid it toward the end of your shift so you will be
able to go right to sleep when it’s time.
- Limit Shift Changes: Try to stay on one schedule for as
long as possible. Shifting between day and night work is especially hard
on the body.