Shift work sleep disorder is an issue that influences the working of non-traditional hours such as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shift hours work pattern goes against various people’s circadian rhythms and body clocks. It results in difficulties in adjusting to wake/sleep patterns, staying asleep, falling asleep, and sleeping when desired. More than 20 percent of the workforce works shift work.
Signs of Shift work sleep disorder
The common signs are difficulty in sleeping and excessive sleep. Other signs are headaches, lack of energy, and difficulty in concentration. Most of the shift workers will not suffer from the signs but if you feel any of the signs then interact with the doctor.
Concerns about Shift work sleep disorder
· Mood problems or irritability
· Work-related errors and accidents
· Health-related complaints- cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and metabolic issues
· Impaired social functioning
· Poor coping skills
· Alcohol and drug dependency
How can I manage Shift work sleep disorder?
The shift workers go to sleep for 1-4 hours or less than that. It is essential to sleep for 7-9 hours. Shift workers make sleep their priority and work in shifts apart from 9 am to 5 pm. People must sleep during the day and can be done in the below-mentioned ways:
· Reduce light exposure on the way home back from the work. It will keep the morning sunlight away from stimulating your daytime clock.
· You must follow rituals at bedtime and maintain a sleep schedule on weekends.
· Request family and friends to create a dark, quiet, and peaceful setting at the time of sleep.
· The family members must wear headphones while watching TV or listening to music.
· Ask people in your family to avoid vacuuming, noisy activities, and dishwashing.
· Also, the place does not disturb signs on your door so that friends and the delivery guy must not ring the bell. If you are facing the issue of shift work sleep disorder then you can take Waklert 150.
How do reduce the effects of SWSD?
· You must keep a sleep diary to recognize the problem and analyze progress over time.
· Reduce the number of night shifts. The people working at night decreased the night shifts to reduce to five days. The people working for 12 hours must reduce the working days to four.
· After a sequence of night shifts, you must take a break for 48 hours.
· Avoid extended working hours and make sure to sleep and participate in social and family activities.
· Don’t indulge in back-to-back rotating shifts. It becomes quite tough to manage rotating shifts as compared to working the same shift.
· Sleep enough on off days. People must follow a good sleep schedule by avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
· You should take a nap before starting the night shift. The quick nap improvises alertness.
· You must avert driving if you feel drowsy. If are feeling sleepiness and will not be able to drive home then take a power nap and search for an alternative drive.
· The prescription medicines such as Waklert 150 and Artvigil 150 promote wakefulness but you must sleep for 7-8 hours.
· These sleep aids are given by a doctor if there is any issue in falling asleep. The sleeping aids Modvigil 200 and Modalert 200.
· The right light exposure during the starting of the shift improves alertness.
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The shift workers can decrease the signs of this disorder with a combination of lifestyle modifications, medicines, and light therapy.
· Light therapy- The therapy of light is the essential driver of circadian rhythm and light exposure. The light increases alertness and suppresses hormone release leading to sleep. The light exposure makes you feel awake and delay to start feeling sleepy. You can utilize a bright lightbox before the start of the shift. You may apply bright light therapy so that you can wake up and sleep earlier. The application of bright light shifts the circadian rhythm and shifts the recent night shift. You can use eyeshades and blackout curtains for sleeping
· Melatonin supplements- Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep that is synthesized in the morning. When you are functional in non-standard time, consuming melatonin supplements may help to prepare the body for sleep. The melatonin supplements increase alertness in the night shift workers.
· Shift work sleep disorder medicines- The medicines like Waklert, Waklert 150, Artvigil 150, and Modalert 200 are not alternatives to sleeping. You must talk with a medical professional for starting this medicine.
· Lifestyle changes- Reduce disturbances- it is quite tough to reduce light and noise at the time of day. Talk to your family to decrease disturbances and make less noise as you sleep. You can wear an eye mask and switch off phone notifications and use earplugs.
· Catch up on sleep- Many workers accumulate sleep. Lost sleep can be recovered during off days to avoid long-term risks.
· Take naps- You can take small naps to increase alertness. You can also take a small nap just before starting the shift.
· Eat a balanced diet- You must avoid sugar spikes and avert fluctuations in levels of energy. You can take a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
· Stay active- Regular exercise is an essential key to sleep hygiene. One exercise at a time helps to maintain the wake-sleep cycle for the shift workers.
· Maintain good sleep hygiene- The shift workers get an advantage by improving sleep. You can use relaxing techniques and reduce screen time
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