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Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)

Dream Interpretation

What is Shift Work Sleep Disorder? Definition and Causes
What is Shift Work Sleep Disorder? The Definition of Shift Work Sleep Disorder: Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD): Is a circadian rhythm disorder where a person's sleep/wake cycle is disrupted by changes to their work schedule. This sleeping disorder is common in people who work shifts between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Shift work is contrary to the body’s natural circadian rhythms and many people cannot adjust to their shift working schedule and this leads to Sleep Deprivation.

What are Circadian Rhythms? Definition
What are Circadian rhythms? A circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle which effects the biological or behavioral functions. Circadian rhythms relate to the internal biological clock that helps coordinate physiological processes related to the 24-hour light/dark cycle. These biological rhythms and the internal "clock" influences when, how much, and how well people sleep.

Alternative Names for Shift Work Sleep Disorder?
Other names or references to Shift Work Sleep Disorder include:

  • SWSD
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorder

Shift Work Sleep Disorder Symptoms
What are the symptoms of Shift Work Sleep Disorder? What are the effects? The symptoms of Shift Work Sleep Disorder include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness and Daytime fatigue
  • Excessive Sleepiness
  • Reduction in memory
  • Reduced mental performance
  • Reduced control
  • Reduced awareness
  • Mood Changes
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Negativity
  • Increase in common illnesses e.g. colds or flu - feeling generally 'run down'
  • Low energy levels

Shift Work Sleep Disorder Effects
What are the effects of Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)? If people suffer from SWSD this leads to:

  • Increased work-related errors
  • Increased sick leave
  • Increased accidents
  • Increased numbers of arguments with partners

Shift Work Sleep Disorder Treatment / Remedies / Medication / Cures
What is used as a treatment, remedy, cure or medication for Shift Work Sleep Disorder? The following info is not a substitute for a medical assessment or diagnostic procedure, but serves as a useful guide to help focus future discussions. The Shift Work Sleep Disorder Treatment / Remedies / Medication may include the following:

  • Take measures to help sleep during daylight
    • Make the room as dark as possible - black-out curtains or black out blinds will help
    • Keep the room temperature below 70° F
    • Remove the TV, phone and computer
    • Try a sleep mask
    • Try ear plugs if noise is a problem
    • Avoid stimulants
    • Make sure you're relaxed before you go to bed
    • Relax with some soothing music
  • When you finish your shift try to sleep before noon - people who go to bed straight after their shift get more sleep
  • Prescribed medication includes the following drug treatments:
    • Flunitrazepam
    • Midazolam
    • Zolpidem
    • Restyl
    • Temazepam
    • Zaleplon
    • Zopiclone
    • Amitrypline
    • Antidepressants
    • Antihistaminics
    • Chlorpheniramine

The sole purpose of the article on a sleep disorder such as Shift Work Sleep Disorder is to act as a reference guide to provide useful information regarding sleeping problems. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat Shift Work Sleep Disorder or as a substitute for obtaining professional medical advice. Please remember that if you are in any doubt about your health please consult your medical practitioner immediately.

Facts about Sleep
Some interesting facts about sleep are as follows:

  • Fact 1: The average adult needs a total sleep time of 7 to 9 hours per day - it is not true that older people need less sleep
  • Fact 2: 17% of people are employed for shift work

Say good night to Insomnia

This information regarding sleep and sleeping disorders is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Dream disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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