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Shift Work Sleep Disorder: An Overview on the Disorder, Complications & Relative Treatment!

Shift Work Sleep Disorder: An Overview on the Disorder, Complications & Relative Treatment!

When your sleep schedule conflicts with your work schedule, it is likely that you will suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD). This disorder is characterized insomnia, which is caused when the patient faces sleepiness during times when they are supposed to be awake. 

Victims of this disorder are usually people who have work during the night, and hence have trouble staying awake during those hours. Likewise, they suffer from insomnia during the day because of the disruption in their circadian rhythm, or – alternatively known – their biological clock. 

Shift Work Sleep Disorder can be long-term or short-term, depending on how long the person works for, or how much does it take for the person’s body to adjust to the new sleep schedule. But in most cases, it ends up being a chronic condition.

What are the complications of SWSD?

The consequences of lack of sleep due to work can be seen in the everyday lives of the persons suffering from this disorder – here are the risks of SWSD;

  1. During, both, the job and the rest of the day, feeling excessive sleepiness
  2. Having difficulty in concentrating 
  3. Fatigue, tiredness 
  4. Lack of proper amount of sleep due to insomnia 
  5. Lack of energy
  6. Consistent changes in mood
  7. Possibility of depression 
  8. Disruption in your social life
  9. Problems in the digestive system 
  10. Falling asleep while working/making errors while working 
  11. Increase in risk of getting cancer

These symptoms can affect interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects of your affairs deeply. When these issues prevail for a long period, it becomes difficult for a person to go on with their normal life. Losing sleep results in harm to almost every other aspect of a person’s life.Therefore, it is important to assess these issues and find a solution to get your biological clock to go back to being normal.

How is SWSD diagnosed?

If you think that you are facing the majority of the symptoms of SWSD, then you should go to a professional for a medical check-up. The doctor who will examine you may use the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, the latest issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or both for diagnosis.

Because the symptoms of SWSD have similarities with sleep apnea and narcolepsy, the doctor will need to conduct a sleep study on you for full disclosure. This sleep study consists of observing certain aspects while you are sleeping; quality of your sleep, several disturbances in your sleep, your heart rate, your breathing pattern.

After a complete evaluation, your doctor will start your treatment. 

How is Shift Work Sleep Disorder treated?

For core therapy and treatment of SWSD, medication is the best option. Modafinil is a smart drug, which is also known as a nootropic that enhances the wakefulness in an individual. The alertness activates due to the boosting of dopamine level in your brain by this drug. 

This medication does not make you jittery or hyper like caffeine does – rather, it helps you with sleeplessness. A Modalert 200 has an active constituentof Modafinil in it. Although this drug is strong and lasts long, when it wears down, it becomes easy for the person taking it to adopt a normal sleep schedule. 

What can you do to help yourself?

As the effects of Shift Work Sleep Disorder disrupt your daily life, making small changes in your day-to-day activities can help your complications overcome SWSD on the surface-level. 

  1. Even if you don’t get to sleep at night, keep a regular schedule 
  2. Minimize sun exposure by wearing sunglasses while leaving work, and avoid being outside for a long time – this will trick your biological into thinking that you have time to sleep
  3. Take naps whenever you get time
  4. Avoid large intakes of caffeine
  5. Adapt night routines during daytime
  6. Energize yourself before work by taking a short nap

What should you try?

Conclusively, the decision is yours to make concerning the symptoms you are facing and your process of assessing this disorder. It is advised to indulge in both medication and therapy aspects of treating your Shift Work Sleep Disorder for the best results.

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