Monday, August 1, 2011
Motoring down the road during the hours of 5:00 am to 7:00 am after working a full shift from 7:00 pm, becomes fantasy land. At least in my world. Sometimes I don't know how I got from point A to point B without killing myself or others. However, I jerk awake to realize I have just driven 5 miles without remembering it.
Mirages, snow monkeys, and bouts of roadway on auto pilot plague police officers who suffer from working nights and those who lack good sleep patterns...or life gets in the way, making good rest difficult. Life's interruptions often interfere with good sleep. Our kids, spouses, pets, or persons calling or knocking on our doors often break up the day. It's worse when the daytime is your nighttime and you are sleeping.
Have you ever run errands in your mind while sleeping? Have you ever dreamt about what you needed to do the next day? How about stress? Does that effect your sleep? Imagine if this is every day. And then you go to work and get behind the wheel...protect your community...make split second decisions. The internal time clock gets all out of wack, making it difficult to function during work hours. This may have struck anyone a time or two...even if they aren't working shift work. However, a pattern of regular "irregular sleep" becomes a problem. I've been there. It happens all the time to police officers.
It effects emotions, behavior, sex, health, safety...need I go on? Not only is it a real problem, but Cephalon has found preventive measures one can take to make the best health decision for your body. Some things might be obvious like good choices in our lifestyle such as eating right and exercising. Other things might not be so obvious to us. Check them out.
Prior posts have highlighted the study Cephalon has conducted on Shift Work Disorder. Check out the results on http://www.thewakeupsquad.com/. The following is quoted and taken directly from their results. It's all great information. I encourage you to check it out even if you don't think it pertains to you or anyone you know. You may learn something new.
"About Shift Work Disorder
One potential health impact of working non-traditional shifts is shift work disorder, which affects up to 25% of night or rotating shift workers. Shift work disorder is a recognized and treatable medical condition that occurs when an individual‟s internal sleep-wake clock is not in sync with their work schedule.30,31 Because of this disruption to the body‟s natural rhythm, people with shift work disorder may struggle to stay awake during their working hours, known as excessive sleepiness, or have trouble sleeping during their sleeping hours, known as insomnia.32 It is important that people experiencing excessive sleepiness and/or insomnia take the time to see a doctor and mention that they work nontraditional shifts, as shift work disorder can often go undiagnosed."
And below details only the PHYSICAL impact. Much more was discovered on social impact, emotional impact, workplace impact, and so forth. Again, this is quoted from Cephalon's results.
"Physical Impact o Survey respondents report daily concern for their energy level (47%), weight (43%), ability to get enough sleep (39%), their mood (32%) their health (32%) and their sex lives (30%).o The average shift worker has not exercised in 24 days, read a newspaper the day it came out in 30 days or had sex in 54 days.Nearly two–thirds of those surveyed (62%) would sacrifice something to feel well-rested all the time, such as half their wardrobe (33%) or their next three vacations (15%)."
I can totally relate to all of this except the sex. I have had sex everyday with myself...even 54 days in a row...so that really doesn't effect me. Beat me. I need a man....or some sleep. I've been working on a homicide, landscaping, taking care of a business and a home and a child and animals. Who needs sleep?