Shift work sleep disorder is real and it is estimated to affect nearly 10 percent of rotating and night shift workers in the US. This disorder generally impacts people who work non-traditional hours, that is, outside the usual 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday.
If you are a shift worker, and you often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for at least seven to nine hours, you may have shift work disorder. Since shift work schedule goes against your circadian rhythms or internal clock, you can develop insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or other sleep issues.
That’s where bright light therapy comes in.
Natural sunlight is a powerful signal for your biological clock and it has a significant influence on your natural sleep/wake patterns. Light therapy simulates these effects of sunlight, leading you to feel highly alert and focused when you are awake, and sufficiently drowsy when it’s time to fall asleep.
Your doctor may recommend bright light therapy for sleep disorders to help you change your sleep/wake patterns and become more productive for shift work. If you have been feeling lethargic, fatigued, and sleepy during your shifts, light therapy can be extremely beneficial for you.
Who Should Use Light Therapy?
There are some professions where shift work is unavoidable, such as healthcare workers. If you can’t change your night shift to a morning one, the healthiest option for you would be to undergo light therapy so your insomnia or other sleep issues don’t hinder your work and daily life. By regaining a consistent daytime schedule with light therapy, your symptoms of insomnia, as well as depressive disorders, will go away as well.
Here are some professions where shift workers don’t get quality sleep and thus, can be benefitted by light therapy:
Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other people who work in the healthcare industry have to be on call at all hours in nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. Many of these workers sometimes have 24-hours or longer shifts, which can leave them drained by the time their shift is over. Such long shifts are known to wreak havoc on the body’s circadian rhythms.
Protective Service Workers
People who work in security positions, including police officers, security guards, firefighters, correctional officers, and private investigators have to work around the clock to keep others safe. It is highly likely that these positions bring stress, anxiety, and depression along with sleep disorders.
Air Traffic Controllers
These folks have to be present at the control towers 24-7, 365, which means multiple night shifts. If you are an airport tower controller, a radar controller, an en-route controller, or a terminal controller, you have to stay awake and alert during the graveyard shift to ensure the air traffic remains safe even in the dimmest and harshest conditions. In fact, one study involving the Feel Bright Light used by air traffic controllers showed a significant decrease with on-the-job mistakes, which are mistakes that could potentially endanger thousands of peoples’ lives.
A lot of organizations use their computers throughout the day, every day, which means as a computer operator, you have to be focused at all times. These people are responsible for keeping the computers running efficiently around the clock, monitoring the control console, and responding to operating messages.
Taxi drivers are known for working insanely long shifts, especially if they work in a city that never sleeps. Since these professionals are responsible for their passengers’ safety as well, lack of good sleep can result in devastating consequences while driving on a busy road.
If you are a shift worker who is not getting enough sleep, no amount of coffee or cigarette breaks will be able to keep you alert and focused on the job. All the professionals listed above are responsible for other people’s safety, and that’s why it is absolutely crucial that they are in top mental and emotional shape.
Choose “Happy Lights”
Consider buying a light therapy product or “happy lights” for depression to improve your quality of sleep, so you can give your 100 percent to your job. Interested in improving your quality of life and well-being? Read below to learn more about Feel Bright Light, a world-renowned treatment for a myriad of maladies related to Seasonal Affective Disorder and circadian rhythm issues. Seeking a ticket to a happier and healthier lifestyle? The unique light therapy treatment from Feel Bright Light will help you beat depression, sleep better, wake more refreshed and re-energize you. Discover the brightness of Feel Bright Light for yourself by visiting our products page or calling us toll-free at 207-935-1256.