Find the right shift pattern for your body clock

Fixed vs. rotating shiftsIn an ideal world, we’d all work during daylight hours, but if that isn’t possible, it’s generally better to stick to a stable routine for at least two weeks at a time than to rotate more frequently. Rotating shifts are like a state of perpetual jet lag (without the air miles). The […]

Optimize your schedule for night shifts

Even if you can’t change your shifts, what you do before, during and after the shift can make a huge difference to your sleepiness and your general mood. These tips can be helpful for both night shifts and late shifts. Look down the list for things that are in your control. Test out what works […]

Recognize Shift Work Disorder

• Does your regular shift work schedule interfere with sleeping during the night? • Do you experience difficulties sleeping or excessive sleepiness? • Have you experienced sleep problems for 3 months or more? If you answer yes to all three of these questions, you may be experiencing Shift Work Disorder (SWD). According to the International […]

The biology of getting to sleep

Two major biological processes regulate when we sleep: 1. Our circadian rhythm, or daily sleep-wake cycle: this is our in-built tendency for bodily functions to follow a 24-hour cycle. The timing is co-ordinated by the ‘body clock’, an area of the brain which uses external cues like light and temperature to keep us alert and […]