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                                                                        Shift Work Survival Tip:

                                                                        When your shift ends in the morning,
                                                                        resist the temptation to run errands,
                                                                        which will cut into your sleep time. Head
                                                                        straight home and rest instead.


Take care, workers whose shifts begin when most people are turning in for the night—you may
need to pay extra attention to stay well.

THE BODY IS programmed to rest at night and be active during            »» Skip the vending machines. Being sleepy can amp up hunger
the day. For night shift workers, that internal clock is turned on its     signals, so make eating healthy, balanced meals a priority. Bring
head, to potentially harmful effect.                                       homemade meals for your lunch break and don’t forget to pack
                                                                           healthy snacks, such as nuts and orange slices.Take time out to eat
   “People involved in shift work tend to have higher risks                in a break room, if you can, instead of grazing at your work station.
for obesity, heart disease and mood disorders, including
depression,” says Avinesh Bhar, MD, pulmonologist and sleep             »» Squeeze in exercise on the job. “Stay as active as possible
medicine specialist at Navicent Health. “They may struggle                 during your shift,” Dr. Bhar says. “Look for opportunities to walk
to sleep well, and shift work can make it difficult to be social           around and take the stairs.”
because workers’ schedules are different from those of family
and friends.”                                                           HELP NEEDED?

JOB NO. 1: PROTECT YOUR HEALTH                                          If you’re doing all the right things and still struggling to sleep after
                                                                        your shift, a primary care provider or sleep medicine specialist can
If you work the night shift, these tips can help you stay well:         help you manage the effects of shift work.
»» Get ready for sleep before your shift ends. The National Sleep
                                                                           “I help people figure out if the problem is purely a shift-work
   Foundation recommends cutting back on caffeine at least              issue or if it’s due to a sleep-related condition, such as sleep
   four hours before your shift ends so it has time to clear your       apnea,” Dr. Bhar says. “If I think sleep apnea or another issue could
   body before bed. Don’t eat too close to quitting time either, as     be the culprit, I may ask the patient to keep a sleep diary, and a
   your body will need time to digest before sleep. If you drive        sleep study may be appropriate. Medication may also help if shift
   home after sunrise, wear sunglasses and a cap to reduce your         work is causing the problem.”
   exposure to light.
»» Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Remove electronic               IF SHIFT WORK IS TAKING A TOLL ON YOUR HEALTH,
   devices, hang blackout curtains and maintain a cool                  A SLEEP STUDY COULD HELP. CALL 478-633-6272 TO
   temperature.                                                         SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH DR. BHAR.

6 | SUMMER 2018
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