How to Treat Insomnia Caused by Shift Work

Learn how to treat insomnia caused by shift work from sleep specialist Priyanka Yadav, D.O. in this Howcast video.

Insomnia is a common complaint amongst shift workers. The problem in shift work is that you’re trying to sleep against your body’s own [inaudible 00:13] rhythm you’re, trying to sleep in the daytime when there is a lights and activities surrounding you, preventing you from falling asleep and staying asleep. The first thing that you want to do is, get blackout shades, to help diminish light exposure, in your bedroom. Diminishing light exposure to create your body’s melatonin, which help with sleep onset. Now, another way to help this is by taking supplemental melatonin.

In general, melatonin levels are decreased in this is shift workers. So taking supplemental melatonin will help you augment that process of sleep onset. Now, certain medications can also combat the process of insomnia in shift workers. Such as weight promoting agents called new vigil or pro vigil. They will help you stay awake in the hours that you are supposed to be working as well as light exposure in those hours that you’re so supposed to be working. Another problem in shift workers is that you need to take care of life errands. You know, you need to go to the bank, you need to take care of your kids, all of these occur during the daytime hours that you are supposed to be sleeping.

So, this will decrease the amount of sleep then you can get during the day. There are multiple methods to help improve your sleep during the daytime, when you are a shift worker and these you can try on your own but it they are not helping, you might want to consult with your doctor, to see if any other use of medication is needed to help you sleep better, during the day time hours.