Published to HelloCare Magazine
Anyone who has regularly worked through the night knows the tired, sluggish feeling associated with a string of night shifts, and the difficulty of catching up on sleep during the day.
Research has consistently shown that accidents and errors are more frequent overnight when workers are sleep deprived, but what’s the solution? Our aged care system – and health system more widely – relies on shift workers to provide 24-hour care.
The pitfalls of night shifts
Long-term night shift work is associated with a range of diseases and illnesses. ‘Shift work disorder’ refers to a chronic condition of misaligned sleep patterns, meaning that it is difficult to sleep when you want or need to. It is a direct result of the unstable sleep schedule related to working night shifts. Shift work disorder can affect a person’s physical and mental health, as well as their performance on the job and their general safety.