Just a few days into the rhythm of night shift work I'm tired. I've slept the average of 8 hours a day, but it just doesn't feel like enough quite yet. I've come to believe that I will get accustomed to the headache that accompanies me as I fall asleep each morning, that frowns down on me when I awake each afternoon and that disappears with a small 1500mg dose of ES Tylenol. Night shift has been in the past for me a good experience, but I had come to love working the regular hours that normal people do these last 2.5 months. I had come to love and appreciate the sunshine, waking up to birds singing outside my window, and many other sights and smells that not only now signify Spring, but also daytime.
Doing some personal research in the middle of my nights off I came across a great website that I believe will find itself saved in my favorites list for many, many, many nights to come. The website http://www.sleepfoundation.org/ has lots of interesting facts, quizzes, and useful information not only for night shift workers, but also for anybody experiencing sleep problems. I recommend everyone take a peak, they have everything on their website to address any type of sleep problem you or a family member may be having.
So what does this website have to say about shift workers? According to NSF's 2005 Sleep in America poll, 14% of Americans do shift work . Compared to their day shift counterparts, shift workers are more likely to suffer from insomnia as well as excessive daytime sleepiness (61% vs. 47% and 30% vs. 18% respectively). Shift workers are also more likely to drive while fatigued and almost twice as likely to fall asleep at the wheel. There are alot more statistics and facts where this came from, but I don't want to bore any of you more than neccessary.
Night shift, although a lifestyle adjustment, I believe will work out well for me after some time of getting used to it. I've done it before and I know that I can do it again. I will learn that sunset means good morning and that the sunrise means good night. I will learn that the songbirds outside my window will substitute for the chirpping of crickets that used to put me to sleep as a child. It's a thought that will take some getting used to for sure.Now, armed with my lavender scented pillow spray to help me relax, my box fan to keep the noise of the city at bay, and my eye pillow to block out the daylight I'm ready to conquer the day, or would I still say night?