5 Ways to Be More Productive While Working Night Shifts

While the majority of people sleep during these hours, certain people work through the night – this includes night shift nurses. Take the following into consideration:

  • Patients may present to the hospital at any time of day or night.
  • Patients admitted to hospital facilities require continuous monitoring.
  • Certain medical situations may necessitate emergency procedures during the early morning hours.

These are just a few examples of why nurses are constantly needed, especially during non-traditional work hours. However, there are a few drawbacks to working night shifts.

Circadian Rhythmicity: An Overview

On a 24-hour basis, our body undergoes repeated physical, mental, and behavioral changes, referred to as the circadian rhythm. Although our bodies’ circadian cycles are pretty stable, as you may know, these rhythms are synchronized with environmental cues. This is referred to as entrainment, and daylight is the primary component affecting circadian rhythms.

We are specifically talking to the sleep-wake cycle in this article. This explains why we feel energized in the morning when we see the sunrise and sleepy when it gets dark. Your eyes provide information to the master clock, which is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the brain. Then it instructs your brain to manufacture more melatonin, which induces sleepiness.

However, entrainment is a process that takes time. Indeed, entrainment is critical during the early stages of development. During fetal life, the pathway connecting the retina to the master clock is not entirely established. And the only way for the fetal clock to be in sync with the outer world is for it to receive melatonin from the mother.

If you abruptly get out of step with your environment, it will take time for your body to adjust. This time difference is referred to as desynchronosis, and it is also referred to as ‘jet lag’ or’shift lag.’ Due to the fact that this essay is not about time zone changes, we will concentrate on the shift lag.

Desynchronosis and Its Consequences in Shift Work

The term “shift work” has a variety of connotations depending on its context. It is defined here as employment that occurs between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Working irregular night shifts or rotating schedules causes a condition known as desynchronosis. Shift work requires that you adjust your sleep-wake cycle. Adjustment attempts may be successful or unsuccessful, depending on the number of consecutive night shifts worked.

Certain variables can have an effect on sleep disorders and the body clock, as well as on family and social life. These include the following:

  • Individual Distinctions
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Sleepers that are either long or short slept
  • Individual who prefers to work in the morning or at night
  • Difficulty sleeping at odd hours
  • Difficulties sleeping in a new area
  • Disparities in Organizations
  • Rest spaces for breaks are readily available and of high quality.
  • Workplace psychosocial conditions
  • Noise
  • Severe weather
  • Disparities in Situations
  • Time spent commuting to and from work
  • Types of activities that can be done during rest periods (Ex. having a second job or a physically demanding leisure activity)

Suggestions for Managing Night Shift Work

In the majority of circumstances, quitting night shift employment is not an option. As a result, it’s critical to anticipate and adjust to changes in your schedule. Consider the following strategies:

Management of Sleep

Your first focus should be on sleep management. Napping can be extremely beneficial, but only if it is used to prevent sleep debt rather than to make up for lost sleep. Additionally, workers who nap before to a night shift demonstrated increased alertness and superior performance on cognitive activities as compared to those who did not nap.

When Sleeping, Ambiance Modification

Another method for lulling oneself to sleep is to alter your environment. Utilize earplugs or white noise devices to reduce noise in and around your sleeping area. Additionally, keeping your room as dark as possible is essential — remember, light is the primary trigger for circadian rhythm! Additionally, you may choose to consider sleeping with eye masks and using sunglasses on your commute home from work.

Phototherapy

A certain dose of bright light combined with the proper period of exposure can result in a considerable delay in the generation of melatonin. This prolongs the time required to fall asleep!

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies make. While exogenous melatonin is commercially accessible and used to enhance sleep, it is well established that it has no significant physiological side effects when ingested. Melatonin has been shown in studies to assist avoid sleep deprivation while sleeping at the “wrong” circadian phase. This sedative effect is beneficial prior to or following your night shift work.

Manipulation of the Diet

It may also be good to create a routine for your protein and carbohydrate intake. Indeed, travelers traveling numerous time zones are frequently advised to follow a “jet lag diet.” Consume protein-rich foods before to periods of exercise and carbs prior to the sleep phase.

Have you devised a strategy to employ during your next night shift? Now is the time to create a reminder for yourself!

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The Causes And Potential Treatments For Neck Pain

Neck pain is a relatively common ailment. The sickness typically increases with age. 30 to 50 percent of middle-aged persons report experiencing some episodes of neck discomfort per year.

Neck Pain’s Impact Upon Stricken Individuals

Even slight neck discomfort can render specific individuals unable to perform simple tasks. Moreover, said occurrence could make it more difficult for individuals to sleep. Additionally, neck issues can be accompanied by other alarming symptoms such as pain in the arms, head, jaw, or tingling of the fingers.

Causes Of Neck Pain

Discomfort can be precipitated by a host of issues ranging from minor and relatively short-lived to potentially chronic, quite severe, and in need of prompt medical treatment. Possible causes include:

Muscle Strains

The neck is comprised of numerous muscles. Exercise, or in some cases, merely turning the neck too quickly or the wrong way, could precipitate the development of pain.

Injuries

Physical injuries eliciting atypical movements of the neck could result in pain-inducing injuries. Examples include trauma such as that experienced during whiplash that might occur in the wake of an automobile accident.

Poor Posture

Individuals who observe poor posture and execute potentially detrimental actions like not standing up straight or holding their head up when they walk or exercise place added strain on the neck structures. Said stress could result in painful injuries.

Degenerative Conditions

The neck is comprised of structures like discs, nerves, and protective tissues such as cartilage, which protects more significant components like bones. When any of these structures become injured or gradually break down because of strain or overuse, degeneration can occur. Common degenerative conditions include osteoarthritis, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylosis.

Swelling Of Lymph Nodes

The neck is comprised of several structures known as lymph nodes. The lymphatic system aids the immune system in fighting the infiltration of invading pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. When an infection is present, the neck’s lymph nodes could swell and produce discomfort.

Tumors Or Other Growths

Occasionally, neck pain could be caused by abnormal growths like tumors or cysts caused by diseases such as cancer or other ailments.

Potential Treatment Options

The specific therapeutic protocol that is preferred by a neck pain sufferer and their doctor will depend upon several factors including but not necessarily limited to the patient’s age, the specific underlying cause, as well as the severity of the said problem. Treatment options employed might include:

Home Remedies

If the problem is minor and the pain is tolerable, several home remedies may be used. Specific opportunities include applying heat to the impacted region, completing light exercises or massage therapy.

Medications

If discomfort is caused by a specific illness, drugs designed to tame said conditions might prove useful in remediating associated neck pain. Furthermore, over-the-counter or prescription pain medications might be administered as a means of alleviating discomfort. There have even been recent studies conducted on CBD treatment for neck pain.

Surgery

Should the condition be severe and need immediate intervention to alleviate pain or other potentially dangerous symptoms, surgery might be indicated.

5 Reasons Why An Addict Just Can’t Stop Using Drugs

A primary component of drug and behavioral addiction is that an addicted person will continue to use even after physiological or psychological damage has occurred. The following are 5 reasons supporting that continued addictive decisions can be affected by pathology. These impaired decision processes also estimate the chance of whether an individual will maintain the ability to improve their choices (Heyman, 2009).

1. Genetic Vulnerability

Why do some people become addicted to substances but others didn’t? There is significant evidence supporting that some individuals have a genetic predisposition to develop an addicted personality (Kreek et al., 2005). Several studies of twins and adopted kids show that about 50% of a person’s susceptibility to alcohol disorders is inherited. It’s also likely that heavy alcohol consumption causes major physiological alterations in the brain.

2. Self-Medication

When intolerable situations in someone’s life such as a tragedy create emotional distress and suffering, a simple, fast solution provides instant gratification and a temporary escape from pain (Khantzian, 2012). Alcohol can help someone relax and easily forget their problems. However, with continuous heavy drinking, the brain adjusts and develops tolerance, creating anxiety and irritability. Eventually, an alcoholic will no longer drink for pleasure, instead, to feel normal.

3. Lack of Alternative Rewards

When someone lacks other, non-substance rewards, they typically turn to drug use. Profess Hart saw that those living in poor neighborhoods are deprived of options, so there’s definitely rationality for using a substance that provides pleasure. Nowadays there are several studies revealing that giving alternative rewards to those who certainly were deprived of them could improve addiction recovery. This is because it’s been proven that environmental factors play an extreme role in the development of drug addiction as well as treatment.

4. Impaired Insight

Continuous drug abuse is linked to impaired self-awareness scientifically known as dysfunction of the insular cortex, which develops as a denial of addiction or severity of drug use and the refusal of treatment (Naqvi et al., 2007). This is why there are very few alcoholics who admit they have a serious drinking problem. This is another explanation as to why individuals continue to abuse a drug despite knowing it’s destroying their mind, body, and lives. Mindfulness was revealed to be an efficient method to increase awareness and inhibitory control (Paulus and Stewart 2014).

5. A Love-Hate Relationship With The Drug

Continuous drug use can develop an inability to distinguish the expected feeling of reward from a drug and its true pleasure (Kringelbach and Berridge, 2009). For people struggling with addiction, an extremely compulsive craving for a substance does not mean they receive enjoyment from its consumption. This is because a developed tolerance to the drug creates reduced and even no pleasure but an addict will likely still feel an overwhelming urge to use. They intensely crave the drug even after it is stopped bringing them pleasure.