It is a basic fact to be understood that sleep is one that must be experienced by everyone at the proper time and that too during the night hours under proper atmosphere. Else, it is bound to cause health problem in due course of time.
‘Its ages since I slept’, ‘At least this weekend, I must have a sound and peaceful sleep’ ‘Bro…I don’t get sleep at all during night hours’. This type of conversation has, of late, become the talk of the town among youngsters who mutually share the same experience as this. The prime cause for this negative impact is that many people have become addicted to social media, TV, computer, mobile etc. Particularly, those who are working night shifts in BPO business, have literally lost their normal sleep pattern. In the past, night shift roster was confined to certain essential sectors only but whereas it has become a regular feature in today’s nature of employment, thanks to mainly the IT and BPO sectors.
The specialist Dr.N.Ramakrishnan strongly opines that if the normal sleep pattern is unduly disturbed, it will lead to unnecessary health problems in life. Sleep is one of the essential aspects for maintaining a good and healthy life. People who work in night shifts lose their control and their normal life is perturbed a lot.
We use a mechanical clock to watch time for our activities and sleep but whereas our body follows a biological clock based on sunlight, sleep and the food intake which are all evenly monitored by our brain and this is termed as ‘circadian rhythm’. This part only is the deciding factor in terms of indulging ourselves in several activities. This system has already got conditioned to be active in the day and sleep in the night. The reverse practice causes several problems and health ailments.
Dr.Ramakrishnan views that for an individual it would approximately take three years to acclimatize with the different pattern of working, sleeping and doing other activities based on the irregular and improper working hours. Loss of sleep during the night will cause stomach-related issues, heart ailments and mental stress also. However, according to Dr.Ramakrishnan’s opinion, there are some ways and means to adjust and compensate the loss caused by this improper time of work and rest.
Here are some of the most valuable suggestions given by Dr.Ramakrishnan in regard to compensating the loss of sleep on the part of night shift people:-
* We must give auto-suggestion to ourselves that we have to sleep only during daytime without feeling the difference. Every time we go to sleep, we must have the feeling and belief that we are going to have deep and peaceful sleep as if it is night time. We must ensure that the environment is absolutely suitable so that our sleep will be deep and sound.
* To avoid external disturbances and noise pollution, we can use ear plug while sleeping during daytime.
* We must hang weighty and dark window screens to avoid excess sunlight
* Most important suggestion or appeal is to switch off the mobile and keep it away from our access.
* It must be realized that our day’s slumber is in lieu of the night’s sleep and hence it is essential to make our relatives and friends understand that no one should disturb us while sleeping.
* During holidays also, we must practice the same sleep pattern in order that continuity will be in place.
* It is better to avoid intake of coffee or tea at least 4 to 5 hours before we start sleeping.
* During recess or regular intervals while working, we must do some simple physical exercises like stretching and folding of our limps so that the rotation of oxygen will be normal and beneficial to our body.
* Certain disadvantages or the so-called occupational hazards will affect us. We may be forced to face frustration, disappointment etc. from our friends or relatives. It would be practically difficult to maintain good rapport with our friends all the time. It would be difficult to maintain work-life balance and satisfy our family and children due to this. Added to these, some people may be compelled to experience dissatisfaction in their marital life.
* We must keep sufficient time to chitchat with life partner and also spend useful time with them.
* We must never deny access to our life-partner to reach us anytime during our working hours also. We must be reachable by phone for any kind of emergency.
* It is imperative for us to create a circle of true friends who could understand and appreciate our circumstances and constraints in maintaining our social contacts.
Dr.Ramakrishnan’s above tips will have positive impact on the life of those who have to accept night shifts as part of their routines. If these tips are followed, night shift workers will certainly be able to avoid a great degree of physical, mental and emotional stress in life.
(This article written in Tamil by Graphiyen Black has been transcreated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)