02 Jul 2019

BY: Andrea Lardani


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Employees who work at night perform extremely important roles in hospitals, transportation, production, emergency services among others. However, the natural cycle of sleep may be altered by having to be awake at night. The human body follows a cycle regulated by an internal process– circadian rhythms – which is related to light and darkness. This biological process regulates cycles of body temperature, hormones, heart rate and other functions. For human beings, the desire to sleep is stronger at night. For this reason, it is not easy to reset our circadian clock when working at night. However, organizations can do a lot to accompany employees who work when most sleep.

How to provide support from the company?

Lack of sleep is associated with increased irritability, impatience, anxiety, depression, memory difficulties and higher rates of mistakes that may cause accidents. In turn, people who sleep poorly experience more stomach related problems, menstrual irregularities, flu, and weight gain. There is also more chance of heart problems along with high blood pressure.

These negative effects may alter family and work relationships, as well as cause unnecessary suffering. Organizations may act preventively by providing specialized information on how to achieve restful sleep even when working at night. The more employees know about the topic, the better decisions they will make in their daily routines before, during and after business hours. In this way, they will be more likely to have healthy habits that help them rest better and have more energy to accomplish their tasks.

Professionals who specialize in sleep are best suited to transmit knowledge such as:

– What are circadian rhythms and their functions are

– Benefits of restful sleep for the mind, body and bonds

– Sleep hygiene recommendations for employees working at night

–  Food habits and recommended physical exercise for shift workers

– How to use naps to relieve drowsiness

– Recognize when a doctor’s appointment is appropriate

It is highly recommended that night shift supervisors participate in these workshops to take recommendations into account for their own habits, as well as to promote them in their teams. Just as helmets, harnesses and gloves protect workers, providing specialized information on healthy habits and restful sleep is another way of taking care of health and integrity of employees working at night.

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