A new study from researchers at Oregon State University has examined the effects of night shift work on 392 nurses. They have concluded that night shifts can have far-ranging consequences, including a higher risk of PTSD, sleep disturbances, insomnia, stress, and inflammation.
Other studies have corroborated the findings, too: night shifts can increase fatigue and sleep disorders, and have been associated with a potentially higher risk of workplace accidents, car collisions, and other injuries in Miami and across the country.
There are several reasons why night shifts can be especially deadly:
- Night shift workers may be switching between day and night shifts, which can further disrupt sleep
- Night work can disrupt our body’s natural sleep patterns
- The daytime can be more noisy and there may be more impediments to good sleep
- Night shift workers may still need to be awake some days to take care of errands, which can further reduce the amount of sleep they get
- Night shift workers may be driving during the evening and morning hours, when most people are naturally most tired, and this can increase the risk of car collisions
Preventing Injury If You Work Nights
You can prevent injury and reduce the risk of fatigue-related car accidents in Miami by following these tips if you do work at night or take on night shifts:
- Create the best sleep conditions possible: If you need to sleep during the day, try to replicate the night as much as you can. Use light-blocking curtains or an eye mask, reduce noise from the outside, and decrease interruptions by turning off your phone.
- Keep tabs on how much sleep you get: Aim for eight hours or more if you need it and write down how much sleep you get. Supplement with naps if you find your daytime sleep interrupted.
- Try to avoid switching shifts: Each time you switch from day shifts to night shifts, your body has to adjust to a new sleep schedule. If you can, try to at least keep your sleep schedule consistent.
- Monitor your health: Stay alert for any signs of stress, fatigue, sleep disturbances, or any new symptoms. Some signs of sleep disorders can be subtle, so it can be useful to keep a log or journal of your sleep quality, mood, and overall health so you can spot patterns.
- Avoid driving if you’re fatigued: If you are tired and especially when you’re ending a shift, you are more at risk of car collisions and injury from work-related incidents. Try to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when you feel tired.
- Get medical help if you need it: Your physician should be aware that you work night shifts, even if you don’t see any symptoms. If you ever notice any trouble sleeping, persistent fatigue, or any new symptoms, talk to your doctor so you can get help.
If you have been injured by a fatigued driver or have suffered an injury due to anyone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Miami personal injury claims attorney. Our law team has already recovered more than $100 million for injured clients and we’re always here to help.