Sleeplessness is becoming a norm of the day in today’s fast paced lifestyle. It is one of the rapidly growing global health concerns, which is being experienced by children and adults alike. There are so many factors that contribute to insufficient sleep, such as stress, diet, inactive lifestyle, an underlying disease among others.
Sleeplessness among IT Professionals
Unfortunately, it is those who work in shifts and spend additional hours at work, who seem to experience the worst side of sleeplessness. A recent survey claims that those working in the IT industry miss out of most sleep each month. This sleep loss, or should we say, sleep debt, is usually about thirty hours each month, which means over one eighth of their ideal sleeping requirement is not met.
IT professionals constantly find themselves working overnight, early mornings or, even worse, alternating between different shifts. And since sleep debit is something we have to pay sooner or later, these employees usually make up for the lost sleep by sleeping almost all through the weekends. Healthy? Not really!
Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)
It becomes rather difficult for us to considerably adjust to a different sleep/wake schedule, thus resulting in serious issues with falling asleep, staying asleep and as well for sleeping when required. Moreover, difficulties in concentrating, headaches, and/or lack of energy are some other related symptoms. And in the long run, all of these tend to interfere with our overall functioning and performance at work.
The Downside of Working in Shifts
This erratic and inconsistent work timings, significantly disturbs the cardiac rhythm and plays a major role in causing sleeplessness and sleep deprivation especially among the ones working through shifts and in the IT industry. Studies have indicated that no matter what, our body can never adjust to sleeping in shift.
That explains why shift workers are more likely to report cases of insomnia and mental disorders, compared to non-shift workers. They usually find it difficult to manage sufficient amount of sleep, and that too as and when it comes at unconventional timing. While it should ideally take less than thirty minutes for a person to fall asleep after they have hit the bed, IT workers complain that it takes them over fifty minutes to doze off!
Factors Contributing to Sleeplessness among IT Professionals
This could be attributed to various factors. Excessive exposure to blue-light all through the day, over reliance on technology such as TV and mobile phone when you should be relaxing and sleeping instead, consuming those back to back cups of coffee, occupational stress, unavailability of conducive surroundings that promote sleep during day time, etc could be some of these.
Harmful Effects of Sleeplessness
In fact, the prolonged sleep deprivation can eventually result in undesirable health consequences. It is also evident that the circadian rhythm disruptions owing to SWSD or the ‘Shift Work Sleep Disorder’ many a times lead to hormonal imbalance and an array of health issues.
- The hormonal imbalance, could furthermore contribute to the onset of various chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension etc.
- Due to facing sleep deficiency issues, as this inherently affects the amount of WBCs in their blood, this could lead to reduced immunity.
- Gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, abdominal pains and flatulence, etc. are also not uncommon among these workers.
- Accidents or injuries at work are common.
- Possibility of irritability and frequent snapping which affects interpersonal relationships
- Poor coping skills and inability to socialise, which could keep the individual from important networking
- Drug and alcohol dependency could be there.
Role of Organisations
Companies are welcoming the concept of having nap rooms inside their offices. With an aim to increase productivity among shift workers and promote alertness, the IT organizations are increasingly encouraging their employees to ‘sleep on the job’, or to catch power naps. Besides, rotating shifts is another step that allows employees to somewhat cope up with the lost sleep.
Nonetheless, it is important for the employees to be aware about the problem they are experiencing, and take conscious steps towards addressing it.
In case you are facing occupation hazard particularly relating to sleeplessness, with your job being in the IT industry, you could as well try out this sleep-inducing product from the house of Nutrite. It is believed that while SleepRite Shotz provides you with natural assistance for the issue of sleeplessness, it is regarded safe with no side-effects. You may initially consume it as one bottle every day for a week’s time.
Author: Dr Sonica Krishan
Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through
Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda
Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and
Holistic Healing Coach.