Sleep Disorders – Causes: Life Situation, Shift Work

Always on the go – which lets himself be controlled by everyday life, sleeps worse. Noise, shift work, jet lag, also put a strain on the night’s sleep.

Our life follows an internal clock, which is based on the change of day and night, controls waking and sleeping. Body functions and mental well-being adapt to or condition this finely tuned circadian rhythm, such as the ups and downs of body temperature or hormones. Even sleep itself has a meaningful structure. 

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Habits That Affect Sleep

We know many of the self-made sleeping habits but often overreact to them, hoping to outsmart our internal clock. Here, every individual has to discover for himself what he is sensitive to, one can doze off after dinner, while the other is awake half the night.

What You Eat

If you often fall asleep badly, stay awake for more than half an hour, check what you ate during the day: coffee, black tea or coke in the afternoon or evening, too long an evening meal, and salted snacks in front of the TV. Caffeine is also present in many drinks and chocolate, as well as in medicines. It takes several hours for it to break down in the body.

Experts from Modalert have found that even people who drink coffee at any time of the day can sometimes have chronic insomnia. They sleep restlessly and wake up more often or too early in the morning because the caffeine is still working.

After drinking wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages, many fall asleep faster, but wake up in the morning, often sweat and feel thirsty. The dampening effect of alcohol subsides during the night, then start the withdrawal symptoms, which manifest themselves in increased restlessness and other symptoms such as sweating, headache, dry mouth. The nocturnal withdrawal effect also occurs in smokers and after excessive coffee consumption during the day.

Fat foods keep the digestive system busy; spicy foods also promote heartburn. Those who overeat before going to bed can not only fall asleep badly but often also have problems sleeping through. It may also be that you have eaten too little in the evening, and the empty stomach will not let you fall asleep.

A glass of milk can help you sleep better because milk contains tryptophan, a substance that naturally promotes sleep. A doctor should clarify the cause of inexplicable nightly hunger attacks. Behind it can hide a metabolic disorder such as diabetes or a psychological problem.

Lack Of Exercise

Sufficient physical activity during the day prevents many health problems and thus sleep disorders. Because when the body is poorly supplied with blood, the muscles are untrained and tense and the joints are stiff, this also has a detrimental effect on the natural sleep rhythm.

One exception: If you spend a short time doing a lot of sports before going to bed, you often have trouble falling asleep, because then the body is still running at full speed. An evening walk is less stressful and helps most to have a restful night. Endurance and weight training better move you to the morning or afternoon.

Stress, Anger, Mental Stress

The best mattress is often of little use if your thoughts do not calm down, prevent you from dozing off, and wake you up early in the morning. A sensible daily plan, targeted stress management, and regular relaxation are essential. 

Outdated Sleep Myths

One can also put pressure on deadlocked ideas about sleep and thus develop sleep problems. Anyone who thinks that he has to sleep for nine hours, but after seven hours is already awake, may under certain circumstances, get too little sleep. Worries and thoughts that revolve around the subject of sleep then really keep some people from a restful night’s sleep. They often go to bed too early to get enough sleep but lie awake for a long time and get more and more nervous.

Likewise, the fear of another bad night leads to a growing inner restlessness. Older people often have this problem, especially if they take a long nap and therefore sleep shorter at night.

Bad habits

Many people no longer perceive the signals of their bodies or are not severe enough. They suppress signs of tiredness and need for sleep with a lot of coffee during the day and do not go to bed in the evening. Some work until just before bedtime or doze until late on the TV. Although they are tired, they feel over-excited and cannot fall asleep or wake up much too soon.

Shift Work And Sleep Problems

Over twelve percent of working people have changed working hours, including early, late, or night shifts. Night and shift workers are particularly prone to sleep problems, as they have to be active against their internal clock again and again. For example, they work between two and five o’clock in the morning when they are most in need of sleep, and all body functions are focused on it. This also increases the risk of accidents at work.


Younger workers often cope better with switching between night and day shifts than older ones. Over the years, sleep becomes more comfortable and more prone to failure anyway. Even night workers fail nightly work assignments sometimes easier than morning types. In people who work only at night, the body often adapts to the changing rhythm. Less favorable are weekly shifts, since the body then hardly gets the opportunity to change. However, the night services of only one to three days are generally better tolerated, because the load is only short, and the missed sleep can be made up for again.

Symptoms And Consequences

Those affected often suffer from persistent sleep deprivation, as they sleep shorter. Sleep-in and sleep-through disorders characterize night sleep. The sleep during the day is more superficial; the deep sleep phases are usually not so pronounced. Many have health problems, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, loss of appetite, Nervousness, and mood swings. Also, social life is affected by the different sleep-wake cycle. An increased tendency to cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, seems to be due mainly to a healthier lifestyle in connection with shift work, such as smoking and obesity.

Diagnosis And Therapy

With the help of detailed discussions and physical examinations, the doctor can get an idea of sleep problems and show possible health consequences. If you have to do night or shift work and suffer from sleep disorders, you should consult with your doctor and discuss with your employer what options there are to organize the shifts differently. However, this often depends very much on the operation and its requirements. You may also need a company or occupational physician as a contact person. In individual cases, for example, in the case of moderate or severe sleep disorders, a person affected may not be suitable for shiftwork or specific shifts for health reasons.

The use of Modafinil pills helps without being harmful, and unlike some pills which can impair the performance, make them dependent, and lose their effectiveness. It makes more sense to consistently use the available sleep times, to provide sufficient darkness and rest (shutters, dark curtains, blindfolds, earplugs).

Some sufferers are preparing for an upcoming night shift by going to bed or getting up a few hours earlier a few days earlier. However, the social environment often does not allow life to be so consistently aligned with shift working hours. Overall, a healthy lifestyle helps to reduce the burden of counteracting working hours, and you can buy the drug mentioned above at