The New Generation of Sleeping Time

March 9, 2011

Things change so fast over the years that people have began to adjust their lifestyle because of these changes. A few years ago, it’s not fashionable to walk around with earphones on your ear. Today, it’s an accepted lifestyle to wear earphones all the time while carrying an iPod with you. A few years ago, the idea of carrying a computer around on your back seems like an absurd idea. Now, a lot of people carry laptops around wherever they go. A few years back, work hours should be around 8am to 5pm only. Today, people work in different kinds of shifts — some from 8am to 5pm, others from 8pm to 5am, and so on.

With the change in working hours, sleeping shifts also get adjusted. Before, it may seem hard to imagine people working at night and sleeping in the morning. It might even be viewed as a disorder or insomnia of some sort; but today, everyone has a friend/family member/acquiantance who’s working during a night shift. From call centers to business process outsourcing, many people are already entertaining the idea of working at this shift without really thinking what will happen to their body clock — primarily their sleeping time.

I myself am working outside the normal shifting hours but I’m lucky that I only do a semi-night shift. My work ends at 12mn and I usually go to sleep by 1am, which is still pretty okay as long as I still get the 8 hours of sleep. But what about those whose work ends at 5am and start sleeping at 8am? Don’t you think they will have difficulties in sleeping?

The biggest factor affecting sleep is light and noise. For heavy sleepers, they might be able to sleep through even with daylight and the noisy environment outside. Big bonus if they can manage to sleep comfortably even with the hot weather. But for the light sleepers, this might be a big problem. While I’m not here to condemn people who sleep outside the normal sleeping hours of the body, I have some points for these people to consider:

  • Make sure you can still get quality sleep — as mentioned in my previous entry, there’s a difference between sleeping for 8 hours straight and waking up in the middle of the sleep and sleeping again. Never  neglect sleep and if you can manage to control the factors like having the air-conditioning on, the lights off, keeping the outside noise minimal, that will really help replicate a good night’s sleep.
  • Consider your performance at work with the different sleeping time — if your performance is not great at work, you might want to consider changing your work time or even transfer to another company because not everyone can withstand working at night for a long time. Remember, even if you can adjust, the normal body clock will still remain — active at day, sleep at night.
  • Is it worth it? — Sure, the money is bigger when working at night than in day shifts but is it worth it? After all, it is important that you enjoy your work. It’s a lose-lose situation if you’re not happy with your work and your performance at work is also not great. It’s useless if you’ve earned a lot of money and then you’re just going to spend it all on medicine and treatment because your body can’t take the working hours.

This different sleeping time may be perfect for some while problematic for others – the point is, it isn’t for everybody. So if you’re working during a night shift, listen to your body and its needs; if you have trouble adjusting to the working hours, have difficulty sleeping during the day, or worse, get sick, you might want to consider going back to your normal sleeping time.