Working Nights

A resource for improving the health and safety of shift workers since 1983

Feeling Grouchy and Touchy? Read This!

We learn from a very young age that when we don’t get enough sleep, we get cranky.  Since shift workers only get 5-6 hours of sleep on average, many feel grouchy, irritable, and touchy a lot of the time.  Bad-tempers can be difficult to hold inside, and when fury is released onto spouses, partners, kids, work associates, and managers, it can become toxic.  What’s the result?  Blowing your top can cause you to be fired and it can result in divorce.  Being argumentative and disagreeable doesn’t usually get a positive response.  Lack of sleep starts a progression down a slippery slope often ending with frustration and rage.  Remember those terrible-two’s temper tantrums?  Now we’re talking adult sized anger! 

Melinda Beck, Editor of the Wall Street Journal Health Journal interviewed psychologist Pauline Wallin, author of “Taming Your Inner Brat.”  In the interview, Dr. Wallin provides a few concrete ideas about how to manage anger.  She suggests that when you feel angry, you should slow down and talk sense to yourself.  Don’t react quickly to what’s going on around you, take time and think about it.  One good suggestion by Dr. Wallin is to imagine that you wake up in the morning with $1 worth of energy for the day.  Then, as the day progresses and issues come up, if you feel yourself getting frustrated and angry, think about whether you want to give 80 cents of your energy to that situation or just 5 cents.  Most likely you’ll decide not to waste your energy on negative, small issues.

To listen to the interview, Demand for Anger -Management Grows. But Does It Work – WSJ.com.

Posted 4 years, 1 month ago at 7:38 am.

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Teach Children about Working Nights and Learn Something New Yourself Too!

Just Released — A Children’s Book from Working Nights!

Why Does my Mom or Dad Sleep all Day – When Parents Work Shift Work

Click here to order! Only $12.95

Help children understand the differences that exist in families when parents work extended hours.  Topics covered include why it’s important to get enough sleep, eating balanced meals, and carving out time for fun and recreation, including family time.

This is a great book for parents or grandparents to purchase for the  children in their lives.  It’s also good for schools and libraries! Modelled after the Working Nights Calendar, the book includes eye-catching illustrations and easy to understand text aimed at 4 to 8-year-olds.  Questions designed to engage children in a meaningful discussion about how their lives and others are impacted when parents work shift work are included at the end.

Soft cover, 25 pages, easy to read 8.5” x 11” size.   $12.95.  To order click here.

Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 6:17 pm.

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This Emotional Life – Following up on “Stumbling on Happiness”

Daniel Gilbert, professor at Harvard and best selling author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” hosts this PBS show, This Emotional Life, starting Monday, January 4th.  The show will explore ways to improve social relationships, cope with emotional issues, and become more positive and resilient as individuals. 

Many people from all walks of life are profiled, including every day moms, dads, and workers, and famous people like Katie Couric and Richard Gere.  If you have to work when the show is aired, you can  either tape it at home, or purchase the series at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=3914596

In Stumbling on Happiness, Gilbert shares with us facts about the way our mind works.  Gilbert, a Harvard University Psychology professor, is particularily interested in the shortcomings of our imaginations.  He says we’re much too accepting of the conclusions of our imaginations.   He notes that our imaginations are really bad at telling us how we will think when the future finally comes. And our personal experiences aren’t nearly as good at correcting these errors as we thing they are.

Watch the TV preview right here!

Dan Shapiro PBS Trailer

Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 3:15 pm.

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Shift Work and Divorce – Does the Work Schedule Really Make a Difference?

Divorce.  It’s not a fun topic for anyone. 

By now most of us have read that we’re better off if we’re married.  According to the Center for Disease Control, married people tend to have lower mortality rates, exhibit less risky behavior, are more likely to monitor their health, comply with necessary medical routines, have sex more often and experience more satisfaction with their sexual lives, save more and earn more.  On a national level, the Census Bureau reports that a shrinking share of Americans are married – only 52% of males and 48% of females were married in 2008. The proportion of Americans who are currently married has been decreasing for decades and is lower than it has been in at least half a century.  The median duration of a marriage in 2008 was 18 years. In 2008, 9% of men were divorced and 12% of women were. 

So why don’t we stick with our marriages?  And, is it true that maintaining a marriage is more difficult for shift workers?

Read this article…

Posted 4 years, 5 months ago at 8:27 pm.

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Families and Friends of Shift Workers – How to Help

Shift work can cause difficulty creating and maintaining relationships, and often it’s hard for others to realize special challenges shift workers face. However, shift work is by no means a personal issue. Over 55 million Americans work nonstandard work schedules so that up to 150 million people are directly impacted by shift work schedules, based on US census statistics of household size. But shift work does not only affect the immediate family, but also the neighbors that get called in to babysit, the grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles that might not get to see their relatives who work on holidays, the friends who want to hang out on nights and weekends- everyone who wants to support the shift worker as much as they can. This article helps anyone who has someone who works shift work in their lives. Read this article…

Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 12:08 pm.

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