Working Nights

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

Is the Restless Legs Mystery Solved?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a subject of concern to shift workers because it often disrupts their already limited hours of sleep. It is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move your legs, usually when you are sleeping or inactive, resulting in difficulty getting to sleep and maintaining sleep.

The good news is that researchers continue to study RLS in order to try to improve suffer’s sleep.  Studies have shown that RLS patients’ sleep is not significantly improved even when their involuntary leg movements are reduced by certain drugs; this has been a mystery to researchers. However, new findings by Johns Hopkins researchers, published in the May issue of the journal Neurology, show this mystery may have been solved. To learn more about these results, read the article in e! science news.


Posted 5 years, 11 months ago at 11:27 am.

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A.D.H.D. or Sleep Deficit?

At this point, it appears we all know someone (if not yourself!) who has been diagnosed or has symptoms attributable to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or A.D.H.D. The classic symptoms of A.D.H.D. include procrastination, forgetfulness, the inability to pay attention consistently and the propensity to lose things. However, as a recent article published in the New York Times points out, there is an important diagnostic criterion: symptoms must date back to childhood.  Yet, in many patients, it has been shown they don’t.

Vatsal G. Thakkar, the article’s author, proposes that in a substantial number of cases, these symptoms may be a result of chronic sleep deficit! In today’s 24/7 society, we all get less sleep than we used to, especially shift workers. We at Working Nights often discuss the importance of sleep and what happens if we do not get enough. It has a tremendous negative impact on our health and wellbeing. Learn more about these sleep findings by reading the article in the New York Times.

Posted 6 years, 2 months ago at 8:38 am.

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What’s Green and Beige and Eaten All Over?


Researchers report that up to 95% of people do not get enough potassium.  Failing to meet the standard recommended daily intake levels can lead muscular cramps, twitching, and weakness, poor reflexes, fatigue, kidney failure, lung failure, and cardiac arrest. Also, too little potassium can result in insomnia, cognitive processing delays, and depression.  Getting enough potassium is important for shift workers who are already susceptible to sleep disorders, such as insomnia and restless leg syndrome, as well as fatigue.  When working shift work, it’s important to pay attention to eating nutritiously, which isn’t always easy to do.  Planning meals ahead is often the only way to guarantee a balanced diet when working nights, in particular.

Read this article…

Posted 9 years, 2 months ago at 6:25 pm.

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