Long Hours, Evening and Shift Work

Working evening or early morning shifts makes it hard to get enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep and long work hours can make you tired (fatigued) at work. Tired workers can have a harder time focusing, putting them at higher risk for injury.


Signs of fatigue include:

  • Poor sleep, feeling tired, or falling asleep at work
  • Lack of energy or motivation; a ‘do not care’ attitude; moodiness; or poor judgment
  • Difficulty focusing on work
  • Slowed reactions or increased anger or irritability


It is good to do the following;

  • Take breaks at least every 1 to 2 hours or spend time working on another task
  • Eat healthy snacks often, such as fruit and nuts. Candy, chips, and other processed and sugary foods make you feel more tired
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • If possible, stay or go frequently into brightly lit areas to improve alertness
  • Don’t drive or operate machinery if overly tired; drowsiness increases your risk of a car crash or other incident


Think about making changes.

  • Rest on your days off and have at least one day off per week
  • Limit use of caffeine, especially five hours or more before bed
  • Make your sleeping space comfortable, dark, and quiet. Avoid lighted screens of cell phones, tablets, computers, etc., 60 to 90 minutes before bed
  • Get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each day
  • See a doctor if you are having trouble sleeping or if you fall asleep at work


Remember, getting enough sleep can save your life.

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