Night Shift Sleep Issues? How to Work the 3rd Shift and Sleep Well

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sleeping well for night shift workersIn order to keep up with production demands in our continuously expanding global economy, millions of Americans are required to work the dreaded night shift (also commonly referred to as the graveyard shift or 3rd shift).

For people who work a standard 9-5 day job, the night shift doesn’t seem so bad. After all, don’t people who work the night shift have all day to do what they want to do? Sounds like a pretty good deal to some!

However, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

You see, people who work the night shift often suffer from a variety of sleep-related issues, not to mention other health risks. If you want to find out if you are at risk, and what you can do to improve your quality of sleep, as well as your overall health and wellness, then keep reading.

What are the common sleep issues night shift workers suffer from?

Shift work sleep disorder occurs when your body’s circadian rhythm, or natural internal clock, gets thrown out of sync.

Unlike people who work during the day and are able to rest at night, the internal clock of night shift workers gets thrown off because they are not able to follow the naturally occurring rest and awake patterns of nature (

By not being able to use day and night as a natural guide for normal sleep patterns, a variety of issues can arise, including:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep apnea
  • Falling asleep on the job
  • Higher stress levels

and more. In addition to these short-term problems related to shift work, there can also be long-term consequences including:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of stroke

and more. If you are experiencing any health related issues due to shift work, you can contact us and we can schedule a sleep evaluation to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea.

Cope with these issues and sleep during the day

One of the most common questions we hear at our West Babylon office from shift workers is, “How can I sleep better during the day so I can feel more alert while working at night?”

It’s a tough question because your body is fighting the natural tendency to want to sleep at night and stay awake during the day, which is partially responsible for the issues you are experiencing. That being said, here are a few things you can do to get better sleep during the day:

    • Turn out all lights and buy black curtains. If you want to get your best sleep possible during the day, you need to mimic the conditions your body would experience if you were trying to fall asleep at night. This means the bedroom should be as dark as possible.
    • Develop a routine. A lack of routine can be a contributing factor in your inability to sleep during the day. You need a “before bed” routine, just as if you were going to sleep at night. Brush your teeth, read a book, listen to some calming music, etc.
    • Avoid caffeine toward the end of your shift. Even though it is technically morning, if you are going to sleep in a couple of hours, you need to eliminate or significantly reduce your caffeine intake.
    • Take a nap before your shift starts. Oftentimes, taking a 60-90 minute nap followed by a shower will help wake you up before your shift starts.
    • Try dark glasses or a sleep mask. Again, this goes back to “tricking” your body into believing it is nighttime. If your eyes are not able to sense light, it is typically much easier to fall asleep.
    • Avoid alcohol before trying to sleep. While alcohol may initially help, it will only hurt you in the long run. It can create dependence, and also disrupt an already tumultuous sleep cycle.

Why is this a big deal?

So you lose a little sleep and you are a little groggy at work; no big deal, right? Sure you don’t feel 100%, but that’s just part of the daily grind, and you’ll have some time off in a few days.

Wrong. In fact, many night shift accidents have been linked to sleep apnea, other conditions related to fatigue, insomnia, et cetera (

Because of this, it may soon become a liability to not allow night shift workers an extended break period when they can take a nap. If fatigue and lack of sleep are responsible for accidents every day, instituting mandatory nap time and sleep apnea testing would make sense.

Treatment options available from Babylon Dental Care

At Babylon Dental Care, we can help night shift workers who may be suffering from sleep apnea. While not all night shift-related insomnia and fatigue is related to sleep apnea, in many cases it is.

If you are experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms mentioned, it is important that you contact our office in order to schedule your sleep apnea evaluation.

Call us today and ask to speak with our Sleep Apnea Coordinator, Sharon ( Sharon has a wealth of knowledge in regard to sleep apnea treatment, and can set up a free sleep apnea evaluation with Dr. Clifford Brown, our sleep apnea treatment specialist at Babylon Dental Care.

Getting treatment for sleep apnea is important

If you have sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment, as major accidents have occurred right here in New York due to sleep apnea. If you operate heavy machinery at work, or work in close proximity with individuals who do, you are at a higher risk for serious injury as a result of apnea.

If you are searching for a new dentist on the South Shore of Long Island in or around the West Babylon or Patchogue areas to help treat your sleep apnea, please give our practice nearest you a call today! We have two locations (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay and Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza) and would love to meet you and your family.

Don’t wait. Give our office nearest you a call today in order to schedule your complimentary sleep apnea evaluation!

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“Amazing experience getting my teeth cleaned at Babylon Dental Care. Melody is fantastic and provided a top-notch painless service. Highly recommend.”

Ron S


“Absolutely incredible team. From the very moment you walk in you're greeted with kindness and people who want to help you. When I was asked how everything was I literally told them I was speechless. Having had terrible experiences as a kid with dentistry I wasn't sure if the nice things I've heard and read would live up to my expectation. I'm so glad they met them, and even went above and beyond what I had imagined. They offered me several options (a comfort menu) for things I could ask for to help make the time go by easier and with less anxiety.. all for free! If you have been holding off due to how long it's been and how anxious you might be then take this as your sign to look into coming here. I really truly am so glad I overcame my fear and made my appointment, they are just *that* good”

Brian K


“Really love this office, they are so kind and non judge mental, I have dealt with so many judge mental dental offices and I have felt totally at ease here. Truly grateful to find them. Dr David is so gentle and for the first time ever I don’t have an anxiety attack coming in to the dentist. The ladies in the front are a pleasure as well, Beth is a breathe of fresh air.”

Angela P


“I had my teeth cleaned by Melody and she did an incredible job. She is gentle, and caring. My teeth look and feel amazing! I normally hate going to the dentist but now look forward to my cleanings with Melody and this location! Everyone is this office is so kind and sweet from the moment you walk in.”

Gillian W


“This was my first time at this Dental office. I went in for a cleaning and dental exam. The office is Clean and modern. I felt comfortable and welcomed right from the start. My hygienist 'Melody' was great! I feel that she was very thorough, talked me through everything she was doing and made recommendations for improving my routine at home. My dental exam with Dr. Diamond was just as pleasant. I liked that she also took her time and I didn't feel rushed. All-in-all it was a good experience. The entire team at the clinic displayed a high level of professionalism and made me feel comfortable throughout my visit.”

Brenda S


“Love this office and all staff! From the front desk, to the hygienist, the dentists and the lovely ladies that check you out, it’s a top notch experience. I trust them 100%!”

Marian P


“Dr. David and the entire staff at Babylon Dental Care are amazing! Every single person who works there is so kind compassionate. I’m a very nervous patient and Dr. David and his assistant Amber made me feel so at ease. I highly recommend Babylon Dental Care especially if you’re an anxious patient!”

Elisabeth D


“From the moment I walked in it was a great experience. The facility is modern and clean. I was treated extremely well. And I really don't like going to the dentist but I'm actually looking forward to my next visit. Everyone I met was great! Thank you for making me feel comfortable.”

Tom M


“Everyone in the Patchogue office are wonderful! Kind, caring, and attentive. I have always hated dentists but I am never anxious to come there. I can honestly say I have NEVER felt this at ease. Thank you all for making this a wonderful experience for me. I won’t ever hesitate to go to the dentist again!”

Susan G


“First visit and everyone was so nice and made the transition to a new dentist seamless! Corinn did a great cleaning and explained everything as she was doing it!”

Kayleigh P


“I would highly recommend Babylon Dental Care. The Drs and Staff are all very friendly and professional. They take the extra time to explain the procedures which are truly done gently and with care. I saw Dr. Knakal and Dr. Diamond. The lobby is comfortable and the dental work areas are immaculate. Also, I have never had to wait very long before being seen!”

Regina B


“First time here, never felt so comfortable at the dentist. Super clean and friendly staff. Corrin and Dr. Brown are absolutely wonderful! Very thorough and knowledgeable.”

Cara P


“This is quite possibly the most impressive Dental office I’ve ever seen. All the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The office is so gorgeous through out. I loved my hygienist, she was very knowledgeable and very thorough and informative about being proactive with your hygiene habits. Dr Hsu was amazing. I highly recommend him. Very professional and explains everything he’s doing and that you’re comfortable during the visit. I’m really glad I found this office and my new Dentist.”

Angel W


“I have been using Babylon Dental Care for almost 10 years. Dr. Brown, Jen, Melody and Michelle are incredible. They are always concerned with the patients well being and health making it a different experience. They treat you like family, not a patient. I use them for dentistry and their silent night therapy. Thank you for taking care of my family. Great job team!”

Chuck M


“I've been coming here for about a year and a half. I have always had Francesca and she's great. She's always professional, friendly and honest with me. They have a pretty good system with the walkie-talkies too which makes the process more or less pretty smooth. I also really appreciate that they are transparent up front with cost, not many places are like that in my experiences.”

Scott A


“Professional and courteous staff, every time I come here I’m more than satisfied. Dr Wrann & Dr Knakal are exceptionally good. I would highly recommend Babylon Dental!”

Nick S


“Very professional staff and the hygienist Melody is amazing. The dentist are very thorough and they explained every little bit of details of your procedure. They make you feel so relaxed and welcoming. I would recommend Babylon Dental Care to anyone.”

Verona B


“I recently moved approximately 300 miles away, I continue to make the trip back to Babylon Dental Care. My hygienist Paige could not be kinder, friendlier or professional. I have been having issues with bone loss in my jaws and now it's time for implants. Dr. Knakal has been outstanding. I know I am in the best hands. Everyone I have dealt with at BDC from the receptionists to the checkout personnel are awesome! I will be continuing to make the trip for all my dental care.”

Pete R


“Babylon Dental Care is an amazing practice! I had an issue with my teeth and they took me immediately. Their friendly and compassionate staff walked me through each step and in a matter of a week I had that tooth extracted and my flipper ready for every day use! You can’t even tell I have it in! The office is spotless and they even have Netflix! How cool is that! You’re welcomed as soon as you walk in and they made me feel so comfortable. Dr. Golo and Dr. Knakal took such good care of me and I would recommend them to anyone! The office is so convenient and literally across the street from my home so it doesn’t get better than that! Thank you Babylon Dental!”

Joseph S


“I've never had such an amazing experience at a dentist. They are so kind, so caring, so friendly, and really make you feel appreciated and not just like a patient number. I am blown away by the care I received here, and will be recommending them to everyone I know!”

Jessica C


“I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this practice. Best dental practice ever! Everyone is so kind, caring and respectful. I don't dread going to the dentist anymore. I've had a lot of work done and am extremely pleased. They are very gentle and strive to keep you pain free. Very professional from reception on up. I highly recommend Babylon Dental. Would give them 10 stars if I could!”

Debra B


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Beth L


“At Babylon Dental Care, “care” is given from arrival to check out. I was anxious; it had been a few years since my last filling. From the moment I walked into the exam room, Karen comforted me. She explained the process, answered my questions and talked with me to keep me calm. Dr. Wrann was excellent! I did not have any pain before, during or after the procedure. So happy! Thank you to a truly great team!”

Kristina F


“I went there during covid as my dentist was shut down by the pandemic. They really do everything they can to make you feel good about your experience. Melanie who cleans my teeth as well is wonderful and does a great job everything by the time I leave I don't want to go. Excellent place for dental work. They go above and beyond.”

Connor L