If you’re reading this article right now and you’re happy to admit that you’re a cranky and irritable shift worker then congratulations! Because whenever you suffer from sleep deprivation, the chances of you becoming cranky and irritable certainly increases ten fold.
Let’s be honest, it’s really hard to act all happy and chipper when you’ve only had about 4-5 hours sleep.
You can put on a bit of a facade for a little while, but that eventually fades as you begin to feel more and more tired.
The trouble with this is that you can end up taking your irritability and frustrations out on your work mates, your customers, your patients – basically anyone you come into close contact with. And worse still, you may even lose your temper with those closest to you – that is, your friends and family.
You see, blowing your top or being argumentative gets you know where. It only inflames an already flammable situation.
But unfortunately for shift workers, when you endure a lack of sleep night after night, this sleep debt causes you to act and behave in way that you would not ordinarily do.
And here lies the key.
You have to learn to recognise when you are being irritable, unreasonable and not yourself.
Take stock of the situation and even walk away if you feel like you’re about to say and do something that you may regret later on.
Remember – nothing can replace sleep and there will be times when you just can’t seem to catch up. It’s OK to feel cranky and irritable – some of the time. In fact I’d have to say that you’d be one in a million if you always felt happy and cheerful 100% of the time.
Just don’t let your emotions get the better of you because at the end of the day, nobody likes to hang around with a cranky and irritable shift worker!