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Sleep and the Night Shift

Could you have shift work sleep disorder?

Treating Shift Work Sleep Disorder continued...

If those behavioral changes don’t help, doctors can prescribe medications to help people stay alert when they need to be awake and help shift workers fall asleep.  

Stimulant medications such as Nuvigil and Provigil can relieve sleepiness when people need to be awake. These drugs are approved for the treatment of excessive sleepiness related to shift work disorder, among other conditions.

Sleep aids such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata may be prescribed to help with falling asleep. Certain antidepressants and benzodiazepines may also be used to help with sleep.

Doctors such as Fleming recommend that shift workers try proper sleep hygiene first. If that doesn’t work, talk to the doctor about medications or a referral to a sleep lab.

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Reviewed on November 29, 2011
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