About six million people in Germany work in alternating shifts – because it is necessary. Finally, most want to be get treated by us in the morning, fresh bread rolls, and, what is much more important: in the event of an emergency. Without the shift that would be unthinkable.

workers may have shift work but has serious health consequences. A study by British scientists came to aftermath : Increased blood fat values, a chaotic hormonal balance and an increased risk for heart attack and stroke seem to work in rotating shift.

The researchers also noted: women overall, a bad with a layer of work to be done . They still suffer more than their male colleagues, sleep disorders, hypertension and diseases of the circulatory system.

For employees working in alternating shifts, the entire day, all 24 hours, in the Early, Late and night shifts, split. In these Operated also on Sundays and public holidays worked.

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these working conditions can trigger discomfort, of our biological day-night rhythm. Because it is closely connected with the light of day. People who work regularly at night or late in the evening, mess up in the long run, your rhythm. The result is hormonal chaos, with the consequences described.

But the law provides. From the law on working time arrangements, the arise, first for all workers – not just for those who work in alternating shifts – apply:

Per working day must not be worked for more than eight hours. In exceptions, the working hours must not exceed ten hours a day. Between the end of the shift and re-shift the beginning of at least eleven hours of resting time.

For employees who regularly work at night, are the provisions of the act more comprehensively:

the night shift Is longer than eight hours, must be compensated for Overtime within four weeks. employees working at night receive a wage Supplement or time off in lieu.

in addition, the working hours act provides further rules: it Should give new scientific findings in terms of the exchange layer, these must be from the employer. One of these findings, the so-called forward exchange. The layers will switch from Early to Late to night shifts and not Vice versa.

in addition, occupational physicians recommend that a maximum in three night shifts in a row is to be used. Permanent night shifts are not recommended. In addition, doctors advise, after the last night shifts of the employees at least 24 hours of free time to give. So the body can begin returning to its normal rhythm.

tips for employees

shift workers but can also do something for your health: you can adjust your daily life to the rhythm.

If you change, for example, every two or three days the layer, you should be on the last working day of the layer a little go to bed later and later . As your body gets used to the fact that he has to bring the next day until later, but longer performance.

More on the topic of leisure instead of a wage increase, Many shift workers work for less

This is also true for the Transition from the recovery time in the morning shift. Suppose you start on Tuesdays, with the first morning shift, then you should already be on Mondays, a little earlier to get up . So are you prepared in the evening, tired earlier and for the second, also on Tuesday early in the morning.


If you go to the night shift home, you should wear a pair of sunglasses. Your retina gets too much sun light , you might get issues with falling Asleep.

Easy food

Avoid oily and heavy food after work if you want, then quickly to bed. The lie to you in the stomach and to be able to fall asleep quickly.

a Ritual to find

If you do this every day before going to bed the Same, your body will adapt to it and the Signal store . A certain music or the popular piece of chocolate can be rituals such Sleep. After some time, fall Asleep afterwards with a lighter.

sources of interference

switching off When you sleep then, when all the others are awake, you need to. isolate To fall into the relaxing deep sleep, you should phone and, if possible, even the doorbell off. Not Ideal, this is also when the bedroom is warmer than 19 degrees Celsius, and you can set it to darken. So you can play for your body, it is a night.


Some of the shift workers to try it with alcohol, to the Late – or night shift sleep. Possible that the Sleep succeeds better, the sleep . Alcohol is a nerve poison that prevents the body from falling in the regenerative phases of deep sleep.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.