With all the work pressure and difficulties in a call center job, most call center agents especially the new ones are facing various challenges. And one of those is how to cope with sleeping problems.
“[The study] reveals that 42.6 percent of BPO employees in the Philippines work the night shift, which is associated with occupational safety and health concerns, such as sleep disorders, fatigue, eye strain; neck, shoulder and back pains; and voice problems.” – Department of Labor and Employment.
Sleeping problems are very common to every call center agent. This is because most of them are working at night during their graveyard shifts and it is inevitable given that call centers are operating 24/7.
A study by International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2010 proved that indeed majority of those working in call centers are suffering from work-related health problems.
What are the common sleeping problems?
Not only call center agents of course are suffering from sleeping problems because many individuals also experience such. It is important to know things related to these to be aware if you yourself or someone is also having the same problems.
So, here are some of the sleeping problems that are common to most call center agents:
- ‘Shift work’ sleeping problem
This is usually present to call center agents because of their changing schedule. There are times that they work during nighttime and sometimes during daytime which makes their bodies’ biological clock out of synchronization.
One’s biological clock can be affected by light or darkness, which can make the body thinks it is time to sleep or to wake up. And since its cycle can be destroyed due to night or rotating shifts at work, ‘shift work’ sleeping problems occur.
Although some call center agents can easily adjust to this, there are still many of them who are having difficulties. They get less quality sleep that results to struggle with sleepiness and mental lethargy during worktime.
Call center agents are known for always having foods and drinks with caffeine. This is because they need to stay awake especially during night work. However, this can result to one common type of sleep disorder which is insomnia.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Individuals who are suffering from this are waking up frequently during the night.
Many call center agents are experiencing this not only because of the amount of caffeine in foods or drinks they intake but also because of the stress they get from work.
- Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) is a sleeping disorder in which a person’s sleep is delayed by 2 or more hours with the socially acceptable or conventional bedtime.
Many of the call center agents are also experiencing this because of the change in their sleeping time. Their bodies’ biological clock has already adopted due to graveyard shifts that somehow force themselves to extend working.
Is it still possible to stay healthy?
Graveyard shift is unavoidable to call centers. This means that call center agents really need to adjust with their sleeping lifestyle.
There are some ways that they can follow to prevent sleeping problems like setting a sleeping schedule, modifying the sleeping environment, limiting their caffeine intake, having regular exercise and choosing healthier foods to eat.
Even though it is not good for one’s health to always stay awake at night and sleep at day, it is still possible for them to have a healthy lifestyle as long as they understand and know the possible risks and willing to make effort for a better lifestyle.