How to use Loop for shift work

Written by: Harry Booth



Time to read 2 min

Shift work can be challenging due to its impact on the body's natural circadian rhythm. However, light therapy is a promising non-pharmacological option for mitigating the worst effects of shift work. In particular, the Osin Loop, when used alongside modern shift work apps, offers a promising solution to mitigate these effects and improve overall well-being.

The Shift Work Myth

Contrary to common belief, shift workers never fully adjust to their schedules. Our bodies are inherently tuned to the Earth's day-night cycle, and sudden changes in work hours disrupt this natural rhythm. This misalignment can lead to safety hazards, reduced performance, and health issues.

Risks of Circadian Disruption from Shift Work

Shift work is widely known to disrupt sleep. It can also reduce productivity, weaken the immune system, and have long-term health consequences, impacting overall quality of life.

Shift work is not only bad for an individual’s health—it can be bad for business, often resulting in increased accidents, errors, absenteeism, and turnover rates.
Despite its drawbacks, in many industries, shift work is necessary to keep modern society functioning. While we can’t avoid shift work altogether, there are ways to minimise its worst effects.

How to Minimise the Impact of Shift Work Impact

Light is the primary cue that sets the timing of our circadian rhythm. That's why light therapy is a promising option for avoiding shift work disorder. But the timing of light is crucial and providing generic advice to shift workers is challenging due to the wide range of schedules. 

A new generation of apps offers personalised recommendations based on individual schedules. These apps simulate circadian rhythms and suggest optimal times for light exposure, darkness, and the use of caffeine and melatonin to help adjust the internal clock rapidly.

New Generation Shift Work Apps

For personalised recommendations, consider consulting a shift work coach like Roger Sutherland, especially if you have unique scheduling constraints.

Using the Osin Loop

Loop on a desk

While modern apps like Arcashift and Timeshifter provide valuable guidance on light exposure and timing, practical constraints often hinder their implementation. Imagine needing bright light during office hours but being stuck in a windowless workspace. This is where the Osin Loop shines.

When you need bright light, Loop’s blue-sky light mimics the biological effects of sunlight exposure indoors. And when you need to avoid light, Loop’s zero-blue amber glow is ideal, ensuring minimal disruption to your body's internal clock. Note, by default, Loop emits blue-sky light from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and automatically transitions to zero-blue light at night. However, if Arcashift or Timeshifter recommends seeking bright light outside of these hours, you can manually adjust the time zone via the Osin App.

The Osin Loop is simple to use. Place it on your desk or nearby, and let it supplement your workspace with its tuned light spectrum. Using the Osin Loop in conjunction with shift work apps can help you stay alert during night shifts and wind down after early morning shifts, all while minimizing the negative effects of irregular light exposure on your body's natural rhythms.

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For further insights, listen to Osin's founder, Ralph Booth, discuss circadian lighting and shift work on A Healthy Shift Podcast, hosted by veteran shift worker Roger Sutherland.