When working a job that includes shift work, it's important to know when the right time to measure is for you. As "I work shifts, when should I measure?" is a broad question, we have listed a number of scenarios below to help answer all different scenarios.
The main rules for measuring are the following:
- Measure at the same time each morning, after the same amount of sleep.
- Always measure right away, after waking up, before any movement or snoozing, etc.
- We allow a maximum of ± 2h change in sleep and time - if you have slept or woken up more/less 2h than usual, you should exclude that day's measurement.
- We recommend adding five values a week.
1. I work the night shift two days a week, and a day shift four days a week.
For you, you should measure during the mornings of your day shift, as you most often work the day shift. This will give the most consistent measurements and the most accurate data. If you have a day off, please try to measure at the same time as you would on a day you work the day shift to maximize days of data each week. When working the night shift, we recommend that you continue measuring after your daily rest to keep up the habit but exclude the temperature due to "slept differently".
2. I work only night shifts:
Then you should measure in the afternoon after your daily sleep according to your sleep schedule - as this is your "morning" and when you start the day. If you have a day off, please try to measure at the same time as you would on a working day to maximize days of data each week - alternatively, if your sleeping habits are very different on your days off, make sure to exclude your temperature on those days.
3. I have "On Call" shifts, where my sleep varies during my shift (e.g., doctor, nurses):
For you, this may mean that you cannot measure at all during the day/nights when you are on call, as you will not reach your deep sleep and, therefore, not your resting temperature. On the other days, you should try to measure at roughly the same time (please also refer to paragraph 1. for further guidance).
4. I alternate weekly between day and night shift:
In this case, you will need to change the time of measurement every week. You should exclude the temperature for the 1st day of each new shift week so that your body gets a chance to get accustomed. For your days off, please try to measure at the same time as on a working day to maximize days of data each week.
5. I constantly work different shifts throughout the week:
This may make measuring very difficult, as you will constantly be changing your regular sleeping schedule. You should try and measure at the same time after roughly the same amount of sleep, so try and map out the ideal day for this according to your schedule.
As a shift worker, you may experience more temperature fluctuations, and you may have more red (for Prevent) and brown (for Plan) days, as the app may struggle in confirming ovulation and has a high safety requirement on a green day. Adding in LH testing may help the algorithm pinpoint ovulation, and may help the algorithm give more green days. You can buy them in our webshop*.
If you feel that you do not fit in with the above examples, please feel free to send us an email and make sure to explain your typical work and sleep schedule (on a day to day basis would help us give you a detailed answer).