Night Shifts Are Harmful for Your Health

Shift work has become the lifestyle of many people. And if you work or you are planning to do it in the evening or at night, you should be aware of the issues this schedule causes. Your brain, digestive, cardiovascular systems, and your general state might be attacked by negative sides of having such a job. Let's focus on the most unfortunate features of shift work to help you to arrange your work schedule properly.

Sleep Disruption

Obviously, if you do not sleep during the most efficient period of time for that, your troubles with sleep begin. This key health issue directly connected with shift work was studied by numerous scientist including Akerstedt who concluded in his study in 2003 that night shift workers encounter more disorders with their sleep than people working during the day.

Daytime is the time that brings alertness but people working at night are very prone to fall asleep at this very period when their brain is mostly active. Moreover, night workers are sleepy during their shift because the lowest point of circadian pattern happens in the early morning and it is low during the whole night. As an inevitable result, the quality of sleep worsens dramatically.

Breast Cancer

It has been presumed that working at night might be one of the risks of breast cancer as far as melatonin levels are disrupted what influences growth of tumour. This theory was confirmed by several scientists according to the information provided by the Institute for Work and Health in Canada.

In 2003 Schernhammer and Hankinson analysed various studies about women working at night and the levels of risks of breast cancer due to the exposure to the night light during working hours. Their findings reveal that breast cancer risk is somewhat associated with various features of light exposure during the night.

The Nurses’ Health Study conducted in the U.S. was one of the demonstrative and famous examples the scientists analysed. In total, there were 78,562 ladies followed. In 1988 they were asked about the numbers of years they devoted to a rotating night shifts and then healthy ladies were observed for 10 years to reveal breast cancer. It was discovered that women with 30-year experience of working night shifts had 36% higher risk of breast cancer in comparison to women working day shifts.

Psychological Disorders

All of us are unhappy sometimes with our work, but people on night shifts demonstrate more prominent psychological disorders caused by their job than people working at day light. The researchers from the Institute for Work and Health in Canada share the results of Jamal’s and Haines’s studies which prove that shift workers suffer from higher burnout, job stress, headaches, sleep disorders, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion.

These issues are partially caused by family conflicts provoked by night shifts from one side, and intensive fatigue from another. In addition, night workers might feel socially isolated, which causes depression.

Heart Diseases

According to the report of Dr. Frost Frost from the Aarhus University Hospital, there is a link between heart disease and shift work. This connection is influenced by numerous stresses of psychological, physiological and/or behavioral nature.

In fact, 28 years ago it was concluded by Kristensen that the risk of heart disease for shift workers had increased to 40% in comparison to day workers. The group of scientists identified 35% of the risk in 2009.

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