Health Effects during Night Shift

Published: 11th July 2008
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When you are awake at night and asleep during the day, your body does not receive powerful biological cues from the amount of light in the environment. These cues are necessary to regulate the circadian rhythms that control your sleep/wake cycle. This causes difficulty in falling asleep and getting enough deep sleep. An additional problem is switching from a night schedule to a day schedule on days off, or during changes in your work shift. This switching causes the same effects as jet lag. The body needs one hour per day to adjust to changes in sleep. Night shift workers may find that impossible.

For most people it is more difficult to sleep during the day. And day sleeping is not as deep as night sleeping so this in turn decreases your ability to perform safely and efficiently. Other factors that may affect day sleeping include noise, light and social commitments. Anyone of the reasons for not sleeping adequately may interfere in other aspects of your life socially as well as your health.

About one in five workers does shift work, and working non-standard hours has been firmly linked to a number of mental and physical health problems, Bambra and her team note in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Working nights disrupts normal circadian rhythms, the researchers explain, while also throwing a person out of social synch with the rest of the world.

The sleep/wake cycle of the body is disturbed because of working in shifts. When you are awake during the night and asleep during the day, your body does not receive the proper, positive biological cues because of the amount of light that is present in the environment during the daytime. These signs are very important to regulate the circadian rhythms that control the sleep/wake cycle of the body and brain. In turn, this will pose difficulty in sleeping. Working in shifts can have an effect similar to jet lag. The body, on an average, needs one hour per day to adjust to the changes in the sleeping habit but working in shifts disrupts this. Hence the person who works in night shifts finds it quite impossible to sleep properly.
Mostly it happens because human body's natural circadian rhythms tell that the concerned person should not be working when he or she should take sleep.Many of our physical and chemical roles keep fluctuating during different times of the day. Take for example; let me tell you something about cortisol concentration which changes daily. Cortisol is the most potent glucocorticoid produced by the human adrenal.This peaks during the morning hours when glucose is needed for activity and reaches its low point late in the evening. So the chances of heart attacks are very high in the morning time.It is important to take a proper rest while working in the night shift at call centers and we can avoid the heart attacks.

Increased risks: a person working the night shift is at greater risk of various disorders, accidents and misfortunes, including: Increased likelihood of obesity, Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Higher risk of mood changes, Increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation and stomach discomfort, Higher risk of motor vehicle accidents and work-related accidents.

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