If you work during the night, or in the graveyard shift, as it is commonly known, there are certain health effects that you might have to deal with. Working in shifts can jeopardize your body and brain, both. Read on to find out the night shift health effects.
Night Shift Health Effects
- It becomes quite impossible to have a sound sleep during the daytime. Not only because a human brain is programmed to rest and sleep during the night, but also because of the noise, which is perhaps the biggest disturbing factor. People who sleep during the day have to deal with noisy neighbors, children, traffic, etc.
- The brain generally requires atleast 8 hours of sleep to feel nourished and rested. But because of the busy environment during the daytime, it is not always possible to sleep 8 hours everyday. As a result, your body will be tired and you will feel fatigued the whole time.
- 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. Inturn, 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.
- Working the whole night can also cause heart attacks. People who work during the night and sleep during the day are more susceptible to heart diseases and even heart attacks, mainly, because of their work pattern. This is because of lack of proper sleep, stressing your body during the night, chronic stress, etc.
- Not only heart attack, an irregular heart beat is a good indicator of the condition of your heart and your body as well. Irregular heart beat can occur when you work during the night and try and sleep during the day. It is also a good indicator of how your body is taking this whole change in the sleep cycle. An irregular heart beat can cause several other diseases in the body as well.
- Another very important problem that night shift workers face is they are not able to relax from the work environment, after their shift is over. This might not seem to be an important thing, but it sure is. People who work during the day time mostly have 3-4 hours before they go to bed. But night shift workers generally come home and get right into the bed with all the stress and tension of work with them. It is very important to relax and distance yourself from the stress of the work before you go to bed. One can listen to music, eat something healthy or watch some kind of TV show to relax.