Medical Advice

Diseases you risk to develop by working in night shifts

The night, with its eternal mysticism, usually brings the peace and relaxation necessary for our physical and pychological recovery. However, this can be an extremely misleading period of the day, in which life and death are inextricably intertwined in a paradoxical collusion and which leaves your body in its most vulnerable state.

Generally, a human being is programmed to sleep during the night time, in the daily interval of 24 hours. Even if you might be better paid by your boss during the night hours, you also might endanger your health.

working in night shifts diseases

working in night shifts diseases

If you usually work during night shifts, you must have noticed that you have problems concentrating, memorizing information or doing normal activities without feeling exhausted, irritated and sometimes dizzy. You should also know that in some cases, working in night shifts can also lead to the development of severe diseases, such as cancer.

Diseases you risk to develop by working in night shifts

50 years ago only 2% of people around the world used to sleep just 6 hours or less per night. Nowadays, the number of those who prefer to be active during night time has increased to 28 %. 
Researchers believe that the most dangerous jobs for our health are those of air traffic controllers, truck drivers, pilots or sailors. Having a lower degree of risk of developing diseases there are the jobs of factory workers, policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses, hotel employees or all the other people choosing to work in night shifts.

Night shifts affect the body natural rhythm, slowing down the metabolism and in the same time consuming our energy. Therefore, people who chose to work during night shifts are prone to obesity. The exposure to artificial light during the night is an important factor contributing to the process of gaining weight in an unexpected manner.

Scientists believe that this factor could explain why people gain weight despite keeping a balanced diet.
The hypothesis was confirmed by the tests made on mice, which managed to gain weight even though their food intake was unchanged. At the end of the study, these mice were 33% more corpulent than those who had been exposed to day light.

In addition, “night birds” are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. The theoretical basis of this research is represented by the fact that the melatonin (which inhibits the tumor growth) is suppressed by the exposure to light at night.

Even if the effects of melatonin in cancer development in humans are not yet well understood, you should be more careful with the way you treat your body.

Moreover, you should know that the perfect environment for a restful sleep is characterized by:

  • a dark room (you should avoid the light of lamps or of that coming from the TV);
  • the temperature should be high enough so that a blanket is sufficient to make you feel comfortable;
  • quiet atmosphere;
  • comfort – condition determined by your mattress, pillow or linen;
  • avoid the consumption of coffee or alcohol before sleeping. Also, bear in mind that smoking or taking sedative drugs induce snoring and nocturnal apnea.

The mental and physical status during a typical day depends, undoubtedly, on our sleep. Depending on its quality and quantity, we can wake up very energetic and ready to face new challenges or tired, angry and frustrated with no desire to accomplish everything we have in mind.

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