Night-shift jobs can disrupt the functioning of the natural clock of the body, making us prone to some major health issues including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, insomnia, gastrointestinal diseases, and many more.
Night shifts are a common phenomenon in many industries and part of many people’s regular workday. But some employees work irregular shifts for prolonged periods of time which make them prone to many health issues. Working night shifts makes your body operate on a schedule that goes against the natural process, leading to some deadly diseases.
A Japanese study has found that night shift workers are at a 50 percent higher risk of diabetes, especially the ones working for 16 hours or more. It has also been linked to metabolic syndrome – a combination of health problems including obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Irregular shifts disrupt your sleeping patterns and add to the lost sleeping hours. Going against the natural clock will obviously take a toll on your health. You will become less attentive and it will also affect your overall performance at work.
Night-shifts can increases the risk of depression probably because working late night disrupts the natural process of the circadian system. It also causes certain social issues that decrease your sense of happiness as you drift away from people due to the irregular hours.
Many factors can be cited as possible causes of you becoming obese such as bad eating habits, lack of exercise and hormonal imbalance. Leptin – a hormone which helps in regulating our appetite – is lower during the night which makes you feel hungrier and you end up eating more than you would otherwise.
Also read: Childhood Obesity
Over the decades, various studies have found a relation between working late night shifts and heart diseases. One such research found that night-shifts can increase the risk of heart diseases by 40 percent.
Also read: 5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy at Work
This is a short-term health effect of working irregular shifts but it can be a hurdle. Aside from the general fatigue, you may experience symptoms like an upset stomach, diarrhoea, constipation and heartburn – all of which are gastrointestinal diseases. But if taken care of in time, these short-term problems can progress into something more serious.
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