General, Research, Technology

How does night work affect health?

Do you think people should work at night? Even if we all do not want this, it’s quite difficult to imagine a world where absolutely everyone sleeps at night. There are a huge number of important government institutions and services whose work should not be interrupted 24 hours a day. Imagine that you felt ill at night, but you can’t call an ambulance, because the doctors went to bed. It's absurd, isn't it? However, experts advocate limiting this type of work to the maximum. The reason is that working at night has a negative effect on the work of circadian (biological) rhythms.

Working at night is unhealthy

Circadian rhythms are biological rhythmsan organism with a period of about 24 hours, which every living creature on Earth follows daily. Millions of years of evolution have led to the fact that circadian rhythms are responsible not only for the sleep and wake of living organisms, but also for many other factors, such as body temperature, metabolism, hormone levels, etc.

Recall that in 2017 the Nobel Prize forphysiology and medicine was awarded for the study of the mechanism of circadian rhythms. The work of three researchers who divided the prize among themselves confirmed the theory that all living organisms follow their internal biological clocks, and therefore fall asleep, wake up, eat breakfast and work at different times of the day. It is not surprising that irregular work schedules adversely affect the health, relationships, and social connections of so many people. However, neglect of sleep is the most harmful. And this is absolutely impossible to do if you want to live a long and healthy life.

Why is night work dangerous?

In 2019, the International Agency for the Study ofCancer (IARC) prepared a report on food safety, the environment and labor, which made a number of recommendations on how to work properly at night. Thus, the report says that night work is directly related to sleep and metabolic disorders, as a result of which people suffer from overweight and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, as well as, probably, cardiovascular and mental illnesses. The study notes that such work, coupled with lack of sleep, increases the risk of developing breast cancer in women.

If you can’t change the work schedule, observe the regime of work and rest and carefully monitor your health

Also, understanding that in some cases, work innight time is inevitable, researchers advise strengthening medical monitoring of employees who are forced to adhere to an irregular work schedule. Among the jobs that are associated with the risk of developing many diseases due to night work are vehicle drivers, military, police and medical professionals.

Why can not neglect sleep?

In 2014, scientists from the research centerSurrey Sleep (SSRC) in the UK found that night work affects the body at the molecular level. The study covered a small group of people and changed their usual sleep and wakefulness patterns for working at night. A blood test of the subjects showed that about 6% of the genes are designed for more or less active work at a certain time of the day. After the subjects switched to night work, this genetic accuracy decreased to 1%. By the way, you will probably be interested to know that during sleep, cerebrospinal fluid in the literal sense of the word washes the brain.

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Healthy sleep - healthy life, do not forget

Moreover, lack of sleep can lead todifficulty concentrating. So, the results of a study that analyzed multiple injuries sustained in the workplace between 1996 and 2006 showed that those who work at night have a higher risk of injuries. Also, lack of sleep can cause depression. This is evidenced by a study published in the journal National Center for Biotechnology Information, which provides evidence that working at night increases the risk of depression. So please, get enough sleep and observe the regime of work and rest.