Whatever you choose to label it, it’s a universal truth that having a good night’s sleep is crucial for your wellness in general. However, if you are a person who works a night shift, you could be losing out on more than simply waking up to the sun and putting your kids into bed for the night. You could be passing up the chance to be healthier.
A condition called Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) may be present in night-shift employees who have problems falling asleep.
The circadian rhythms of the body are disrupted when someone works night shifts. Our bodies’ intrinsic clocks keep the majority of us awake during the daytime. In light of this, despite how exhausted you are after having worked all night, your waking signals contrast with your need to sleep.
Thankfully, certain lifestyle changes can be beneficial to solve these issues.
The Night Shift and its effect on sleep
1) Disrupts the patterns of healthy sleep
Your entire well-being largely depends on your sleep. Your body eliminates pollutants, heals damage, and lowers stress as you rest. Working the night shift disturbs these critical functions. Many ailments can result from it.
2) Raises the possibility of breast cancer
Compared to women who exclusively work during the day, those who work at nighttime have a much higher chance of developing breast cancer. Additionally, it is irrelevant if you just work the night shift occasionally or regularly.
3) Raises the likelihood of a heart attack
A 2012 research published in the British Medical Journal found that working the night shift increases one’s risk of having a heart attack by 7%. Researchers speculated that the shift in sleep patterns has an impact on blood pressure and circulation, but the study did not specifically answer why the risk was higher for individuals who work the night shift.
4) Raises the chances of suffering from depression
Your mental health suffers as a result of working the night shift. Numerous studies demonstrate that working the night shift increases your chances of developing depression and other mood disorders.
5) Raises the likelihood of workplace accidents
Working the night shift requires going against your body’s natural tendency to shut down several significant tasks, such as awareness and movement. Even though you may try to push yourself to stay up and active, your body still craves sleep.
Focus, concentration, efficiency, and fine motor abilities all suffer as a result. In some industries, the danger of damage drastically rises when you can’t give your job your whole concentration.
6) Manipulates your metabolism
Your hormones control your metabolism to a large extent. For instance, the hormone leptin is essential for controlling your body weight, sugar levels, and insulin levels.
Working the night shift disrupts the production and flow of this important hormone.
7) Enhances the chances of diabetes and obesity
Your risk of obesity and diabetes increases if you sleep throughout the day and work at night. These conditions affect night shift workers and are brought on by an unbalance in hormone levels. The actual risk here is that the hormonal imbalance can still cause obesity and diabetes even if you follow a balanced diet.
8) Raises the possibility of digestive issues
All of the aforementioned effects can build up over time if you work the night shift often and result in digestive issues including ulcers and diarrhea. That may exacerbate your current issues and raise more significant medical issues.
9) Inhibits the production of melatonin
Working the night shift exposes you to light at times of the day when your body is accustomed to darkness. Melatonin release and synthesis are suppressed by this inversion of light and dark. The regulation of the sleep and waking cycles is carried out by melatonin.
Because of the drop in melatonin production, it will be difficult for you to fall asleep comfortably or for long enough for your body to recover. You can experience chronic sleep deprivation as a result, which is extremely detrimental to your health.
10) Exhausts the body of necessary vitamin D
You need vitamin D for good health. It supports bone formation and aids in calcium absorption. Osteomalacia (misshaped bones), along with a wide range of other conditions, are brought on by deficiency of vitamin D, including:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Heart condition
Consuming foods like cheese, yogurt, tofu, and salmon will help you acquire enough vitamin D. But sunshine is where you get the majority of your vitamin D. Your body doesn’t get the vitamin D it needs to be healthy when you work the night shift and sleep during the daytime.
Practice a proper sleep schedule if you have been diagnosed with SWSD since it is amongst the most crucial things you can follow to ensure you receive enough sleep. This might involve creating and adhering to a regular nighttime schedule and creating a sleep-friendly atmosphere, such as keeping your bedroom area dark, cold, and quiet. Plan to go to bed immediately once your shift is complete.
Examine both the advantages and disadvantages of working night shifts before shifting to night work, as well as what you can do to ease the transition.
Decide if the day shift or the night shift is best for your particular scenario after writing down your aims and goals for both your professional and personal life.
In order to acquire fresh opinions on the problem, you could even want to speak with someone who has or is now working the night shift.
Making the effort to carefully consider your options will help you to make the best preference possible.
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