Shift Work is something that many people around the world face today. These people include, young doctors, nurses, cleaners, factory workers, construction workers and many more. Variable shift work such as morning and afternoons are not as dangerous as graveyard shifts. If you don't know what the graveyard shift is, it is when you work the darkest hours of the night. This is generally between 10 at night and 6 in the morning.
Research findings show that long term late night shift work can have a large impact on your health. Everyone knows that they have, in lay-mans terms, something called a body clock. This body clock is set to the amount of light your body receives and the temperatures surrounding the body. You can prove to yourself that this is true by trying to sleep in the morning with the blinds pulled aside. Although this is possible, it is much harder to fall asleep and the sleep that you get is of a poorer quality. Trying to fall asleep at night is significantly easier because the body registers that there is less light available. It also registers that the surrounding temperature is beginning to drop and therefore your metabolism drops.
So if you are performing shift work, your body will be finding it hard to fall into a deep sleep. This means that when you wake up, you will not feel as refreshed unless you have more hours of sleep. Because you are receiving poorer quality sleep, you need more of it. In a psychological way, you will feel that you are beginning to waste too much time sleeping and hence try to reduce the amount of sleep you get to a set number of hours. This will then cause sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation causes increased health risks such as obesity, cardiovascular (heart) disease, stress.
My Dad was driving to work one night and the next thing he knew was that he was in the hospital with us looking over him. He had driven into a street lamp and written off his car. Luckily he did not have any severe injuries. So he went back to work. And then it happened again. The doctor advised him to work the day shift, which he did for a while. He became happier and more lively and even began to lose some weight. Then he went back to night shift. He was now grumpier and since he's obviously no longer as young as he used to be, sleeping more and more hours. Luckily, due to the world economic crisis, there has been less work which means the night shift has been cut and there are only day shifts.
My point is that shift work is hazardous to anyone who performs it and I think it should be avoided at all costs. I feel that I am lucky in that my dad has been able to afford for me a good education so that I do not have to work late nights. However, upon beginning full-time work, I have seen senior employees and executives work 50 to 60 hour weeks. They even wake up at midnight to attend conference calls at home. This to me is equivalent to working a night shift and why I think everyone should have a good hard look at their current jobs. Are you working too many hours and of those hours, how many are late night hours? Wouldn't you like to have more energy during the day, wake up feeling refreshed and live the natural way, the way God had designed your body to work?
I have recently had a close look at my own working life and even though I haven't been working full-time very long, I don't want to have to work extensive and possibly late night hours. So I decided to learn about online marketing and the benefits it offered me such as being able to get a good nights sleep every night and be a happier healthier human being (It even lets me work my own hours!). I'm not trying to tell you that online marketing is great (even though it is!). By all means, go and find a better job. One that lets you work daytime hours or if possible work even less hours. I just wanted to share my experiences about the dangers of shift work and hopefully this will improve your quality of living. Avoid the risk and reap the benefits of getting quality sleep.