Working late nights can take a toll on your health, sleeping patterns and lifestyle. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, especially women who work late nights or rotational shifts might experience shorter lifespans and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
How does working late nights affect your health?
Now, the body is synchronized to night and day by a part of the brain known as the circadian clock. In the evening, when the light starts to wane, your clock notices and prompts a flood of a brain chemical called melatonin, which gives the body the signal to fall asleep. On the other hand, during the day certain chemicals or neurotransmitters like noradrenaline and acetylcholine increase in the body and they keep you awake. So, the other functions like digestion, heart rate, blood pressure fluctuate according to the circadian clock. This changing activity is known as circadian rhythm.
According to World Health Organization, the repeated disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm increases susceptibility to heart and brain problems.
Shift workers – health risks:
One important function that follows the circadian rhythm is internal body temperature. This temperature increases though the day and reduces during late evenings and nights. As the body temperature increases, it is more difficult to stay asleep. Probably this is the reason you’ve had a hard time falling asleep at 8 am. Working shifts may also increase your risk to other health problems like:
risk of obesity
– increased risk of cardiovascular disease
– mood wings
– increased risk of cancer, especially breast cancer
– gastrointestinal problems like constipation or stomach discomfort
– diabetes patients may have a problem controlling their blood sugar levels