Good sleep is one of the main components of good human health. Unfortunately, not everyone has been honored to work according to the schedule for 8 hours 5 days a week, and therefore get enough sleep. A considerable part of our citizens periodically work the night shift. Basically, these are shift workers — doctors, drivers, police, fire service, factories, mines and factories. As well as other enterprises and services, the work of which cannot stop even for an hour, not like for the night.
Disruption of the sleep schedule, overtime, excessive moral and physical stress — all this affects a person’s health. Unconditional violation of the natural rhythm of the body’s vital activity weakens the immune system. In this article, we will talk about the consequences of an “inconvenient” schedule and the possibilities for resolving them.
Effect on sleep
Long shift work contributes to the development of human sleep disorders. Most often, people in such positions sleep no more than six hours a day instead of the eight. Reduced sleep time contributes to a decrease in the content of serotonin in the body.
Not everyone knows that chronic lack of sleep, drowsiness and distraction provoked by it are the most common culprits of accidents on the road and at work. Indeed, at night a person is supposed to sleep, therefore, if this condition is not observed, the ability to concentrate is reduced. As an illustrative example, it suffices to recall the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which occurred on the night shift. Is it a coincidence?
Human sleep and the risk of developing diabetes
Working night shifts can increase your risk of developing diabetes. This is mainly due to the effect of shifting the wakefulness schedule on the activity of insulin production. Also, a person’s irregular sleep can cause an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol levels in the blood, contribute to obesity, and in the future cause heart attacks and strokes.
For people who already have diabetes, shift work can make it difficult to eat well and take medication, which can only make the disease worse.
obesity and sleep
Inadequate or contrary to the biological clock of the body, sleep affects the course of metabolic processes, the violation of which can lead to obesity. The thing is that our body is most actively parted with the calories eaten in the first half of the day. At night, he switches to an economical mode, and most of the food eaten at this time can be stored in reserve.
Human dream and heart
Working night shifts is bad for heart health. The current state of affairs means that nighttime sleep, set aside for rest and recovery of the body, will have to be spent on active work. In this case, the heart “recycles”. In addition, the stress that develops during nighttime wakefulness provokes the release of the destructive hormone cortisol, which in turn can increase the risk of stroke.
Painful conditions, untreated ailments or the presence of excess weight exacerbate the already existing situation.
Night shifts and depression
Shift work can affect mental health. Pressure, stress, and a person’s sleep disturbances have a direct effect on mood swings, which can lead to the development of depression. This factor is especially acute in case of a sudden transition to a night schedule, associated, for example, with a job change.
Changing work schedules, and thus sleep and wake schedules, can increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental disorders, at least in psychologically vulnerable individuals. The rate of disorders in women is an order of magnitude higher than in men.
Sleep time and digestive disorders
A change in sleep patterns, and therefore meals, can be the culprit in the appearance of feelings of nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and some functional digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
All this happens because being at night work, even with the general invariance of the calories and nutrients consumed, the schedule for their intake goes astray. Change the timing and frequency of meals. In addition, you often have to eat cold food and in a hurry. At the same time, slowing down the metabolism affects the production of enzymes and some hormones necessary for the digestion and assimilation of food.
How to minimize damage to health?
Experts say that night work more than twice a week is especially detrimental to health. If you work at night once every seven days, while sleeping well enough and eating the rest of the days, this should not bring significant harm. But again, there are many other factors at play here. Let’s talk about how to minimize the effects of regular sleep deprivation.
Work out a system. Stick to one schedule, even if it is different from the normal one. It should be required to draw up the most streamlined work schedule, as well as adhere to the schedule on weekends.
Human sleep is an opportunity to recover. Perhaps not everyone knows that an adult needs to sleep at least 8 hours a day.
Before going out at night, you can sleep for a couple of hours. This will give the body a head start. The thing is that by nightfall the body signals that it is time to go to sleep, the person becomes lethargic and sleepy. Sleep time can be divided into two parts, for example, sleep a couple of hours less in the morning and sleep them just before going to work.
You have to be careful with coffee. This drink should be avoided towards the end of the shift, because the tonic charge will not let you fall asleep at home. And as an energy charge, it is better to eat some fruit. The sugar contained in it will give the necessary strength.
Upon returning home before going to bed, it is better to close the windows with blackout curtains. Darkening the room will help to keep sleep, because in the daytime it is more sensitive than at night.
It’s important to watch your diet. Preference should be given to a healthy varied diet, refusing to eat sweets at night. They will not only not give the necessary charge of health and energy, but in the future will inevitably lead to the appearance of excess weight.