Night shifts disrupt body’s balance in just 3 days: Study

Researchers at Washington State University discovered that working only three nights in a row can have a significant impact on your health.

Many businesses rely on night shifts to operate around the clock, but a new study warns of the health risks associated with working these hours. Researchers at Washington State University discovered that working only three nights in a row can have a significant impact on your health.

Health risks in blood sugar management

The study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, looks into how night shifts interfere with our natural body clock, which regulates our body’s rhythms based on the day-night cycle. This disruption can cause a health risks-like chain reaction that impacts a number of biological systems, including those involved in blood sugar management and energy expenditure.

Professor Hans Van Dongen, the primary researcher, emphasizes that even three consecutive nights might disturb the body’s protein cycles, potentially leading to long-term health risks. The researchers examined blood samples to identify critical proteins involved in immunological function and blood sugar management. While few proteins were unaffected by night shifts, the majority demonstrated considerable alterations in their activity patterns.

The study found health risks like a complete reversal of the natural blood sugar rhythm in night shift workers. This not only impacts blood sugar levels but also disrupts processes crucial for insulin production and sensitivity, raising the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

These findings add to existing evidence on the negative health effects of shift work. Previous research has linked night shifts to increased blood pressure, raising the risk of heart disease and stroke in night shift workers.

The study underlines the importance of taking proactive actions to prevent the health hazards connected with night shifts. “Employers and policymakers should prioritize strategies to support night shift workers’ well-being,” the research indicates. This could include scheduling regular breaks, offering access to healthy food alternatives, and encouraging good sleep habits.

Here are some tips for night shift workers to prioritize self-care:

Night shift workers may prioritize self-care by sticking to a consistent sleep pattern, even if that means napping during the daytime. Creating a sleep-friendly environment with blackout curtains, white noise machines, or sleep masks can help you sleep better.

Staying hydrated and eating healthy are essential. Drinking plenty of water and eating balanced meals during your shift will help you stay energized. Packing nutritious snacks can also help you avoid purchasing unhealthy items from vending machines.

Health Risks
Source- Dr. Vishwanath BL

Taking breaks for activity is essential. During your breaks, stretch, move around, or do simple exercises to stay active and combat fatigue.

Managing stress is critical for overall well-being. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all relaxation techniques that can help you reduce stress and improve your mental health.

Finally, following your night shift, prioritize sleep by establishing a pleasant environment conducive to relaxation. Making sleep a priority will allow you to recover and prepare for your next shift.

Health Risks
Source- News Medical

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