Insomnia, health and safety issues, mistakes, accidents, obesity and major health problems are worse issues for you than others, if you are a shift worker.
National Sleep Foundation's 2005 Adult Sleep Habits and Styles noted that a high proportion of evening people or "owls" in the "Overworked, Overweight, and Over-Caffeinated" poll segment, included shift work: rotating shifts, regular evening or regular shifts.
Shift Work Leads to Sleep Disorders and Health Risks
At greater risk for shift work sleep disorders and insomnia, this segment is getting the least amount of sleep compared to the overall poll. Many do not recognize that their daily lives are being affect by sleep problems, yet they do grab more naps during the week to compensate.
• One half of this segment have an "obese" BMI (49% compared to 26% overall)
• Diagnosed with at least one medical condition (75% compare to 61% overall)
• Get less than six hours of sleep each night during the week (5.7 hours compared to 6.8 overall)
• Feel then need fewer hours of sleep each night to function their best (5.2 hours compared to 6.5 hours overall) ... many feel they are getting more sleep than they need
• Missed events or activities and/or have made errors at work at least once in the past three months (37% compared to 28% over)
Night Shift – Deadly!
If you are a shift worker, your sleep disorders, insomnia and health problems are not only more at risk; your social life and overall mood is also affected. But are you aware of shift work's increased breast and prostate cancer risk?
Night Shifts Breast Cancer Risk
A study of women in Denmark's military found there was a substantial increased breast cancer risk with women who worked a lot of night shifts. Recently (June 12, 2012), on a CBC Radio program, The Current, Johnni Hansen, epidemiologist with the Danish Cancer Society discussed the study's findings. (starts at 1 min. 37 sec.)
Night Work Health and Safety Risk
Also on the same program (at 9 min. 59 sec.) Anthony Pizzino, national director of research in occupational health and safety, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) discusses the recent research evidence of night work risks and the future possibility of recommending limiting the number of night shifts.
Sleep Disorders and Circadian Rhythms
As well, Diane Boivin, Director of the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada explains circadian rhythms' function and potential health and safety risks when circadian rhythms are disrupted.
She recommends shift workers incorporate counter measures such as minimizing number of consecutive nights, make shifts as short as possible, and "try to keep the most healthy lifestyle as you can" ... "even more important for night shift workers because we know that there's all these health issues associated with it." (at 12 min. 11 sec.)
Note: The "Graveyard Shift" interviews start at 1 min. 37 sec.
Shift Work Sleep Disorders
If you are a shift worker you're missing out on your natural melatonin production as your circadian rhythm is being disrupted. Melatonin is vital for deep restorative sleeps.
Without deep restorative sleeps, you are at a greater risk for
not only colds & flus but also the major diseases. By wearing a sleep
mask, to block out the light especially during the day, even if
you have black out curtains, your impaired melatonin production
will be optimized. See how ...
Go to Black Out Curtains, Sleep Shade Gives Cancer Protection Part One from Shift Work Sleep Disorder