Night shifts effects and how to combat them

Typically, humans tend to be awake in the daytime and sleep at night for about 8 hours. The brain has a small part referred to as the circadian clock, which monitors the amount of light that one can see at each particular moment. When the light starts to decrease in the evening, this clock in the brain detects this and prompts the brain to secrete the hormone melatonin, signalling the body to sleep. At night the levels of this hormone are high. In the morning, the levels break, and during the day, they stay low. Instead, in the day time, the body’s state of being awake is increased by neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and noradrenaline. These two keeps an individual synchronized in their day-night cycles. Multiple other body functions, including digestion, temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, vary throughout the day based on the circadian clock activity. This fluctuation in the rate of activity through 24 hours is referred to as the circadian rhythm.

Persons who go for night shifts run against this rhythm, which can harm their health. When it comes to health, it is always essential to have health insurance. This will give you peace of mind as you will not have to be constrained financially when you visit the hospital due to any health condition. Instead, the insurer will cover your medical bills. Use reviews sites such as to compare private health insurance UK cost through online reviews. This way, you’ll find a reputable health insurer. This article goes through some of the effects of working night shifts and how they can be combated.

The risk of heart attack is increased

A study by the British Medical Journal established that people who work night shifts have a 7% increase in the probability of suffering from a heart attack. This is because night shifts tend to change a person’s sleep patterns, which affects blood circulation and blood pressure.

Deprives the body of Vitamin D

The body needs vitamin D to function properly. Vitamin D promotes the growth of bones and assists in the absorption of calcium. When the body has low vitamin D levels, this can cause the bones to Misshapen among other disorders, including depression, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease. Vitamin D can be gotten from food such as salmon, yoghurt, tofu and cheese. However, the body absorbs a majority of its vitamin D from the sun. Night shift causes the body to lack exposure to the sun and thus doesn’t get adequate vitamin D.

Changes the metabolism of the body

Hormones control the body’s metabolism. For example, the hormone leptin regulates insulin levels, weight and blood sugar levels. While we work night shifts, this affects the circulation and production of this vital hormone. This can result in several disorders

Combating the effects of night shifts

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that helps to keep a person awake and boosts their energy. The main issue with caffeine is that it stays in a persons systems hours after its effects and can prevent one from having a quality sleep after work. To avoid such problems that caffeine may present, drink water frequently.

Have a slow transition

Managers should take the necessary steps to help employees transit from day to night shift. This help the body adjust to the new program.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol has the effect of helping one to sleep quickly. However, it also decreases the rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, which is the invigorating phase of a person’s sleep cycle; thus, if you consume alcohol, you will be interfering with the ability of the body to heal itself.

Have an  environment that is favourable for sleep

You can ensure that you sleep well and for the recommended hours by having an environment encouraging for sleep; some of the ways you can ensure that your sleep environment doesn’t interfere with your sleep’s quality include;

  1. Ensure you sleep in a quiet environment.
  2. Keep the room cool
  3. Ensure that the room is dark
  4. Ensure that you turn off any electronics some hours before going to bed
  5. Consider wearing an earplug and sleep mask

Ask for help from the people you live with

If you are to work in night shifts successfully the cooperation from your family is vital. It would be best if you worked with your family on how to balance  vital activities such as:

  1. Paying bills
  2. Family time
  3. How you’ll be maintaining schedules
  4. Housework
  5. Shopping

In conclusion, this article has sought to help you understand the effects of working night shifts and how you can combat them.