Long, long ago, there was a time when things were in perfect sync with the nature. The day started with the cooing of the birds and ended with them flying back to their nest. While most other animals still stick to the same routine, human beings have drifted far away from the ways of nature.
Our body maintains a circadian rhythm which is basically a 24-hour internal clock that runs subconsciously in the background of our brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals.
This circadian rhythm has deep rooted impact on the body functions and human health. Disrupting the cycle can throw everything out of whack and result in serious disorders including that of the cardiovascular system, metabolism, digestion, immune system, and hormonal balance.
Night duty breaking your heart
Do you know, night shifts increase the risk of a heart attack? For decades, researchers have pointed an association between night shifts and the risk of heart attacks and heart disease. It is reported that shift work seems to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease by 40%. The more nights you spare on the chair the more is the risk of heart havoc.
Night duty driving you nuts
Numerous studies have suggested that shift work could have an impact on mental health. A 2007 study found that night workers had significantly lower levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a key role in mood enhancement. Lack of proper sleep at night also results in stress, anxiety and depression which is likely to be caused by the disruption of the circadian system.
Night duty making you fat
Obesity is one of the main culprits of a variety of health hazards. Going against the circadian system is likely to make you tired and slow down your metabolism. Also, night shifts result in diminished secretion of the hormone leptin that plays a key role in regulating our appetite thus increasing you appetite for food.
Night shifts and the stomach woes
Compromising on sleep disrupts the digestion cycle of the body. For decades, researchers have noticed that night shifts seem to increase the risk of peptic ulcers. Prolonged inefficiency of the digestive system results in a raised risk of gastro intestinal problems like nausea, diarrhea, constipation and other bowel disorders.
Night shifts can make you barren
Research has shown that shift work can affect a woman’s reproductive system. Night shifts during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage by twice. It also increases the risk of other complications like premature and low-weight babies, fertility problems, endometriosis, irregular periods, and painful periods.
Night shifts and the risk of CANCER
There is strong evidence that shift work poses an increased risk of cancer. Many studies have revealed that night shifts increase the risk of breast cancer by 50%. Evidence also speaks of the increase the risk of colorectal and prostate cancer from prolonged night shifts.
So, if you are doing a night duty or thinking about taking one, analyze the benefits and its impacts in the long run. In case, you are grumbling about your gaining weight, upset stomach or high blood sugar may be its time to change your routine.
Dr. Naveen, Ayurvedic Physician, AyurCentral, Kengeri Satellite town, Bangalore
AyurCentral, No. 3313 , 1st Main, 4th Cross,
Kengeri Satellite Town, Bangalore – 560060.
Phone : +91 80 2848 5853