Odd Shifts and Health Issues

Posted by Thelma Maria Simon on Wed, Nov 21, 2012  
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Off late, there are many out there who are working for night shifts. It’s not just that their job demands it, but also their financial balance requires them to do so.  Night shifts does not include only working through the night to morning. It even includes working from evening with the shift ending in the early mornings such as say 3 am or 4 am.


We all know that there are many professions such as doctors, nurses, health care professionals, security people, police etc are one’s who are continuously posted for night shifts on a rotational basis. They either get accustomed to it or they just perform their duty, as their profession demands it. The recent trend in cities have been this call center and BPO culture that has grown to much where people are scheduled to work only in night shifts of rotational shifts that end in the middle of the night.


The need to earn money in high proportions makes people forget that these kinds of shifts can have a large ill effect on their body and health. We do these jobs because we need money, but what is the point when that money doesn’t turn out to be the saving but ends up being spent for the hospital and treatment?


The most common effect of working in shifts especially night is sleep disturbance as the circadian rhythm changes and by the time the body gets adjusted to it the next cycle begins. This in turn causes fatigue, insomnia, risk for accidents and trauma, decreased quality of life, feeling unwell, isolation and other physiological problems that include cardiovascular risks, digestive problems etc.


I still remember the side effects I suffered while I was working in odd shifts for an MNC. Every week the schedule changes and by the time we get adjusted to that sleep wake cycle the timing changes. I felt, oh my god, when will I get my proper sleep? The food habits changed. I noticed that I started to put on weight the reason being munching on to anything and everything during odd hours. This also made me deviate from lots of my daily chores such as reading, doing household work, going out with friends etc. Finally when I got this new day shift job, I found it really difficult to get up early or sleep early.


These are all the minimal effects that I could state, whereas there are many more for those who work in these shifts for longer years. Though we cannot stop from working as that would only yield us bread and butter, we can still intake proper diet and do slight lifestyle modifications like exercise and meeting out with friends and family at the given time thereby enhancing the health and wellness in spite of these odd working hours.


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