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Do Night Shifts Pose a Health Risk?

By    |   Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:48 AM

Question: Is there any danger to sleeping during the day and working at night? My son works the night shift as a security guard and always seems to be tired. Is there any long-term danger?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

Night-shift workers do seem to have increased health risks and do not share the longevity seen with standard day shift workers.

We see an increased incidence of sudden death and cardiovascular disease among night shift workers. We also find a higher incidence of mood disorders among night shift workers.

The dangers will vary greatly from one individual to another, and may be somewhat dependent on any underlying medical and psychological disorders as well as genetic risks. Some people have to work these shifts, and even I cannot always avoid these shifts.

The secret still involves good sleep hygiene and being sure to remain well rested, eat a healthy diet, and get regular exercise.

Many night-shift workers try to live a daytime life as well, and end up chronically exhausted until they realize that they need to adjust their off-work choices to the work shift they have signed up for.

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Night-shift workers do seem to have increased health risks, but there are ways to compensate.
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Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:48 AM
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