Link found between working late night or in night shifts and increased risk of cardiac and mental health


eMediNexus    01 February 2023

Experts highlighted that while working a night shift or waking up late at night may first seem harmless, they are bad for the body′s biological clock, commonly known as the "circadian rhythm," and can have a negative impact on one′s health. It has been observed that working late night/ working night shifts increases the chances of suffering from a heart attack and depression.


Working late at night and getting little sleep can further damage one′s mental health and cause depression, anxiety, anger and irritability. According to the researchers, working late nights/ shift workers have a 25 to 40% increased risk of developing sadness and anxiety, partly because their daily environmental/behavioral cycles dont correspond with their body′s internal clock. Regularly staying awake late might also increase your risk of cardiovascular disorders, such as heart attack and high blood pressure.


Experts elaborated and said that working night shifts enhances the chances of getting hypertension, cardiac arrests, and heart attacks because there is a stronger stress response in the body when one is supposed to be resting, according to experts. In addition to exhaustion, working late at night increases nighttime errors, social isolation, mood disorders, and excessive sleepiness. Additionally, the satiety hormone leptin and the hunger hormone ghrelin are dysregulated, leading to high consumption of energy-rich food and causing several metabolic syndromes, obesity, diabetes, etc.


A new study found that eating during the day protects against mood vulnerability during night work. An increase of 26.2% in depression-like mood levels and 16.1% anxiety was seen when daytime and midnight eating was coupled with enhanced nightwork, compared to baseline. The study also showed that the night shift group that only ate during the day did not experience this rise in depression and anxiety symptoms, pointing to a potential "meal scheduling intervention that may avoid mood vulnerability in shift work situations." 


Experts concluded that additional research is needed to corroborate these findings.


(Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/night-shifts-increases-risks-of-heart-attack-and-depression-avoid-binge-eating-during-night-to-keep-mood-swings-at-bay-8387848/)

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