Can working a permanent night shift ruin your health?
Im getting a security job where I will be all alone in a wearhouse for 12hrs. a day from 8pm to 8am. 5 days a week..I wanna know how this is going to afect me on my days off and my body (because I work out) and I hear that your muscles grow when u sleep. And in the summer can I sleep out side in a lawn chair or do I have to have complete darkness when I sleep?. And if I go on vacation how will I function?..the whole Idea of it weirds me out but Its a easy job that pays good, so in this economy i cant pass it up. so tell me what u think.
- HepoLv 58 years agoBest answer
It's doable to have a sort of "reversed" rhythm where you sleep during the day and are awake and working during the night... provided you have enough sleep during those hours when you're supposed to be sleeping. Sleep medicine still has a lot of mysteries to solve regarding sleep-wake cycles and the role of sunlight in all of this... so whether or not the lack of sunlight exposure (besides becoming vitamin D deficient) has any untoward long-term effects on your nervous system, is still very much unclear.
Now if you're only doing that routine 5 days in a week, then that's a little tricky, because you'll be adjusting majorly during the weekend, and it's a big work (at least for some) to go back to the usual day-night cycle you have when your work week starts. Your body can feel "confused" sometimes with the constant disruption, that sometimes you may feel sleepy during the times you're supposed to be awake, even though you've had enough hours of sleep. Circadian rhythm hormones are normally secreted in a pulsatile fashion, wherein hormones that function to wake you up get released during the early hours of the morning and the hormones that are supposed to make you sleepy get released during the early hours of the evening. Making constant adjustments to this rhythm have been known to disrupt (and even abolish) this pulsatile fashion of secretion. Whether or not this has really bad health effects down the line is yet to be concretely elucidated, although a lot would theorize that it would.
The best advised any doctor will give you if you visit their office is to do things that promote sleep hygiene... and your job, as unfortunate as it sounds, doesn't help at all. Just hang on in there.