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OFF-TOPIC Does working Nightshift mess up your health?

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Timmy C

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I'm looking at doing work that requires night shifts.

Mainly as it increases my savings rate significantly, and I'm doubtful I will keep my current job in this economic climate.

I found some information stating it has serious health consequences such as:

  • Shift workers have higher rates of obesity and ill-health than the general population.
    The data from the survey showed that 30% of shift workers were obese, compared with 24% of men and 23% of women working normal hours.
  • 40% of men and 45% of women on shifts had long-standing health conditions, such as back-pain, diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, compared with 36% and 39% of the rest of the population.
  • 'Night owls' are also more likely to smoke, which could exacerbate many of the illnesses they are at risk of developing.
  • Shift work is most common in the 16-24 age group; an age group that should exhibit better levels of health and cognitive performance.
    The rates fell with age so that fewer than a third of men and a fifth of women were working shifts after the age of 55.

My question is why?

If you still get plenty of sleep and keep a good diet and stay active I do not understand what the difference is from working regular hours.

Everywhere I look is making it sound like Nightshift is the devil.

Has anyone done it before and what has been your experience?
 

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fastlanedoll

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I can answer this one.
I did shifts for 7 & a half years.
The older you are, the harder it gets.
I didn't really notice the 'getting fat' part, but feeling more tired, definitely.

I think its doable.. For a while.
But longterm? No.

If you're doubtful you'll keep your current job, go for it, definitely.

I don't think coronavirus will still be rampant this time next year, and the job market will improve.

A year is definitely doable.
 

WabiSabi

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I wouldn't worry about it personally, sounds like a false correlation that could be attributed to something else.

I worked 3am- 10am unloading trucks for the holiday season. The worked sucked but it was decent money for someone without a lot of skills. I found that bright fluorescent/led light had a very bad effect on my mood that early. Some of the crap (cat litter, chemicals, paint, saw dust) in the back of the trucks is definitely not good for you either.

It wasn't sustainable for me long term but everyone is different.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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My question is why?
Something to do with circadian rhythms, daylight & stuff.
I read that studies show you need brighter light when working at night, I think they do it in offices, factories etc that run 24 hours.

You might want to read about seasonal affective disorder, SAD. The northern countries suffer from it & used to have high suicide rates.

Has anyone done it before and what has been your experience?
It's alright if you're not constantly changing shifts.
Knew a guy that had done nights for decades, he was white as a ghost, he probably didn't get any sun.
I did a rotating shift pattern for 6 months & essentially slept all the time I wasn't working. But that was a really high stress job.
 

Kokaka

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Find a functional medicine clinic who deal with theese kind of things. They will tailor make a program with food, sleep, fasting supplements etc. who will greatly diminish the impact on night shifts
 

Classmate

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My mom does night shifts for almost a decade now, but there are a lot of labour rules. I guess if you do correctly, it can be healthy. One "correct scenario" would be like my moms' place of work, that works by rotative shifts:

She only does that 4 months a year tops, and there needs to be some time between the shifts. But if it doesn't happen, for every 2-night shifts consecutively she does, the next 2 days need to be free.
If it does happen, for every 3 or 4 night shifts she does(not sure on this one), she still has the right to 2 days free.

What affects her health are other things in my opinion. Her health peak was like 2 years ago.

So, there is a way it can be done properly.
 

PureA

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You're going against millions of years of biology. We are designed to work with sunrise/sunset. Going against this has consequences.

You couldn't pay me enough to work nights, I would work for half to have a day time shift.
 

reedracer

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I'm actually working days during the week with a lot of overnights on the weekend for the same job. Sundays and Mondays are a bit of a fog, but the rest of the week is fairly normal. It has exacerbated my S.A.D. quite a bit and it is a struggle to get moving for fitness, but I do have a job and I'm grateful for it.
I patch servers which needs to be done during the down times of midnight to 7am Saturday and Sunday. Several companies under a major brand around the world, but mostly US/Canada. They make greeting cards and have their own cable channel, lol.
 

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