CAPSTONE: The Dangers of Night Jobs

By Nadya Alvarado  —

There are 15 million Americans who work a permanent night shift or regularly rotate in and out of night shifts, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means this percentage of people are most likely to become exposed to sleepless nights, restlessness, sleepiness on the job, fatigue, decreased attention and disruption of the body’s metabolic process, weight, vision, and heart problems. Believe it or not there are many ups and downs to this kind of life style, but the downs are much greater than the ups.

One of the causes of heart dieses and cancer is related to working the graveyard shift. Experts, like The International Agency for Research of Cancer, say that nearly 20 percent of the working population in developed countries work night shifts. The rate in which any type of cancer grows in your body can vary. Many factors play in this role. For example, whether you are a woman or ma is a big difference.

For example, Women are more prone to grow breast cancer, while keeping the nigh shift routine for a very long time.

“Most studies have concentrated on linking breast cancer with what cancer researchers call the “light-at-night” effect on the body’s hormones, and they have consistently found that shift-workers have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who work regular daytime hours – on average around a 48% higher risk.” (IARC)

Women are also in higher risk of developing type two of diabetes. Obesity was one of the consequences that effected most women that worked the night shift for more than three years. It is said that the body has an internal clock. The body is used to be awake during the day, when the sun is out. The body produces different hormones that are only produced during the exposure of daylight. When it turns dark, the body automatically knows that it is time to put the body to rest and starts producing another different set of hormones that are produced only when the body is asleep. These hormones are fighting cell that fight against any virus or cancerous cells, such as the ones mentioned. When the body is awake when it needs to be asleep, these hormones will not be produced and your body will be defenseless against these cancers.

The dangers are not just for women. Men are also in risk of suffering of prostate cancer. As well as women, men are also prone to type two diabetes and the unhealthy way of weight gaining. Men who work during the night have an unhealthy way of eating and are not exposed to healthy foods. This leads to years of junk food and sweet snacks that clog up your heart arteries and lead to heart attacks and heart disease.

There are many ways to lead healthy lives while working the night shift. One of them is to eat healthy. Always pack food from home or eat snacks that have less sugar and calories. Also, if you can avoid working the night shift continuously, there will be a better chance of reducing the risks of health problems. Speak to your employer and ask them to rotate your schedule so you won be exposed to the dangers the “Graveyard Shift” brings.

So is “the Graveyard Shift” more than a figure of speech? Well, let’s hope you don’t find out, right?