Study suggests body’s natural cycle may improve health

Study suggests that the disruption of bodily rhythms in shift workers, may be a vital reason for increased risk of disease. 

According to a recent study, working the night shift has adverse effects on a person’s health while simultaneously suggesting ways to offset them. According to scientists, the human body runs on a twenty-four hour clock which is known as the circadian rhythm. This system is dependent on daylight to determine the timings for when a person should sleep and/or wake up.

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Prior to this recent study, researchers were of the opinion that the everyday lifestyle habits are just as important as the shift-work. However, no solid evidence has so far been provided. The research team examined previous studies and clinical trials to propose ways in which the circadian impact of shift work could be reduced. Such as by optimizing sleep and diet of an individual.

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As explained by the research team, a good nights sleep is one of the easiest ways to prevent any ‘detrimental health effects that may occur. Study author, Kulkarni, believes that shift workers should ideally sleep between seven to eight hours per day.

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Moreover, in order to help the body’s natural cycle, the workers should sleep during the night. According to the study authors, shift workers can take naps between 20 to 120 minutes. Kulkarni further suggests that employers should ensure that shifts begin before midnight and finish within eleven hours. Additionally, exposure to light may also help as certain sources of light can be used to the advantage of an individuals’ circadian rhythm, respectively.

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Based on the study, Kulkarni and team argue that medical treatment is also significant because medications can help to regulate the sleep cycle. Certain benzodiazepines and antidepressants may even benefit people who are at a risk of metabolic syndrome.

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Conversely, osteopathic manipulative treatment which is a physical technique, can help to reduce the time shift workers spend in attempting to sleep.

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