Working night shifts (#doctor&Nurses) may cause DNA damage, risk of cancer & Heart diseases


        Medical profession getting stressful is nothing new.  There are multiple dimensions to  the multi-pronged stress in present  era.  A new dimension has been discovered. Night shift are integral part of a hospital, doctors and nurses life. But it has shown to be having far reaching consequences. Night shifts have been linked to DNA damage and more serious illnesses.   If these kind of effects prove to be correct in future, it  needs a serious thinking over the issue.

    Researchers found that on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than those who did not work overnight.

Working night shifts can damage a person’s DNA, increasing the risk of cancer as well as cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuro-degenerative diseases, a study has found. For the study published in the journal Anaesthesia, researchers analysed blood samples of 49 healthy full-time doctors taken at different times.

“Although this work is very preliminary, it is clear from the results that even a single night of sleep deprivation can trigger events that may contribute to the development of chronic disease,” said Siu-Wai Choi, of the University of Hong Kong.

Researchers found that on-call doctors who were required to work overnight on-site had lower DNA repair gene expression and more DNA breaks than those who did not work overnight. In these overnight on-site call doctors, DNA repair gene expression decreased and DNA breaks increased after sleep deprivation.

Damaged DNA increased after only one night of sleep deprivation. This DNA damage may help explain the increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases associated with sleep deprivation, researchers said.

25 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT SLEEP


  1. Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleep.
  2. The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption. Generally, sleep disturbance becomes greater at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. The disturbance is thought to be caused by diminished oxygen levels and accompanying changes in respiration. Most people adjust to new altitudes in approximately two to three weeks.
  3. In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult.
  4. Divorced, widowed and separated people report more insomnia.
  5. Six in ten healthcare professionals do not feel that they have enough time to have a discussion with their patients about insomnia during regular office visits.
  6. More than eight in ten survey respondents think that people often or sometimes misuse prescription sleep aids.
  7. Caffeine has been called the most popular drug in the world. All over the world people consume caffeine on a daily basis in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs.
  8. In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours.
  9. We naturally feel tired at two different times of the day: about 2:00 AM and 2:00 PM. It is this natural dip in alertness that is primarily responsible for the post-lunch dip.
  10. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
  11. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases.
  12. Newborns sleep a total of 14 to 17 hours a day on an irregular schedule with periods of one to three hours spent awake.
  13. When infants are put to bed drowsy but not asleep, they are more likely to become “self- soothers,” which enables them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night.
  14. Eighty-two percent of healthcare professionals believe that it is the responsibility of both the patient and the healthcare professional to bring up symptoms of insomnia during an appointment.
  15. The body never adjusts to shift work!
  16. There are individual differences in the need to nap. Some adults and children need to nap. However, the majority of teenagers probably nap in the afternoon because they are not sleeping enough at night.
  17. Snoring is the primary cause of sleep disruption.
  18. Scientists still don’t know — and probably never will — if animals dream during REM sleep, as humans do.
  19. Some studies show promise for the use of melatonin in shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and reducing the number of awakenings, but not necessarily total sleep time. Other studies show no benefit at all with melatonin.
  20. One of the primary causes of excessive sleepiness may be self-imposed sleep deprivation.
  21. Many people drive drowsy or fall asleep while driving.
  22. Sometimes at few places employer allows employees to nap during breaks and some provide a place to do so.
  23. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase.
  24. Rates of insomnia increase as a function of age, but most often the sleep disturbance is attributable to some other medical condition.
  25. Seasonal affective disorder is believed to be influenced by the changing patterns of light and darkness that occur with the approach of winter?

There may be infinite number of other facts.

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