Advice for shift workers

Advice for shift workers

We know night shift work is not good for your health.

Evidence shows night shift work is associated with an increased risk of sleep loss, occupational accidents, obesity and weight gain, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and breast, prostate and colorectal cancers, according to a review in the BMJ by two intensive care specialists.

But what of strategies to help night shift workers mitigate these risks? What does the research say we should be advising these patients to do to optimise their health, remembering that many health professionals will be involved in this type of shift work?

According to the review, there is a ‘paucity of adequately powered, well designed, randomised controlled trials’ on the subject however from what there was and with the addition of expert opinion the review authors recommended the following.

  • Try and make sure you’re not sleep-deprived before a night shift. Try and wake the morning before naturally (without an alarm) and, ...
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