Friday, March 6, 2009

I Think That I Suffer from Circadian Misalignment

You might not be aware of it, but while you are all cozy asleep at night, there are millions of us awake, working, keeping the world running and safe for ya all.
Yes, I am a shift worker! I work for a utility company...picture Homer Simpson, but without the nuclear part.

Some shift workers work steady night shift...some steady evening shift...but I work all of them! Actually, in the world of shift workers it is not an unusual schedule, working 12 hours, changing back and forth from days, 6 a.m./6 p.m., to nights, 6 p.m./6 a.m., every couple of days.
Yes, really. Yes, I can hear your moans of sympathy.

Well, there is another study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that ties shift work, the way it disturbs our metabolic systems and a variety of diseases. Of course, the worst offender is my rotating shift. From Wired Science...
"For years, scientists have known that people who work night shifts — about 15 million people in the United States — are unusually prone to heart disease, bone fractures, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

The patterns were initially explained as a function of poor nutrition and low exercise, but night workers don't necessarily live less healthy lives than their day shift counterparts. Risks remained high even when lifestyle was removed from the equation.
That left hypotheses about links between biological clocks and metabolic hormone regulation...The latest findings, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, chart a clear path from work-sleep cycles to metabolic disregulation to disease...

If the findings are replicated, researchers will try to find therapies capable of restoring metabolic order. The best therapy of all, said Van Cauter, would be a permanent move to night work."
No thank you!! Believe me, the people that will work a permanent night shift are few and far between. Most likely reside in mental institutions...because they world be even more nuts than those of us that work a rotating shift.

Now this idea, tying shift work and various illnesses together, is not new to those of us in the shift challenged world. We make copies of these articles and pass them around.
When we are not in the hospital of course.


  1. God love ya! I suppose any job is a good one, these days, but there are many a person that couldn't do it, myself included. When I was in high school, I worked at a donut shop and had to be there at 3:30 in the morning on the weekends. It was a serious damper on my social schedule. That is about the closest thing to shift work I've ever gotten, and I hated it (even with the free donuts).

  2. Did someone say donuts?! Where are the donuts?!

  3. I don't know how you do it. I just don't think I could stay up all night.

  4. aww....stay awake all night...oh...yeah.... :-)

    Actually, it is when I write most of my posts. which may explain my punchy tone.

  5. {{should I be insulted??}}

  6. WEll..more power to ya! but like Lenore said...ah! Things are making sense!

  7. Evening for years here, but even when I worked early mornings, I'd stay up late. So I must have always had a busted spring in my circadian clock.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  8. ...after several insults...
    if left to my ditthers, I would be a morning person, a very early morning person.


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