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Monday, 12 December 2011

Night shift work linked to diabetes

A recent study has linked late night shifts to diabetes. Diabetes is one of those deadly diseases which if not cured or treated timely then it may damage the working of the essential organs of body like liver, kidney and heart.

The study was conducted by the researchers of Harvard School of Public Health. It is for the very first time when a study has linked late night shifts to diabetes. It is estimated that one in 12 Americans suffer from diabetes because of late night shifts.

For the study, the researchers recruited 175,000 nurses, the conducted various tests on them. It was found that the nurses who worked in the night shifts had 60% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study also indicated that within the estimated period of 20 years, these nurses are prone of being diagnosed with diabetes.

The researchers have pinpointed that by giving priority to sleeping one can prevent diabetes. Sleep of 9 to 10 hours is important for every human being after performing stressful task. Besides, regular exercise should also be made a habit as it helps in improving the function of the body.

The study, involving more than 175,000 nurses, found that those who worked night shifts three or more times a month were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over 20 years compared with people who didn’t work night shifts with as much as a 60 percent greater risk in those who did shift work for two decades.

While the new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doesn’t prove that night shift work causes diabetes, other research has shown that those who come off a night shift tend to have higher insulin levels and higher levels of inflammation - both involved in diabetes - possibly due to a disruption in the body’s delicate circadian rhythms.

Shift workers had higher obesity rates - which is an independent risk factor for diabetes - and they had a tendency to get fewer than six hours of sleep each day, according to study leader An Pan.

Here’s what he recommends to minimize risks of night shift work:

1. Make adequate sleep a priority. Get 9 or 10 hours of sleep on the two previous nights before the shift. If you work the graveyard shift every night, make a plan to sleep seven to eight hours in a quiet darkened room when you get home in the morning.

2. Commit yourself to daily exercise. That will help you sleep better during nights you don’t have shift work.

3. Minimize caffeine. Try to avoid all caffeine within eight hours of your scheduled bedtime.

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