Working nights can damage health, researchers find

Daily Echo: Vicky Grace at work in Cafe Parfait Vicky Grace at work in Cafe Parfait

WORKING nights can damage your long-term health, pioneering research by leading scientists has found.

A study by Surrey University’s Clinical Research Centre discovered daily rhythms of genes are disrupted when sleep patterns shift.

It revealed more than 97 per cent of rhythmic genes were out of sync if the body’s light-dark cycle was altered.

Disruption of the body clock indicated widespread disruption of the immune system and how the body works.

Previous studies have shown disrupting the body clock can raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than 40 per cent and increase the risk of cancer and diabetes.

Firefighters, nurses, cleaners and security guards are among the thousands of nocturnal labourers tirelessly toiling through the small hours to keep Hampshire’s towns and cities running.

Some opt for these anti-social hours by choice, others out of necessity but they all find themselves at odds with regular day-to-day family and social life and can be prone to fatigue and insomnia.

Crew manager Craig Hawkes at St Mary’s fire station has worked night shifts for 15 years.

He works four-day stretches, with two 9am-6pm and two 6pm-9am shifts.

The 39-year-old, whose responsibilities include tackling fires and instructing colleagues, said: “It can be challenging – it takes it out of you at times.

“After the second night you feel really groggy and normally half of your first day is a bed day.

“When you are tired you are a lot more susceptible to illnesses such as flu.

“But I am used to it, I love the job and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Vicky Grace, 21, from Sholing is a bar worker in Café Parfait nightclub in Above Bar Street, Southampton, serving customers from 9pm to 5am four days a week.

The Southampton University graduate initially chose the job to fit in with her studies and now juggles it with working one day a week as a school teaching assistant.

She said: “I’ve never been a going to bed early person and I’ve loved a lie-in since I was young. When you get in from work it’s a bit hard to get back to sleep until about 7am because you are still buzzing. But even on nights I am not working, I normally go out.”

Physiologist Dr Felino Cagampang, a senior medicine lecturer at Southampton University, said altering sleep patterns alters the body’s cycles, making people more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cancer.

He said: “If you disrupt your natural rhythms the whole body is in chaos. It creates stress on the body and it makes you more vulnerable and lowers your immunity.”

He recommended night workers try to return to the normal night-time sleep pattern when they have time off.

Comments (23)

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3:05pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Fatty x Ford Worker says...

On the Night Shift at Fords 50 Hours a week!
On the Night Shift at Fords 50 Hours a week! Fatty x Ford Worker
  • Score: -5

3:09pm Sun 23 Feb 14

localnews says...

He recommended night workers try to return to the normal night-time sleep pattern when they have time off.

Maybe he should try it then,I wish I could go back to a normal sleep pattern after night's but it ain't that easy
He recommended night workers try to return to the normal night-time sleep pattern when they have time off. Maybe he should try it then,I wish I could go back to a normal sleep pattern after night's but it ain't that easy localnews
  • Score: 15

3:20pm Sun 23 Feb 14

charrlee says...

For centuries, until the introduction of the street lamp, people used to come home from work at sunset, go to bed for a few hours, then get up about 10.00pm, and have a meal at midnight, then go back to bed about 3.00am.

All this "research shows" bull probably has some tiny impact on a few people, but generally it's just scientists trying to make a name for themselves.
For centuries, until the introduction of the street lamp, people used to come home from work at sunset, go to bed for a few hours, then get up about 10.00pm, and have a meal at midnight, then go back to bed about 3.00am. All this "research shows" bull probably has some tiny impact on a few people, but generally it's just scientists trying to make a name for themselves. charrlee
  • Score: -7

3:28pm Sun 23 Feb 14

loosehead says...

I worked Night Shift for 10-15 years & the only way I could even get close to normal sleeping on the weekends was staying awake all day & hoping I could sleep that night.
I still have troubles now I feel tired all day but wide awake at night & that's nearly seven years after nights.
I use to go to the gym three to five times a week plus Rugby training twice a week 7 some weeks play two games of Rugby on the weekends so I can't see why it was so bad for me?
on 6-2 & 2-10 I struggled to sleep at night & would only get a couple of hours sleep a night on nights I would get at least 6hours sleep
I worked Night Shift for 10-15 years & the only way I could even get close to normal sleeping on the weekends was staying awake all day & hoping I could sleep that night. I still have troubles now I feel tired all day but wide awake at night & that's nearly seven years after nights. I use to go to the gym three to five times a week plus Rugby training twice a week 7 some weeks play two games of Rugby on the weekends so I can't see why it was so bad for me? on 6-2 & 2-10 I struggled to sleep at night & would only get a couple of hours sleep a night on nights I would get at least 6hours sleep loosehead
  • Score: 3

3:40pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Maine Lobster says...

This is why night workers deserve to have a rate of pay which is better than day hours and why any decent employer ought to pay them accordingly.
This is why night workers deserve to have a rate of pay which is better than day hours and why any decent employer ought to pay them accordingly. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 16

4:21pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Woodfalls55 says...

I believe this story was first published by Surrey on 21st January and was then covered at the time by many news outlets see here http://www.surrey.ac
.uk/features/mistime
d-sleep-disrupts-hum
an-molecular-clock

I guess The Echo have just been trawling for stories for a slow news weekend.

I hear Glen Miller's plane is reported as missing.
I believe this story was first published by Surrey on 21st January and was then covered at the time by many news outlets see here http://www.surrey.ac .uk/features/mistime d-sleep-disrupts-hum an-molecular-clock I guess The Echo have just been trawling for stories for a slow news weekend. I hear Glen Miller's plane is reported as missing. Woodfalls55
  • Score: 5

4:21pm Sun 23 Feb 14

mickey01 says...

what a load of crap
what a load of crap mickey01
  • Score: -9

4:31pm Sun 23 Feb 14

andysaints007 says...

Woodfalls55 wrote:
I believe this story was first published by Surrey on 21st January and was then covered at the time by many news outlets see here http://www.surrey.ac

.uk/features/mistime

d-sleep-disrupts-hum

an-molecular-clock

I guess The Echo have just been trawling for stories for a slow news weekend.

I hear Glen Miller's plane is reported as missing.
WOW you are really boring
[quote][p][bold]Woodfalls55[/bold] wrote: I believe this story was first published by Surrey on 21st January and was then covered at the time by many news outlets see here http://www.surrey.ac .uk/features/mistime d-sleep-disrupts-hum an-molecular-clock I guess The Echo have just been trawling for stories for a slow news weekend. I hear Glen Miller's plane is reported as missing.[/p][/quote]WOW you are really boring andysaints007
  • Score: -5

5:02pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Positively4thStreet says...

There's a lot more things in life that are bad for your health than what time you go to bed at night.Worrying ourselves silly every time a scientist trying to make a name for themself telling us something we do is not good for us,is one of them.
Don't worry,be happy...manyana.
There's a lot more things in life that are bad for your health than what time you go to bed at night.Worrying ourselves silly every time a scientist trying to make a name for themself telling us something we do is not good for us,is one of them. Don't worry,be happy...manyana. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: -2

5:42pm Sun 23 Feb 14

loosehead says...

Maine Lobster wrote:
This is why night workers deserve to have a rate of pay which is better than day hours and why any decent employer ought to pay them accordingly.
At BAT we got quite a difference in pay compared to the 6-2.2-10 shift workers & much more than the day workers but at Sainsbury I was on £6 an hour for night shift add those earnings with my company pension & for working there I was on about £400-£600 take home a month I only wanted to work to pay my mortgage off & this paltry amount wouldn't do it so I left & took up voluntary work instead
[quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: This is why night workers deserve to have a rate of pay which is better than day hours and why any decent employer ought to pay them accordingly.[/p][/quote]At BAT we got quite a difference in pay compared to the 6-2.2-10 shift workers & much more than the day workers but at Sainsbury I was on £6 an hour for night shift add those earnings with my company pension & for working there I was on about £400-£600 take home a month I only wanted to work to pay my mortgage off & this paltry amount wouldn't do it so I left & took up voluntary work instead loosehead
  • Score: 1

6:23pm Sun 23 Feb 14

dango says...

This is a very tenuous link to a local news story!
Also, it's not news.
Lots of studies have been carried out previously which drew the same conclusion IIRC.

Come on Echo, how about some real news.
This is a very tenuous link to a local news story! Also, it's not news. Lots of studies have been carried out previously which drew the same conclusion IIRC. Come on Echo, how about some real news. dango
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Maine Lobster says...

loosehead wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
This is why night workers deserve to have a rate of pay which is better than day hours and why any decent employer ought to pay them accordingly.
At BAT we got quite a difference in pay compared to the 6-2.2-10 shift workers & much more than the day workers but at Sainsbury I was on £6 an hour for night shift add those earnings with my company pension & for working there I was on about £400-£600 take home a month I only wanted to work to pay my mortgage off & this paltry amount wouldn't do it so I left & took up voluntary work instead
Supermarkets and retail in general are notoriously bad payers, despite many of the big players making huge profits and their employees having to work long anti-social hours for low wages. They are not a good example of a good employer.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: This is why night workers deserve to have a rate of pay which is better than day hours and why any decent employer ought to pay them accordingly.[/p][/quote]At BAT we got quite a difference in pay compared to the 6-2.2-10 shift workers & much more than the day workers but at Sainsbury I was on £6 an hour for night shift add those earnings with my company pension & for working there I was on about £400-£600 take home a month I only wanted to work to pay my mortgage off & this paltry amount wouldn't do it so I left & took up voluntary work instead[/p][/quote]Supermarkets and retail in general are notoriously bad payers, despite many of the big players making huge profits and their employees having to work long anti-social hours for low wages. They are not a good example of a good employer. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Sun 23 Feb 14

MassDebate88 says...

This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.
This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night. MassDebate88
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Sun 23 Feb 14

SotonLad says...

What about the police. They actually work nights, unlike the fire brigade who get paid to sleep!
What about the police. They actually work nights, unlike the fire brigade who get paid to sleep! SotonLad
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Sun 23 Feb 14

loosehead says...

MassDebate88 wrote:
This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.
We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day
[quote][p][bold]MassDebate88[/bold] wrote: This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.[/p][/quote]We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day loosehead
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Sun 23 Feb 14

loosehead says...

MassDebate88 wrote:
This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.
We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day
[quote][p][bold]MassDebate88[/bold] wrote: This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.[/p][/quote]We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day loosehead
  • Score: 0

1:33am Mon 24 Feb 14

BeyondImagination says...

Working days seems to damage peoples health so they claim benefits.
Working days seems to damage peoples health so they claim benefits. BeyondImagination
  • Score: 0

2:13am Mon 24 Feb 14

dolomiteman says...

Crew manager Craig Hawkes at St Mary’s fire station has worked night shifts for 15 years.
He works four-day stretches, with two 9am-6pm and two 6pm-9am shifts.

Vicky Grace, 21, from Sholing is a bar worker in Café Parfait nightclub in Above Bar Street, Southampton, serving customers from 9pm to 5am four days a week.
The Southampton University graduate initially chose the job to fit in with her studies and now juggles it with working one day a week as a school teaching assistant.

DE = How about asking people that work nights when doing an article about working nights, both those interviewed work split shifts with one having another day job so yes their sleep pattern and behaviours will be effected because they do not have a regular sleep pattern that someone who works only nights does have.
Crew manager Craig Hawkes at St Mary’s fire station has worked night shifts for 15 years. He works four-day stretches, with two 9am-6pm and two 6pm-9am shifts. Vicky Grace, 21, from Sholing is a bar worker in Café Parfait nightclub in Above Bar Street, Southampton, serving customers from 9pm to 5am four days a week. The Southampton University graduate initially chose the job to fit in with her studies and now juggles it with working one day a week as a school teaching assistant. DE = How about asking people that work nights when doing an article about working nights, both those interviewed work split shifts with one having another day job so yes their sleep pattern and behaviours will be effected because they do not have a regular sleep pattern that someone who works only nights does have. dolomiteman
  • Score: -1

3:28am Mon 24 Feb 14

metalmunki says...

I work nights only, typically starting anywhere between 6-11pm and finishing at 4-6am. I do 45 hours a week, get paid time-and-a-half after 11pm and work from home. It's on shifts, so I often work weekends.

Yeah, sometimes it can be a bit of a pain when you have appointments you can't avoid in the mornings, but typically I sleep in till about 12-1pm, and the rest of the day is mine. It's **** handy for parcel post, I'll say that much.
I work nights only, typically starting anywhere between 6-11pm and finishing at 4-6am. I do 45 hours a week, get paid time-and-a-half after 11pm and work from home. It's on shifts, so I often work weekends. Yeah, sometimes it can be a bit of a pain when you have appointments you can't avoid in the mornings, but typically I sleep in till about 12-1pm, and the rest of the day is mine. It's **** handy for parcel post, I'll say that much. metalmunki
  • Score: 0

6:28am Mon 24 Feb 14

KSO16R says...

loosehead wrote:
MassDebate88 wrote:
This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.
We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day
BAT don't count as 'work'
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MassDebate88[/bold] wrote: This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.[/p][/quote]We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day[/p][/quote]BAT don't count as 'work' KSO16R
  • Score: -1

6:29am Mon 24 Feb 14

loosehead says...

BeyondImagination wrote:
Working days seems to damage peoples health so they claim benefits.
sorry but i don't claim benefits so who are you talking about?
[quote][p][bold]BeyondImagination[/bold] wrote: Working days seems to damage peoples health so they claim benefits.[/p][/quote]sorry but i don't claim benefits so who are you talking about? loosehead
  • Score: 1

6:33am Mon 24 Feb 14

loosehead says...

KSO16R wrote:
loosehead wrote:
MassDebate88 wrote:
This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.
We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day
BAT don't count as 'work'
really? so let me know what does as I did classify it as work. does a person sitting in a petrol station all night serving customers count as work?
Have you ever had to hand fill huge cases with tobacco ?
Yes there are harder more manual forms of work but to say BAT WORKERS didn't WORK is wrong
[quote][p][bold]KSO16R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MassDebate88[/bold] wrote: This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.[/p][/quote]We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day[/p][/quote]BAT don't count as 'work'[/p][/quote]really? so let me know what does as I did classify it as work. does a person sitting in a petrol station all night serving customers count as work? Have you ever had to hand fill huge cases with tobacco ? Yes there are harder more manual forms of work but to say BAT WORKERS didn't WORK is wrong loosehead
  • Score: 1

6:33am Mon 24 Feb 14

loosehead says...

KSO16R wrote:
loosehead wrote:
MassDebate88 wrote:
This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.
We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day
BAT don't count as 'work'
really? so let me know what does as I did classify it as work. does a person sitting in a petrol station all night serving customers count as work?
Have you ever had to hand fill huge cases with tobacco ?
Yes there are harder more manual forms of work but to say BAT WORKERS didn't WORK is wrong
[quote][p][bold]KSO16R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MassDebate88[/bold] wrote: This isn't the same for everyone. I've worked 5 night shifts a week for the last 3 years, and I loved it. Now I do day shifts and I hate it. Some of us just can't sleep at night.[/p][/quote]We all loved working nights at BAT on normal shift patterns I struggled to sleep at night but found it very easy working through the night & sleeping through the day[/p][/quote]BAT don't count as 'work'[/p][/quote]really? so let me know what does as I did classify it as work. does a person sitting in a petrol station all night serving customers count as work? Have you ever had to hand fill huge cases with tobacco ? Yes there are harder more manual forms of work but to say BAT WORKERS didn't WORK is wrong loosehead
  • Score: 1

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