Our body has a natural clock. This body cycle, also known as circadian rhythm, regulates our desire for sleep and waking up. This complex rhythm uses natural factors such as daylight to determine when we feel like going to bed. When it is dark, we want to sleep; when sun is shining, we want to get up. This happens because of this sleep/wake cycle.
Modern lifestyles, and job-related compulsions have created a conflict between our body’s natural cycles and how actually our body has to function.
Most of us are not aware of this natural body cycle. We don’t pay enough attention to it. Be it the use of gadgets, television or our varying working hours, they all have disrupted the delicate balance of our body.
What Happens if this Balance is Disrupted?
Be ready for hormonal changes and metabolic syndrome.
You become more vulnerable to life-threatening diseases like stroke, heart disease or type 2 diabetes, if you are suffering from metabolic syndrome.
A recent study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, has revealed that in this highly digitalized era, sleep disorders are more common than ever.
The Worst Sufferers are Shift Workers
The study has established a connection between circadian discordance, hormonal imbalance, and the development of metabolic syndrome in shift workers.
Circadian desynchrony is the opposite of circadian rhythm. It destroys the natural cycle of our body.
It seems we have forgotten how important it is to have enough sleep. Not only this, we also don’t eat healthy foods at workplace. Lack of exercise is another factor. All these adversely affect the natural cycle of our body.
Before it is too late, healthcare professionals, corporate and individual employees have to work together to protect our bodies from falling into the metabolic syndrome.
What Should You Do?
- Try to get a good quality sleep.
- Get minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
- You should go to bed every day at the same time.
- To protect their body’s natural cycle, shift workers should try to sleep in the evening, or as close to the evening as possible.
- Employers should ensure that shifts should not last longer than 11 hours.
- Nutrition has a positive effect on our body. Don’t skip meals at shifts, and don’t replace health meals with unhealthy snacks.
- Make sure that you are eating at least three meals every day.
- You can’t choose your working hours, but you can protect your body by consuming a good amount of protein and vegetables.
- Lack of exposure to good quality lights disrupt the functioning of the body clock of night workers. If you are a night worker, then try to increase your exposure to light before shifts.
- Employees can help protect the health of their workers by installing high intensity lights in workplaces. Also, avoid blue lights at least 2-3 hours before going to sleep.
- If nothing works, then you must not forget to seek medical help. Some medications can actually restore your natural body cycle.