Sleep and work
About 10% to 15% of the working population does night shift work and in some major sectors, e.g. health, transport, this percentage is much higher. Night work has resulted to a massive disturbance of the normal sleep-wake rhythm. Numerous prospective and cross-sectional surveys have shown that night workers have a shorter duration of sleep than day workers and a higher prevalence of sleep problems and fatigue although the studies are not all consistent. Night workers have probably a higher risk of post-shift accidents and, in the long term, a higher risk of cardiometabolic disorders, obesity, type 2 diabetes and possibly cancer. I will discuss the evidence associating night work with acute and long-term health problems.
Manolis Kogevinas, MD, PhD is a senior researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). He is currently on sabbatical at the School of Public Health, UW and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA. He worked at IARC/WHO, Lyon, at IMIM, Barcelona, and was co-Director of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona, Spain. His research focuses on environmental, occupational and genetic factors in relation to cancer, respiratory diseases and child health. In recent years he has focused his research on the effects of circadian disruption on health. He has published more than 500 indexed scientific papers. He was President of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) in 2016-2017.