Being a night shift worker is a modern-day scourge that is a consequence of globalisation and the 24x7 economy, which is also a result of globalisation.
Why do I call it a scourge, you may wonder.
I agree that the benefits for the economic growth of the country and the earning ability of companies and individuals have dramatically increased.
I also agree that millions of new jobs have been created and our country's infrastructure has been developed due to the mushrooming of the beneficiary industries.
But all this is done at a huge cost. The cost on the health of those who take up this night shift work is huge.
95% of the people who work at the night shift are paying the price for sleep deprivation.
Changing their sleep schedule is not enough for them to recoup the cost of the sleep loss.
It is not just the hours of sleep that is important.
Natural sleep during your normal circadian cycle gives benefits that cannot be compensated by sleeping during the day.
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The price that night shift workers pay after a period of time are:
Reduced fertility and virility
Obesity risks increased
Type 2 Diabetes risks increased
Hypertension (High BP) risks increased
Cancer risk increased
Less productivity & more mistakes
Earlier onset of Alzheimer's
Increased risk of depression and later dementia
Higher risk of heart attack and death
Cognitive skills impairment
Their future and the future of their lineage are at risk. Does economic progress justify such risks? Shouldn't we be more concerned about our health and the continuation of our species, rather than submit ourselves to short-term economic interests?
If we don’t have the option of night shift work, we will find a way to still survive and thrive. To combat Corona and to protect the human race, the Govt took up the responsibility of protecting the people irrespective of the risk to the economy. Will they take up a similar stance with night shift work or will they ignore it because only a few millions are affected?
If you are a night shift worker you might want to consider alternatives if you value your own health, longevity, and happiness.
After all, we can be responsible for our own life, health and happiness.