Is there any medical evidence that it's not good to work in the night and sleep during the day?

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Often heard that it's not good for health to work through the night and sleep in the day, is there any medical support on this issue?? Or only a belief??
 

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berkeman
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Often heard that it's not good for health to work through the night and sleep in the day, is there any medical support on this issue?? Or only a belief??
Certainly working different shifts (sometimes night shifts and sometimes day shifts) can cause a number of problems. But on your specific question about working consistent night shifts, here is a good article that includes references to a number of other studies:

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/night-work

Our bodies and brains evolved to relax and cool down after dark and to spring back into action come morning. People who work the night shift must combat their bodies’ natural rest period while trying to remain alert and high functioning. It doesn’t matter whether they get enough sleep during the daytime, she says. All the sleep in the world won’t make up for circadian misalignment.

That’s especially dangerous for people whose jobs require them to be on high alert and make split-second, life-or-death decisions during the night, such as medical personnel or police officers. It’s common for police departments, for example, to require rookies and lower-ranking officers to bear the brunt of night shifts. They’ll often work a few days during normal daytime hours, then either work an extra-long shift that carries on until the morning, or take a day off, rest, then work a full night shift.

But that seesaw scheduling approach is a doubly bad idea, says John Violanti, PhD, an organizational psychologist who was a New York state trooper for 23 years. Not only are these highly stressful, performance-draining shifts being foisted upon the least experienced officers, but the young officers aren’t given time to adjust their sleep schedules for night work. Also, many officers seek night shifts to get overtime pay, he says. According to Vila’s research, roughly 40 percent of the nation’s 861,000 police officers work more than 12 hours a day — and a similar proportion suffer from a sleep disorder such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness.
 
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Often heard that it's not good for health to work through the night and sleep in the day, is there any medical support on this issue?? Or only a belief??
Lack of sleep and disturbed biorhythms has been linked to a whole range of diseases, even directly to death; it is not so much sleeping in the day but instead loss of homeostasis at multiple levels.
 
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Laroxe
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berkeman
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I was working an overnight 12-hour medical shift with a great ER doctor that I've had the pleasure of working with several times, and he offered up an interesting and very personal perspective about the fatigue that you can experience working consistent graveyard shifts.

We were working at a medical checkpoint at a large multi-day law enforcement exercise, so we were mostly dealing with smaller medical issues, but with the potential for larger problems to come up (as they had in past years a few times at this annual exercise). This doctor has always been great at using some of the down time between waves of patients to be instructive mentoring the medical staff (mostly nurses, but a few of us medics too). Around 0200, he mentioned to us that early in the morning for an overnight 12-hour shift was always the scariest time for him in terms of worrying about making medical errors. It's the time when you are the most fatigued usually, and it is before you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as your shift will end around 0600.

He said that he has always placed extra emphasis on using cross-checks for medication choices and administration at those times in a shift, to help to avoid having an error affect a patient. We were all a bit woogie at that point in the shift, so his message really hit home. Always cross-check when there is a chance that you are not fresh and thinking with a clear head.
 
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I can certainly relate: the first time I literally felt woozy on duty was on a night shift when I was pulled out of bed by the gynecologist at 5 am - after getting a solid half hour of sleep - to actively assist him during an emergency caesarean.

That was also my first caesarean... I had never before seen as much blood before during surgery; the suspense of things going awry was actually the only thing keeping me awake. It was only in the next few days I came to realize that all caesareans were this bloody :DD
 

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