Working night shifts: A likely cause of stroke and heart diseases

Channels Television  
Updated August 1, 2012

According to the British Medical Journals (BMJ), studies have shown that working night shifts or any other odd hour shift other than a regular day schedule may increase chances of suffering a heart attack or a stroke within the first 10-15 years employment.

According to data evidence, there are indications of increased incidence of heart attack and stroke in people working odd hours, rotating and night shifts.

Exact mechanism which leads to increase risk for heart attack and stroke is likely related to disruption of sleep-wake cycles or the body natural circadian rhythm ultimately linked to a disruption in the morning cortisol rise.

Shift workers are also more likely to eat an unhealthy diet high in carbohydrate and fats or smoke to compensate for their lack of sleep or even a high intake of coffee. In addition shift workers often don’t get enough exercise due to fatigue and low energy levels.

Hence shift workers are advised to go for constant checkups to know their risk, and have your doctor focus on your blood pressure, cholesterol, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio and fasting blood sugar which reflects your risk for diabetes.


1. Quit smoking.

2. Take breaks at work, meditate and take deep breathing exercises.

3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

4. Exercise aerobically 30mins-1hour daily.

5. Sleep in a cool, dark room if you must work the night shift.