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What can be the effects of shift work on my health?

Shift work disorder makes it difficult to get enough sleep each day. Short-term problems that can be caused by shift work disorder include:
  • excessive sleepiness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • lack of energy
  • difficulty concentrating
  • headaches
  • poor mood and irritability
Shift work disorder can also increase the risk for:
  • work-related injuries
  • costly mistakes at work
  • increased use of sick time
  • accidents related to drowsy driving
  • substance abuse due to use of drugs or alcohol to improve sleep
Increased long term health risks for shift work disorder include:
  • Frequent infections, colds and the flu
  • Breast and prostate cancer
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.