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Shiftwork and Circadian Rhythms


Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2003
    Besides the fact that some people have trouble adjusting to shift work, are there any studies that show correlations between constat shift work (changing one's circadian rhythms) and quality of life, depression, life span, and overall health?

    A friend of mine has done research on circadian rhythms, and has briefly mentioned that constantly altering one's circadian rhythm can take off as much as 10 years off of a person's life. I don't know if she is correct, I really hope not!

    What do you guys think?


    1K Member
    15+ Year Member
    Sep 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
      Rotating shift work for what's been studied seems to take a few years off your life, though the landmark study on that was done on coal miners. Being sleepy and making a small mistake tends to shorten your life much more dramatically if your deep in a mine surrounded by tons of rock than if you forget to order a lab test. I think that's the study that your friend is citing, btw. As to quality of life, depression, and overall health, I think I'm enjoying a better life than most physicians, I'm clearly in much better health than most doctors I know. It's a personal thing, I think, depending on the choices you make for your life.
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