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Night shifts, can be a useful job when you can doze off the rest of the day, but can be probelmatic for your health. Studies are yet to be retested over several courses of time, and the results are yet to reconsider, to prove whether sleep deprivation at night can be extremely harmful over a period time or does not affect much towards the sleep cycle of an individual.
For people working in shifts at night, lack of proper sleep and night-time wakefulness can cause damage to the structure of the human DNA and lead to many diseases, including cancer and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular, neurological and pulmonary diseases.
The study, published in the Anesthesia academic journal, shows that DNA repair gene expression is lower at baseline among night workers and further decreases after acute sleep deprivation, which supports the assumption that night workers demonstrate impaired DNA repair.
The findings of the research showed that people who are required to work overnight demonstrate a 30 per cent higher DNA breaks as compared with those not required to work overnight, and this DNA damage is further increased by over 25 per cent after a night of acute sleep deprivation.
For the study, the team of scientist, from the University of Hong Kong examined a small group of healthy full-time doctors, average age between 28 and 33, who donated a sample of blood after three days of adequate sleep.
Doctors who worked the night shift then had additional blood sampled the morning after, following acute sleep deprivation.
Furthermore, larger prospective studies are looking at relationships between the DNA damage and the chronic disease development, and methods that are to relieve or repair the DNA damage linked to sleep deprivation should be investigated.
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