Shift work and ill health

Sometimes I can be working untill 2am , the next week I can be starting work at 5am , with only 28 hours to adjust . Its hell , I write off the first early shift , knowing I will only get a few hours sleep . It gradually gets easier for me and my broken body throughout the week , only for the shifts to change again at the end . I find it very difficult , and im only 25 , how does someone in thier late 50s early 60s cope? Are there any facts that say shiftworkers suffer ill health as a result of what they do? How long does the average shift worker live after retirement? My bet is that a 9 to 5er has a much longer , healthier retirement .

My Grandmother did shift work in a textile mill for 30 years. She was forced to retire at 70 years old. When Walmart came to town, she was first in line to apply to be a greeter, retirement did not agree with her. She’s in reasonable health but they only let her work 30 hours a week. She turned 82 this past October.

Her mother was a nurse and they work horrible hours to this day. I’m not sure when she started, but in a scrapbook my mother has, there is a picture of my great grandmother and some other nurses killing the flies before an operation. She was a nurse for 44 years and died at age 96 at home.

These 2 women in my family worked all their lives under horrible conditions and often worked awful shifts but they lived long, healthy lives and my Grandmother is still going. Work is one of the steps to the enlightened path.

Yup, shift work is a recognised problem and there have been very many studies on it, especially in safety critical roles such as air traffic control and hospital staff.

Shift workers also live slightly shorter lives in general.