Monday, December 3, 2007

24-hours a day - time for sleep?

Sleep is in the news again – we aren’t getting enough of it and it’s affecting our health in a big way.

Of course, for people working night shifts, getting a good sleep isn’t always easy. As much as we try to get our body to adjust to sleeping during the day instead of at night – it’s just not natural. The story Nurses working extended shifts, are tired at work and sleep little likely to drive drowsy is an important one. The issue doesn’t rest with just nurses though. It used to be that only certain professions worked overnight and those were the professions that were vital to the health and functioning of the community: doctors, nurses, bus drivers, city workers who plowed the snow, and many others.

But now, with our changing society, we have people working overnight at the local fast food places, some mega-store chains, 24-hour corner stores and more. While this may be making life easier for many of us who do work odd shifts, what it does is add to the number of people who are working hours that are unnatural to the body clock and adding to the number of people who may be driving in an exhausted state.

Good sleep is vital to good health, so maybe we need to rethink how we feel about what is really important to us.

News for Today:

New drug curbs age-related macular degeneration: study
Promising new HIV-AIDS drug approved in Canada
Childhood sleep-disordered breathing disproportionately affects obese and African-Americans
Study links blood transfusions to surgery complications in women
Short, long sleep duration associated with increased mortality
Nurses working extended shifts, are tired at work and sleep little likely to drive drowsy
New study in the journal Sleep finds that sleep duration raises the risk for diabetes
Napping a more effective countermeasure to sleepiness in younger people

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