CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Could your job be making you sick? Maybe, especially if you work the night shift.
Local doctors agree with new reports that show working those unusual hours could lead to big health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
"It can be rough, I don't get hardly any sleep," said Charles Griffin.
Griffin works the overnight shift, usually midnight to 8:30 in the morning.
"I'll come home, I eat breakfast and then I'm ready for bed," Griffin said.
Griffin said he gets about four or five hours of sleep a night, not the recommended eight.
With a lack of sleep, sleep specialist Dr. Brad Bittle with St. Francis Medical Center said night shift workers have a higher risk of obesity, heart issues and diabetes. They're also more likely to be involved in an accident while at work.
"That night shift can affect your health, so you need to take what steps you can to make sure the sleep quality you get when you're not working is adequate," said Bittle.
Bittle gives a couple of tips to get the best sleep after a night shift:
- Wear dark sunglasses home from work so the morning sun doesn't energize you
- Keep your sleeping space dark
- A small dose of Melatonin or a short acting sleep prescription can help
- Avoid stimulants like coffee and soda towards the end of your shift
But even if he had the option, Griffin said he doesn't think he would switch to working days.
"Money, it all boils down to money, you know you make more money on a midnight shift than you do on a day shift," he said. "I enjoy the hours and I enjoy the people I'm around."
To stay alert during your shift, Bittle suggested turning on bright lights before your shift, and squeezing in a short nap during a break at work.