Discuss the social, psychological and physiological affects of nightwork on the individual

Essay by needhame March 2003

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"Discuss the social, psychological and physiological affects of nightwork on the individual"

" ... the human body and mind are meant to sleep at night and be active during daylight . some workers can adapt to working continually during the but among these certain health disorders are prominent" ( kroemer & Grandjean, 1997). Despite this fact numbers of people are being asked to work at night. The body may acclimatize if one works by night and sleeps by day regularly and consistently. However for many night work is an irregular part of their timetable: night work and day work alternating irregularly. This is where the problems arise. This essay will look briefly at why night work has become such a large and busy area within industry and employment. It will also cover the organization of shifts, the effects of the body's circadian rhythms and the health difficulties associated with nightwork.

Increased demands in productivity and changes in lifestyle over the past fifty years or so have led to more and more people seeking out work at night. A huge factor behind this shift was the availability of electricity. World War II also played a large part in this revolution as demands for ammunition was high and continual; missions were often carried out under cover at night time and a great strain was placed on emergency services. There was however people working in nightshifts long before this period. As long as there has been facilities providing care for the sick there has been people working through the night. Most of the common farm animals give birth to their young during the night thus carers and vets have always been there to take care of these matters 24 hours a day. The main difference between night work today is that people from...