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Night shifts affect women more than men

Disturbance to a good night's sleep may affect women's brains, says study

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Apr 19 2016 3:44PM | Updated Date: Apr 19 2016 3:44PM

Night shifts affect women more than men

Sleep is crucial part of our biological cycle and disturbance to a good night's sleep, especially after working in night shifts, may affect women's brains more than men's, says a study.

 
A study by group of researchers has revealed that the circadian effects -- the 24-hour biological cycle -- on brain performance was considerably stronger in women than in men such that women were more cognitively impaired after the end of doing night shifts.
 
"We show for the first time that challenging the circadian clock affects the performance of men and women differently. Our research findings are significant in view of shift work-related cognitive deficits and changes in mood,” said one of the researchers Nayantara Santhi from University of Surrey.
 
Desynchronised sleep-wake cycle from the brain's 24-hour clock, lead to damage in mental skills such as attention, motor control and working memory. 
 
Team compared the brain functions of 16 male and 18 female participants who were kept on 28-hour a day cycle in a measured environment without natural light dark cycles.
 
This efficiently desynchronised the sleep-wake cycle from the brain's 24-hour (circadian) clock, similar to jet lag or a shiftwork scenario.
 
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, raises noteworthy suggestions for female nightshift workers such as nurses, security guards and police officers.