Do you work night shifts? New research has found your working hours could be causing serious damage to your health! As your body undergoes the same effect as jet lag you struggle to catch up on those sleepless nights.
This month experts have now warned women are more likely to have poor sleep patterns and be effected by the health implications of shift work than men.
Researchers for the University of Surrey put both men and women on a 28-hour day cycle, controlling the environment and disrupting the brain's 24 hour clock - mimicking the effects of shift work or jet-lag.
Every three hours during the 28 hour day they were put through a range of tests including self reporting sleepiness, mood and effort, as well as objective cognitive tests measuring attention, motor control and working memory.
The results revealed the effects showed that women struggle more than men with the cognitive function after being exposed to shift work.
Shift work isn't easy because it involves working against your body's natural rhythm. You need to be active and alert at night when your body is designed to sleep - and need to sleep in the day when you're wired to be awake.
To avoid fatigue, shift workers need to get as close to 7-8 hours of sleep as possible, which is the average amount of sleep for most adults. Losing two hours sleep a day for four days or nights can make you almost as sleep-deprived as missing a whole night of sleep.
Did you know? Many shift workers are also driving at times when their body clock tells them to sleep - research has also shown that shift workers are six times more likely to be in a fatigue-related road accident than other workers!