We all are fascinated by the idea of sleeping during the day and working at night. According to the survey, there are nearly 20% of night shift workers in Europe, the US, and Canada.
There are several benefits of night shift like liberty for employees, convenience, less working hours, and many more. However, there are some drawbacks of it as well. Many experts have stated the negative impacts of the night shift on health, but its impact on gene was never discussed.
In recent research conducted by scientists from McGill University, it was mentioned that our genes are in sync with the daytime routine. They also stated that the genes are not capable of adjusting to the nighttime routine.
Researchers at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (DMHUI), published a study. The researchers, Marc Cuesta, Diane B. Boivin, Laura Kervezee, and Nicolas Cermakian, showed the effect of night shift work on genes.
In this study, 8 healthy volunteers were selected for a 5-day simulating night shift work. They were placed in an isolation room where they had no idea about the time of the day. The first night, volunteers followed the normal routine and for the rest 4-days, they followed night shift.
They mentioned this study helped them have a better understanding of our genes and the effect of our behaviors when they are tuned in with biological clock. They found out that our DNA did not adapt to new behaviors.
We all know that the expression of the genes is different throughout the day. The repetitive rhythms are crucial for maintaining behavioral and physiological processes. In the study, it was found that 25% of the rhythmic genes lost their biological rhythm while 73% did not adjust to the night routine. Only 3% were able to adapt to the night shift work.
They also found that it may lead to several health problems like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease if the workers are on night shift for the long term. Dr. Boivin states that to support this claim, there is a need to gain more evidence, so more research should be conducted.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the night shift does have a negative impact on our DNA. In future studies, the focus should be on the actual night shift workers whose time of sleep, physical activity, and food consumption are different.