Look up "side-splitting humor" in the dictionary and you should probably come across the trailer for Girls Trip, which is the funniest movie of 2017, no contest.
Am I tempting fate by wondering if the Lakers end up in this conversation within a couple weeks? They'd have to go on a truly epic slide to be bad enough to keep their draft pick at this rate (top-three protected to Philly) but I think the question is whether they should continue to build slowly around this core or flip one or two of the young dudes for a star.
"There is strong evidence that shift work is related to a number of serious health conditions, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity," says Frank Scheer PhD, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "These differences we're seeing can't just be explained by lifestyle or socioeconomic status."
The Many Faces of Shift Workers
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a shift worker is not just someone who works nights, but anyone who works outside a steady 9 to 5 schedule.
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Song “Unforgettable” (Li Guyi, Zhang Yingxi and students from Confucius Institute)
The "Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology" published a study in early 2016 entitled, "The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall." While the title seems a bit long and complex, the study actually demonstrated a very simple idea. Drawing words in picture form helps people make better and stronger memories. The authors of the study created simple tasks where a participant would first draw a simple word, like a common piece of fruit. Later, the authors of the study would ask the participants to recall the words they drew. Other participants in the study were given different tasks like repeating the given word aloud a certain number of times or actually writing the word down. The researchers found that participants who drew doodles of the words they needed to recall fared much better than other participants.
"This is a hard one for people to understand how they're doing it, but it's an easy one for managers to pick up," Kay says. In many cases, you're disengaged, or as Kay describes it: "not being totally mentally present." Maybe you used to chime in a lot during meetings, and now you're quiet. Maybe you're not producing as much as you used to. Maybe you're not excited about a new project you've been asked to manage。
How Does Shift Work Affect Us?
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In terms of lifestyle, working odd hours leads to some obvious problems. People who do shift work tend to have sleep disturbances and sleep loss. They might feel isolated, since their jobs cut them off from their friends and families. They might find it harder to exercise regularly, and may be prone to eat junk food out of a handy vending machine, says Scheer.
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Because circadian rhythm affects how the body functions, disrupting it can throw everything out of whack -- including our cardiovascular system, metabolism, digestion, immune system, and hormonal balance. That appears to have serious consequences.
Short-Term Health Effects of Shift Work
The short-term health effects of shift work are clear. Even if you're not a shift worker yourself, you've probably experienced the equivalent effects -- maybe after a transatlantic flight, an all-nighter in college, or a few nights with a wailing newborn. Aside from the obvious fatigue, effects include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn
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- Decreased quality of life
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Long-Term Health Effects of Shift Work
Cardiovascular disease. For decades, researchers have seen an association between shift work and the risk of heart attacks and heart disease.
One review of the research found that shift work seems to raise the risk of cardiovascular disease by 40%. In general, the risks seem to grow the longer a person continues to work nights. One analysis found that the risk of stroke increased by 5% for every five years a person performed shift work. However, the stroke risks rose only after a person performed shift work for 15 years.
Diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A number of studies have found that shift work seems to be a risk factor for diabetes. One Japanese study found that shift workers -- specifically, those who worked 16-hour shifts -- had a 50% higher incidence of diabetes than day workers.
Shift work has also been linked with metabolic syndrome, a combination of health problems like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. It's a serious risk factor for diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke. One 2007 study followed more than 700 healthy medical workers over four years. The incidence of metabolic syndrome was more than three times as high in those who worked night shifts.
Obesity. There are several possible reasons for the link between obesity and shift work. Poor diet and lack of exercise might be part of the problem. Hormone balance seems to be important too. The hormone leptin plays a key role in regulating our appetite; it helps make us feel full. Since shift work seems to lower the levels of leptin, it could be that night workers just feel hungrier -- and thus eat more -- than day workers.
Depression and Mood Disorders. Some studies have found that shift workers are more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. The social isolation of shift work surely takes a psychological toll. Shift work might also affect brain chemistry directly. One 2007 study found that when compared to day workers, night workers had significantly lower levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a key role in mood.
Serious Gastrointestinal Problems. For more than 50 years, researchers have noticed that shift work seems to increase the risk of peptic ulcers. It also seems to raise the risk of general GI symptoms (like nausea, diarrhea, and constipation) and possibly some types of functional bowel disease (like irritable bowel syndrome.) One 2008 study found evidence linking shift work with chronic heartburn or GERD.
Problems with Fertility and Pregnancy. Research has shown that shift work can affect a woman's reproductive system. One study looked at flight attendants, who typically work in shifts. The results showed that flight attendants who worked during pregnancy were twice as likely to have a miscarriage as flight attendants who did not. Shift work also seems to be associated with an increase the risk of complications during delivery, premature and low-weight babies, fertility problems, endometriosis, irregular periods, and painful periods.
Cancer. There is some strong evidence -- from both human and animal studies -- that shift work poses an increased risk of cancer. A 2007, a subcommittee of the World Health Organization went as far as to state that shift work is "probably carcinogenic."
Two analyses of data from different studies found that night work increased the risk of breast cancer by 50%. Working shifts on airplanes, like pilots and flight attendants do, increased the risk by 70%. There's evidence that shift work might increase the risk of colorectal and prostate cancer as well.
So far, evidence suggests that the cancer risks go up only after many years of shift work -- perhaps as many as 20 years.
Shift Work: Understanding Your Risks
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Scheer led a small laboratory experiment to test the effects of disrupting the circadian rhythm. To simulate the effects of shift work, Scheer had 10 healthy adults adopt a constantly changing schedule of eating and sleeping. After just 10 days, he found that they all had lower leptin levels (which would increase appetite), higher blood pressure, and worse sleep.
The report didn't comment on potential factors influencing the numbers, but many – including members of the opposing political party – are laying the blame squarely at the feet of government cost-cutting.
"If all these train tickets were lined up, they would circle the earth 7 times," said Zhu Jiansheng, deputy director of the Institute of Computing Technologies with the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences, where the ticketing system was developed.
Scheer cautions that the implications of the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, are limited. A small laboratory experiment can't fully reflect what's happening to actual shift workers. It's also possible that some of these health effects might improve as people get used to shift work. On the other hand, it's also possible that these effects would just worsen over time. For now, we don't know.
Shift Work Risks: What You Can Do
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Eat well and exercise. Since many of the risks of shift work are tied to obesity and metabolic syndrome, step up your efforts to prevent them. Exercising regularly, eating well, and keeping a healthy weight could make a difference.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation has its own health risks, and studies suggest that shift workers sleep less effectively than day workers. Part of the problem is that even brief exposure to light during the day naturally wakes up your body, making it hard to sleep.
Scheer recommends that shift workers make an extra effort to practice good sleep hygiene when they're getting ready for bed. Make sure to block out the light in your bedroom with room darkening shades or with a sleep mask. Some people drive home from a night shift wearing sunglasses to reduce their exposure to morning light.
Change your schedule. While moving to daytime shift might not be possible, making changes to how you work at night could help, too. For instance, some experts think that working stable rather than rotating shifts might be healthier.
Many industries are also experimenting with different approaches to shift work -- like shorter shifts and scheduled nap times.
See your doctor. Your doctor might suggest medicine either to help you stay awake during shifts or to help you sleep when you get into bed. Also, if you're concerned about the health effects of shift work, your doctor should monitor your health more closely. That's especially true if you already have any health problems.
"People who perform shift work need closer monitoring," Scheer tells WebMD. "That way their doctors can tell them if they're not coping well medically."
If your health is obviously suffering -- if you're gaining weight and your blood sugar is rising -- it could be an obvious sign that you need to consider a new line of work. If your doctor doesn't see any problems, you could perform your shift work with more confidence.
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A series of explosions on Aug. 12 that originated in a warehouse illegally storing hazardous chemicals in the port city of Tianjin killed 173 people, injured hundreds and left behind post-apocalyptic scenes of destruction. The blasts raised serious questions about the lax enforcement of safety regulations during China's rapid industrialization.