Friday, December 7, 2007

Nightshift May Lead to Cancer

The news media recently reported a higher risk of cancer in those individuals working the night shift. Did I mention Ibis just started working nights? Great, because he needed another thing to make this harder.

For those unfamiliar, after 9pm, my husband falls asleep at the drop of a hat. It happens most often while we're watching a movie, whether we're at home or in a theater. I've developed a habit of looking at him every 5 minutes to check if he's awake, something he doesn't mind but it irritates others when I do it to them. I had to apologize to my sister while I was home because I kept looking at her during the movie - she's a big girl, she can stay awake the whole two hours. ;)

So now my nearly-narcoleptic husband is working at the front desk of a hotel, on the night shift. To make things worse, they aren't allowed to sit down. I keep asking him what the heck they do all night that makes it crucial they be on their feet, but he just says they keep busy. Sounds like a load of crap to me. It pisses me off because he's tired enough without the added torture of needing to stay vertical from 11pm-7am. I've been to other hotels where they let the staff sit down - I guess we know why there's a high turnover at this place.

I don't know how long he'll last. Poor thing is already dragging around like he hasn't slept in weeks. I gave him my black headband to block out the light & that helped him catch a few hours this morning, but he looked like he'd been run over by a truck when he left an hour ago. Oh yeah, they wanted him there at 2pm today. He does have tonight off but he still has a test in school to get through.

We know of a small hotel in town that will have a management position open starting in January, and we know the owners so he has a good chance of getting the job. We might have to chalk up this current position to learning the business. A little experience never hurt anyone. Well, except for the cancer part, but he hasn't been there long enough to have any ill-effects. Just lack of sleep and sore feet.


Kate Boddie said...

My dad's worked third shirt for most of his working life and he's fine. *knock on wood* If this were something significant than people living up closer to the Arctic Circle where they have 24 hours of day and night 6 months a year respectively, the cancer rate would be sky high there because that screws with you're internal clock too. My dad's an insomniac to begin with but he tried days and got zero sleep because he couldn't adjust back to a 9 to 5. Yoru body's clock is what you make of it and if you're used to working 11 to 7 and get your recommended hours every day, how is that any different than working a 9 to 5 and sleeping at night? I wouldn't worry about it. I'm convinced the people releasing those types of reports are trying to rouse paranoia in people. They're so indecisive about BC that they can't make up their minds whether being on it for a long time does or doesn't lead to a higher risk of cancer. I say let them get some more conclusive data first before you waste yoru efforts worrying.

Laurie (quidscribis) said...

I worked graveyard shift for two and a half years at a hotel - night audit. My sleep cycle was screwed up for years after. It ain't fun. Personally, I'm not worried about cancer - I'm more concerned with the other effects of working graveyard shift.