Posted in mindfulness, Stress management, Time management

Managing your body clock…

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Recent study showed that working antisocial hours can age the brain and affect intellectual ability.

The research focused on people working for more than a decade as shift workers, there was a recovery but it could be as long as 5 years.

As humans are internal clock is set to be active during the day and asleep at night.

The brain naturally declines as we age, but the researchers said working antisocial shifts accelerated the process.  Those with more than 10 years of shift work under their belts had the same results as someone six and a half years older.

Dr Philip Tucker, part of the research team in Swansea, told the BBC: “It was quite a substantial decline in brain function, it is likely that when people trying to undertake complex cognitive tasks then they might make more mistakes and slip-ups, maybe one in 100 makes a mistake with a very large consequence, but it’s hard to say how big a difference it would make in day-to-day life.”

“There are ways to mitigate the effects in the way you design work schedules and regular medical check-ups… should include cognitive performance tests to look for danger signs,” he added.

Therefore although the research seems quite damning the knowledge can now help advances and support for dementia.   Care homes following strict routines and allowing bright lighting to reflect the changes in the day can work in sync with the body clock.
Think about your team members and although not shift workers think around what they have left at home and whether their body clock is in tune.
  1. The new parent who has a disruptive night
  2. The new team member who parties most nights
  3. The individual who spent the last 4 nights at the hospital with their sick parent
  4. The person who got back from holiday with long flight delays and jetlag
  5. The CEO who has flown to the States for one meeting

Think how you can support your team workers or articulate to them the changes in their mind that might occur whilst messing with their body clock.

Ageing 6.5  years might be extreme however taking care of our body clocks might give us those valuable years to enjoy.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk to manage your own body clock with one to one coaching or 90 minute workshops.

_DUB4121

 

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