Serotonin and Stressful Work (shifts)

Technology, international trade, business, and the ambition to maintain an advantage best describe this century. Due to these aspects, businesses compete in a world where the economy is active around the clock. Due to this phenomenon, employers needed workers who would stay late into the night and early the next morning. This work schedule flipped the employee’s lifestyle, which made the day their time for napping. Shifts may impair sleep cycles and interfere with the regular processes of the body. Shifts may also lower serotonin levels. The problem is that serotonin and stressful work don’t go hand in hand.

What is serotonin? 

Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin is manufactured in the brain, where it performs its primary functions, some 90% of our serotonin supply is found in the digestive tract and blood platelets.

Shift workers have decreased serotonin levels

This neurotransmitter, serotonin, is present in the central nervous system. This affects several processes, including mood, sleep, sexuality, and appetite. Furthermore, this neurotransmitter might stimulate cell renewal.

According to studies, non-day shift employees have lower serotonin levels than day shift workers.

The University of Buenos Aires, under the direction of Dr. Carlos J. Pirola, compared 437 day employees and 246 shift workers.  

Blood tests revealed that the serotonin levels of shift workers were lower than those of people who worked typical daytime hours.

Shift work sleep disorder

Shift workers were also shown to have higher:

  • Cholesterol,
  • Hip-to-waist ratios,
  • Higher blood pressure, and
  • Triglyceride levels.

The University of Buenos Aires study hypothesized that shift work may also result in a condition known as “Shift Work Sleep Disorder”. This is because serotonin regulates sleep patterns and other body functions.

Serotonin and Stressful work

The tendency of those who have this disorder is to sleep less than they should. Lower levels of serotonin and stress at work can destroy a person. These people may experience extreme sleepiness during the day. This disorder exists because of a work schedule that occurs when people should be asleep. People struggle to fall asleep as a result because their bodies are still wired to be awake. The amount of time between falling asleep and waking up is not what the body’s internal clock needs.

Night shifts damage cardiovascular and metabolic systems

According to other studies, irregular work schedules and night shifts can harm the cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

In their results, results of the Buenos Aires study state that shift work might be to blame for high blood pressure and increased body fat.

Reduced serotonin levels relate to various illnesses like stress, anxiety, and depression. All this, besides disrupting sleep habits.  

Serotonin levels can rise as a result of a lifestyle change. Consistent sleep patterns and a diet rich in vitamins and minerals are crucial for stable serotonin levels. Avoid using medicines and chemicals that may reduce serotonin production. These include caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, and antidepressants. 

Night workers should rest to avoid bad effects

Medication can help people achieve their goals of raising their serotonin levels. Serotonin production, enhanced by the amino acid 5-HTP, is available as a supplement. The body uses L-tryptophan, an extra amino acid, to produce serotonin. Patients need caution and to check with doctors before taking these supplements. People who work at night should get enough rest to lessen any potential negative impacts. Serotonin levels can be raised and a person’s quality of life enhanced by leading a healthy lifestyle and eating a nutritious diet.

For more information about serotonin, you can take a look here: “Everything you need to know about serotonin.