Before you start bitching about how the over-night pharmacist is getting paid more than you are, has a much easier workload than you do, but doesn't seem to be getting the job done, just remember that there's a very good reason why you're not working that shift. Working nights affects your sleep!
Shift work sleep disorders (SWSD) occur when people work during the night while most other people sleep. When you have to work during the time your body normally wants to sleep, you disrupt your internal body clock (circadian rhythm) which then wreaks havoc upon your entire body.
SWSD is characterized by insomnia and excessive sleepiness. People with the disorder are more accident prone, irritable, and less able to concentrate. Lack of sleep is also linked to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental disorders. And your mind starts to play tricks on you.
But those aren't the only negative health effects associated with working the night shift.
There's a good reason why it's also called the Graveyard Shift. Researchers recently conducted a meta-analysis summarizing 34 separate studies involving more than two-million shift workers, and published the results in the British Medical Journal.
Although shift work was not associated with increased rates of mortality, this study found that when compared to regular daytime workers, the risk for heart attack increased by 41 percent in those working the night shift. So, cut these guys some slack and don't push them over the edge.
Combine these known health factors with the stresses of working 7 straight 12-hour shifts (or more), an overwhelming workload, and having to work with a nurse or a technician who seems to have it out for you, then you have a recipe for disaster in the works. But, don't just take my word for it.
See how working the night shift seriously affected this poor pharmacist's life -