The Sleep-Wake Cycle and Circadian Rhythm Disruption: Shift Work and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
31 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2013
Date Written: April 16, 2012
Sleep is a crucial and complex behavioral state that occupies one-third of an individual’s life. A couple of theories have been proposed in relation to sleep. The first is the theory of dynamic stabilization, which explains the evolution of sleep. The second is the circadian resonance hypothesis, which discusses the evolution of circadian rhythms. Shift work involves hours of work that are irregular from normal working hours and conflicts the rhythmic processes of the circadian system. Shift work has been associated with negative health outcomes, especially cardiovascular disease and obesity. These health outcomes are important to consider since 20% of the population in developed countries performs shift work. This paper addresses certain processes responsible for these health outcomes and proposes a pathway that explains high rates of cardiovascular disease among shift workers.
Keywords: sleep, circadian, shift, work, cardiovascular disease, obesity, kappa, dynamic stabilization, circadian resonance
JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, I19, I28, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation