Cory and Dona Mapston have been living on a shift work schedule for almost 3 decades. Cory is a sergeant in the San Diego Police Department and despite a rotating shift-work schedule, he has managed to optimize his schedule to stay healthy. Unfortunately, most people on a shift work schedule have not cracked this very complicated code of healthy living on an erratic schedule. We interviewed Cory and his wife Dona to discuss what they’ve learned over the past 28 years of living with shift-work.
More and more students find themselves staying up late in order to complete assignments, study for tests, make time for a job, or maintain a social life. In our previous blog, Clocks in College, we discussed the notion that many students experience circadian disruption without realizing the full implication that it has on their health. Most students understand on some level that this fluctuating schedule can have negative effects (they are tired, experience more anxiety, etc) but rarely do students realize that disruption of their circadian rhythm is increasing their risk for many metabolic diseases (see our blog: Biological Clocks). Even more surprising, is that most students have no idea how much their own study schedule could be impacting their ability to learn.
Caffeine is one of the most used stimulants in the world with over 80% of adults in the US consuming caffeine daily. Caffeine is most commonly consumed through coffee, tea, soda, or energy drinks, but foods such as dark chocolate also have high levels of caffeine. Given the wide spread consumption of caffeine, it is important to understand how it affects our physiology.
I have studied chronobiology for the past 8 years; in that time, I realized that many people didn’t know what exactly chronobiology is. The same was true if I said I study circadian rhythms, biological rhythms, or body clocks. This blog provides me with an opportunity to give a little more clarity into this fascinating field.