Caffeine may help improve the work-efficiency of night shift workers, suggests a new research. According to the researchers, a cup of coffee may benefit the body just like a “power nap”.
Night-time workers often suffer sleep-related disorders as a result of disruption of the natural body clock. The emergency personnel, nurses and other people, who are required to work in odd shifts, usually complain of excessive sleepiness during work hours or just lack of sleep, sometimes.
Lack of quality sleep can be problematic
Experts believe that such symptoms emerge when a person is devoid of sufficient hours of quality sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 14 percent people in the country work in shifts. Feeling drowsy and lethargic at work or at the end of long shifts may cause accidents, work errors, occupational injuries and even traffic crashes.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine seem to have found a solution for shift workers, in the findings published in the Cochrane Library journal. The solution, they claim, is caffeine.
Caffeine improves efficiency at work?
Katherine Ker and her colleagues reviewed the findings of 13 different studies from around the world that involved shift workers in simulated working conditions.
The participants, mostly in their 20s, were given various tasks to test their memory, reasoning and attention; while simultaneously researcher gauged their probability of making errors. Caffeine was given to the participants through a variety of sources, including coffee, pills, energy drinks or food. Some of them were also given placebos.
Caffeine helps the night-shift workers perform their jobs better by improving their memory, attention, reasoning, and significantly reduced their chances of making errors.
Later, similar tests were conducted after allowing the study participants to take naps or giving them an exposure to bright light.
Caffeine improves memory, attention, reasoning in night workers
It was found that caffeine helped the night-shift workers perform their jobs better by improving their memory, attention, reasoning, and significantly reduced their chances of making errors. In turn that resulted in fewer injuries and accidents at work.
"It seems reasonable to assume that reduced errors are associated with fewer injuries, although we cannot quantify such a reduction," lead researcher Katharine Ker said in a news release.
Researchers have called for further research in this direction to figure out the effects of caffeine on aged people as these studies involved participants who were mostly aged between 20 and 30.