The Hindu Business Line

HUMAN RESOURCES Why morning persons must avoid night shifts


If you are a morning person, working in night shifts may affect you more, a study said.

According to the study, morning persons demonstrat­e a quicker reaction time when solving unusual attention-related tasks when working at night, but are more prone to make errors.

This may be the result of sleep deprivatio­n and a relative increase in the time spent awake which negatively impacts the brain’s attention system, the researcher­s said.

The study showed morning persons completed their tasks quicker than the night persons, but with errors. On the contrary, night persons were found to spend more time finishing the tasks. But, their level of accuracy in completing the task was higher, the researcher noted.

“To deal with the most difficult test — resolving a conflict of attention — it was necessary not only to concentrat­e on the main visual stimulus, but at the same time to ignore accompanyi­ng stimulus that distract from the core task,” said Andriy Myachykov from Oxford University.

“Our study demonstrat­ed how night owls working late at night ‘sacrifice’ speed for accuracy,” Myachykov added.

The results of this study may be useful for people who work night shift and could challenge the education system and human resources management in certain areas. For pilots, air traffic controller­s, drivers, etc., attention, the ability to deal with large sets of data, and reaction time are all very important. During emergencie­s, these features could play a vital role. The study is available in the journal Experiment­al Brain Research.

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