Thank you for posting this interesting research article. I’m glad to see that someone’s doing some serious research to help explain what causes Circadian Rhythm Disorder (CRD) & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This explanation is interesting & I haven’t read this before. Now, only if they knew what we could do to alleviate these disorders & live comfortably on every one else’s “earthly” schedule.
One thing I can say about hiring people with CRD to work nights, though, is that it might not really work, since we like to sleep on & off for only a few hours at a time. I once thought that working nights would be the ticket for me, since I’m such a night owl, so for my very first job out of college I took a job working the night & weekend shifts in hospital pharmacy, where even though I worked all aspects of the pharmacy, my specialty was putting patient medications into IV solution (this was before the current plastic IV bags where nurses can inject medications through a port; we used glass bottles back then). Since this was a large County Hospital in one of America’s 10 largest cities, it kept me very busy & IV bottles took most of the night to prepare so many. I loved the work & found it interesting & mentally challenging (a lot like chemistry, which is exactly what it was. We did our own computations back then to determine how much of any medication needed to be added because we didn’t have widely-used computers back then, except to keep record of the medications each patient used & handheld calculators were still expensive back then, so we did them using a slide rule. This wasn’t in the Stone Age, but in the 70’s BTW). Even though I was happy & felt fulfilled in my work, I was often totally exhausted & wiped out & developed what is now called chronic fatigue syndrome. Although I was often pretty tired while I was growing up & in school (especially college), too, what I felt wasn’t anything like the pervasive, non-relenting exhaustion I was feeling. I also developed a painful ulcer (which they attributed to stress back then, not bacteria). My family doctor couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way since I wasn’t feeling particularly stressed out (I had a busy home, social & work life, but that hadn’t affected me to this extreme before). He tried to prescribe anti-anxiety antidepressant medications to me, which seemed to be the pat answer back then for anything women might be feeling that couldn’t be readily diagnosed by standard blood tests. I didn’t go for those since I knew I wasn’t anxious or depressed, just totally exhausted. Instead one of the neurologists I worked with & who was a friend suggested that I might be suffering from CRD (he was ahead of his time I think) & thought that maybe I should take a break from work for a short while to see if that helped, so I did. Even though the ulcer went away & I went back to my normally erratic sleep schedule & felt much better, shortly after going back to work, I felt overwhelmingly fatigued once again, wanting to crawl back into bed after only a few hours. I later worked a usual 8-5 job for the rest of my career to accommodate a family & felt pretty much the same, no worse or better. Though I’m retired now, nothings changed; I still have CRD & CFS & still feel totally exhausted much of the time. So I don’t think working nights is necessarily the answer for everyone with CRD & CFS.
@Catmom123 - Thank you for sharing. Wonderful to have you here. There are still so many questions to be answered about sleep and alertness issues. Thank goodness the research continues!