The scientists have warned against the antisocial working hours claiming that such a hectic lifestyle can lead to premature aging of the brain and dull intellectual skills.
The study showed that if a person had undergone a decade of antisocial shifts then his brain aged by more than six years. However, there was some amount of recovery after the person stopped working in such shifts. But it took five years for the person to return to normal.
The study was conducted by a research team at the University of Toulouse and the University of Swansea.
For the study, the researchers involved 3,000 French people and performed tests of their memory, wider cognitive ability and speed of thought.
According to the researchers, it is well-known that the brain declines naturally as we grow older, but working during antisocial shifts accelerates the aging process.
The scientists found that the participants who worked for more than 10 years of in such shifts, suffered aging at higher pace as they showed the same results as someone six and a half years older.
But the positive thing was that the brain of such people started recovering, even if it took longer say five years, as soon they quit shift work.
“It was quite a substantial decline in brain function, it is likely that when people trying to undertake complex cognitive tasks then they might make more mistakes and slip-ups, maybe one in 100 makes a mistake with a very large consequence, but it’s hard to say how big a difference it would make in day-to-day life,” study researcher Dr Philip Tucker said.
Health experts say the findings of the study could serve as very crucial in treating sleep disorder, obesity and range of disease from dementia to cancer.
The study was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.