For the most part, the 9 to 5 of the average American is rarely from 9 to 5. For plenty of professions, from the food service industry to the medical field, irregular hours are common and simply expected. Adjusting your internal clock takes some time and can lead to quite a few sluggish days along the way. But the effect on your body goes beyond the bags under your eyes, according to Science Daily. (Did you know that losing sleep can put you at risk for this condition?)
A newly published paper in Obesity Reviews highlights the health risks inherently tied to working the night shift on a regular basis. In the meta-analysis, data was pulled from 28 published studies which analyzed the health of this very specific segment of the workforce.
Permanent night shift workers are 29 percent more likely to become obese or overweight, and 35 percent more likely to develop abdominal obesity (belly fat). It’s estimated that 20 percent of the world is employed through some sort of shift work, according to Science Daily. It’s stated in the study that this is due to the disruption of the body’s natural cycles. (These are 12 other things that mess with your metabolism.)
“Melatonin plays a key role in synchronizing central and peripheral circadian rhythms and regulates the secretion of hormones such as cortisol, insulin, and leptin, such misalignments may lead to a disturbance of body homeostasis and produce abnormal metabolic profiles….[which can lead to] adverse health effects such as metabolism abnormalities that include obesity.”
The body’s circadian rhythm is essentially its internal clock, which habitually regulates when the body should feel attentive and wake up and when it should slow down and start to prepare for bed. Evolution has preconditioned humans to associate natural light with being awake and darkness with going to sleep, and this response is thrown out of whack by regular nighttime work.
[Source: Science Daily]