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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Do you work the graveyard shift? Here’s how it can affect your health

Sleep disorders, weight gain and digestive problems are all by-products of pulling an all-nighter.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | January 30, 2020 3:10:21 pm
graveyard shift, working at night, health impact, night shift, weight gain, digestive issues, mental health, indian express, indian express news When you work all night and catch up on sleep during daytime, you are left with no time to socialise. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

These are strange times, wherein work hours around the world have become both flexible and demanding. Some companies have 24-hour shifts, meaning employees have to sometimes work in the dead of the night. But as challenging as this may seem, many people take up these jobs because they think this way they can make the nights more productive. But are night shifts good for the health? Here is what science says; read on.

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Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders have become common, regardless of whether you are pulling an all-nighter. But, if you work the graveyard shift, you are more susceptible to developing a sleep disorder. The body’s natural clock, or the circadian rhythm is such that it is meant for staying up and working in the day, and getting good rest at night. If this does not happen, it can take a toll on your health as you make progress in your career.

Eating habits

When you stay up all night, your eating habits naturally change. Midnight snacking is considered to be bad for health, so imagine staying up all night and eating a full meal. This can, with time, impact your digestive health also, leading to constipation, indigestion and other such digestive disorders.

graveyard shift, working at night, health impact, night shift, weight gain, digestive issues, mental health, indian express, indian express news When you stay up all night, your eating habits naturally change. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Weight gain

Going against the natural clock of the body, and eating at odd hours can make you gain some weight. And when you continue with this work schedule, it can make weight loss difficult, too. So, all your plans for staying in shape can take a backseat when you work at ghostly hours.

Chronic conditions

The body demands that its circadian rhythm be respected. When you flow against it, it can punish you. As such, staying up and working late can cause chronic health conditions like diabetes and blood pressure problems. Also, it can also make it difficult for you to manage these conditions if you continue working these hours.

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Social life

When you work all night and catch up on sleep during daytime, you are left with no time to socialise. You are not even able to spend quality time with your family. And science says that spending time with loved ones and having human interactions can benefit your health exponentially. This subtle isolation can disturb your mental health in the long run.

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