3 Nights of Night Shifts: Diabetes & Obesity Risks

Learn how just three nights of night shifts can raise diabetes and obesity risks. Discover mitigation strategies for better health.

Night Shift Dangers: How Just 3 Nights Can Heighten Risks of Diabetes and Obesity

Nowadays, the working environment has changed dramatically. This is why most of the industries are forcing people to do night shifts which interferes with their sleep-wake cycles. Whilst the effects of sleeping disorders are widely acknowledged in the short term, the new findings enable us to understand which the long-term health hazards are caused by night shifts. However, just to imagine that after only three nights of working in the night, a person calls have the risk to diabetes and obesity more.

The Silent Health Threat of Night Shifts: The body’s intrinsic biological clock or circadian rhythm which regulates mainly the certain physiological functions e.g. sleep, metabolism and hormone production is disrupted by night shifts. Any disruption of this function, in turn, can give rise to metabolic disorders involving impaired glucose metabolism and insulin resistance.

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Impact on Glucose Metabolism: Studies show that night shift work can give a rise to blood sugar upsets characterized by elevated blood sugar levels as well as insulin resistance. The fact, that even very short-term sleep patterns, disrupting the regularity of the sleep, can lead to the body that does not manage the blood sugar levels properly and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time is also true.

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Link to Weight Gain and Obesity: Along with the change in how glucose is metabolized in the body, night shift work has also been shown to lead to weight gain and obesity. Disturbed sleep may affect hunger-based hormones, thus, leading to excessive food cravings and appetite for high-calorie foods. In addition to that, the abnormal sleep-wake cycle may disrupt energy regulation in the body predisposing to weight gain and making it more difficult to lose weight.

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Strategies for Mitigation: To diminish the effects of night shift job on health, employers and individuals who do work at night have to come up with ways to improve their sleeping patterns and general health care. This also involves maintenance of a favorable workplace, use of regular breaks, promotion of nourishing diet during non-working hours and relaxed sleep at night.

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