People who work in shifts and serve up to 3 or more night shifts a month are 60% more likely to be at risk of Type 2 diabetes as compared to those who work fewer night shifts. The findings of a study conclude that night shift works are more likely to be overweight and have high levels of insulin.
Sleep deprivation is the main reason that brings on numerous metabolic changes that take place as a result of working the night shift. Disrupting the body’s natural circadian rhythm disturbs sleep-wake patter, making sleep even more difficult. This along with the distractions during the daytime contributes to night-shift workers catching lesser Z’s as compared to those not on a night shift.
The Cons of night shift hours
1. There is a high chance that you are burning lesser calories! Disturbances in your natural sleep-wake cycle for one time can make you burn up to 50- 60 calories lesser on an average in comparison to someone who follow their undisturbed regular sleeping patterns.
This becomes a cause of concern when the cost of calories burnt by the end of the week sums up to be 300-400 calories lesser burnt.
However, this can be managed by monitoring and cutting back on your daily caloric intake and trying to increase your total energy expenditure.
2. Getting too little sleep also dramatically decreases the sensitivity of your insulin receptors, which will raise your insulin levels.
Glucose tolerance is the body’s way of releasing just about the right amount of insulin to avoid hike blood sugar levels which, if not put to good use can get stored as fat.
Eating mostly after sunset being a night shift worker is more likely to send glucose packing away into fat cells.
The best way to save yourself from this is to avoid refined or simple carbs and eating more fiber (brown rice, veggies, fruits, oats, etc.) and of course-getting proper sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthful weight.
3. You find it difficult to get proper sleep- and as addressed earlier, lack of sleep is a good reason for negative effects to show up. Exercising just before bedtime or having stimulants like caffeine can push your sleep further away, keeping you up for longer.
You can avoid this by working out before you leave for work rather than working out after your shift. Working out sometime after you wake up makes you alert and sets you going for your day! Plus, working out at this time can help you avoid insulin resistance and keep you from putting on weight.
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