Why night work causes obesity, cancer and stroke


According to a study conducted by Colorado State University, USA, people who work at night burn fewer calories per day than those who live a normal daytime routine.

Researchers found that night shift work disrupts metabolism because a person expends less energy than if they did the same work during the day.

The described effect turned out to be most noticeable when the employees tried to sleep during the day and despite the fact that their sleep was not as deep, they consumed between 12 and 16% fewer calories, than at night.

Scientists also associate the low energy expenditure with a monotonous diet /including mainly “fast food” and products from vending machines – automatic machines for “fast” food, mainly chocolate and sweet products and sandwiches/and insufficient physical activity.

Diseases of the cardiovascular system

The relationship between increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases and night work has been known for decades.

The reason for this mutual conditioning is the disturbed circadian rhythm of the body, due to which people with such a working regime develop hypertension and an increase in their cholesterol levels is observed.

According to the data of the conducted scientific studies, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, the risk of people who work night shifts increases by up to 40%.

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Shift work is associated with a risk of developing metabolic syndrome – the body’s metabolic system is also determined by circadian rhythms.

Its function is disturbed in the case of constant and prolonged non-adherence to the body’s biological clock.

As a result, people working night shifts often experience high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, obesity, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Metabolic syndrome is considered a serious factor in the development of diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Depression and affective disorder

Social isolation from relatives and friends of people who work at night naturally affects their psychological state.

Furthermore, shift work in itself has a negative impact on brain biochemistry – night shifters’ serotonin levels are lower than those who work during the day .

Abnormalities of the reproductive system

Night work affects negatively the state of the female reproductive system.

The study, in which flight attendants who gave birth took part, showed that the cases of spontaneous abortions in those of them who continued to work during pregnancy were 2 times more frequent compared to those who were refused to take flights.

Also, night work is associated with an increased risk of complications and preterm birth, infertility, endometriosis, irregular menstrual cycles and painful periods.

The exact mechanism of the development of these diseases has not yet been established, but scientists suggest that they are probably due to the negative impact of disturbed circadian rhythms on a woman’s endocrine, immune and nervous systems.< /p>

Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

About 50 years ago, scientists discovered a connection between night work and peptic ulcer disease.

The reason for the ulcer is most often the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and the results of the conducted scientific studies have shown that night shifts increase the negative impact of the infectious organism on human health.

The exact reason for this phenomenon has not been established, but scientists are convinced of the existence of a direct connection between disturbed circadian rhythms and ulcer disease.

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