Weighing in on Your Schedule: Is Your Night Shift Making You Fat


Why is Working at Night Fattening and Dangerous?

Artificial light disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm and has been shown to affect things, such as reducing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin that plays an important role in preventing disease, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Another study conducted in 2014 by the University of Colorado Boulder found that when people are on a shift work-type schedule, their daily energy expenditure is reduced and unless they were to reduce their food intake, this by itself could lead to weight gain.

Kenneth Wright, director of CU-Boulder’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory and senior author of the UCB paper, warns that shift work goes against our fundamental biology. “Shift work requires our biological day to occur at night and our biological night to occur during the day and that’s very difficult to achieve because the sun is such a powerful cue. We can have some change in our clock — a couple of hours — but then on days off, it goes right back. Shift workers never adapt.”

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