Working Night Shifts Can Cause Appetite Disruption and Weight Gain

Working Night Shifts Can Cause Appetite Disruption

A new study undertaken by experts at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom discovered that staying up all night and snacking at unusual hours disrupts our eating patterns and appetite, leading to weight gain. The research was published in the journal Communications Biology.

The Effects of Night Shift Work on Appetite

Simply put, working night shifts interrupts the body’s biological clock, a condition known as circadian misalignment. This is common when a person suffers from “jet lag.” According to the University of Bristol researchers, “the disrupted body clock further affects the hormones that regulate appetite.”

The research focused on the adrenal gland, which is known to generate hormones (glucocorticoid hormones) that regulate metabolism and hunger. The study concluded that “circadian misalignment can profoundly alter food habits much to the detriment of metabolic health and that they could help the millions of people who work through the night and struggle with weight gain,” according to a PTI article.

How to Manage Your Eating Habits While Working Night Shifts

“For those who are working night shifts long-term, we recommend they try to maintain daylight exposure, cardiovascular exercise, and mealtimes at regulated hours,” the researchers said.

Internal brain signals controlling increased hunger are tough to regulate with a controlled and scheduled lifestyle. As a result, scientists are “currently designing studies to assess rescue strategies and pharmacological intervention drugs,” according to the study.

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