You've probably heard that eating an extra 500 calories per day can add up to 1 lb. of weight gain per week, but did you know that simply sleeping during the day, instead of at night, can also result in incremental weight gain?

This is bad news for those who work the late shift because a recently released study details that night shift patterns can disrupt the metabolism of employees, causing them to use less energy than they would normally over the course of the daytime.

Employees who tried sleeping during the day burned between 12 and 16 percent fewer calories compared to when sleeping at night. These findings show that people who work night shifts have increased chances of heart disease and obesity.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved putting 14 healthy adults through a simulated night shift and day shift pattern in a laboratory over a six-day timeframe. The scientists analyzed the volunteers’ energy and nutrient usage as well as their hormone levels and sleep patterns. The results showed that at first, their energy increased by 4 percent on the first night shift, but then fell to around 3 percent for each of the two following days. The participants of the study also used less carbohydrate and protein during the night shift pattern.

Working the night shift can be a gruesome task. It takes major adjustment to switch daily patterns away from the norms of society and it’s not so easy for people to switch to a 9-to-5 job. If you man the graveyard hours at your job the best things you can do to stay healthy is to remember to eat healthy (lean meats, fruits, nuts, veggies), and exercise regularly. You may be tired after you finish your shift but just 30 minutes working out, five times a week, can potentially you avoid obesity or heart disease. If you work the night shift, what do you do to stay in shape and eat healthy?



The Guardian: Night shift work linked to obesity in new sleep study