Adjusting to the late shift -

Adjusting to the late shift

If you work at a plant, shift work is pretty much the norm. But, there are other jobs that require different shifts, too - hospitals for example.

New research shows workers who alternate between mornings, nights and weekends have a higher level of a stress hormone called cortisol.

The brain gets confused over what's day and what's night. Scientists say that's what boosts cortisol levels, which trigger changes in how the body creates, stores and burns fat. If that happens, your metabolism can change, causing an increased risk for obesity.

Workers can lower their risk by tricking their brains into thinking the shift they're on is their natural day cycle.

For people who work nights, that means getting 8 hours of sleep and making sure the room they're in during the day is as dark as possible.

When it's night and they're at work, they should keep their work space brightly lit.

Finally, not as easy, but just as important, is shifting daytime eating habits to a nighttime schedule.

Workers who don't match meal time to shift time are not only likely to eat more, its another way to mess up how the body stores and burns fat.

Experts say that could put them on the road to being overweight along with all the health problems that go with it.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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