As the number of shift workers grows nationwide, a recent study has found that shift work can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Not sleeping enough hours can mean putting on up to ten pounds a year.
For the majority of shift workers, the problem not only lies in the quantity of sleep, but also in the quality of sleep.
Dr. Madhavi Rajulapallid, M.D of the Community Health Care Center warns it can also lead to "heart disease, strokes, increased cholesterol and also certain cancers such as breast cancer".
In the U.S, 1 in 6 people work irregular hours. Many experience hormonal imbalance and disruption with their body's internal clock.
"It affects the insulin production and increases the glucose levels. When the glucose levels are incrased you get diabetes. And not only that when people have excess hunger due to sleep deprivation they gain weight", says Rajulapallid.
People naturally sleep better at night and perform better at activities during the daytime. If changing your work shift is difficult, doctors recommend making your sleep environment seem close to "night time" as possible through dark curtains, eye masks and turning your gadgets off. Eating 3 healthy meals and exercising 30 minutes a day can also help lower risks.