Are Night Owls Unhealthy?

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darreneatschicken
darreneatschicken Posts: 669 Member
edited April 2019 in Getting Started
I work from 1 - 8 PM, so I usually sleep from 4 AM - 12 PM.

Is this bad?

Replies

  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,670 Member
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    Nothing unhealthy as long as you are consistent with whatever rhythm you choose to sustain
  • cavefallss
    cavefallss Posts: 39 Member
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    no it’s not bad, as long as your body is getting rest
  • estherdragonbat
    estherdragonbat Posts: 5,283 Member
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    I'm in better shape than I've ever been and usually turn in around 2-3AM so...
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,049 Member
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    There's some research at the margin about shift work having some negative health correlates at a population level of analysis, but I haven't seen anything that definitively clarifies the underlying mechanism (lack of exposure to natural light, possible reduced average sleep levels because of being out of synch with other people in one's life, who knows what else might be different for shift workers, vs. just "being a night owl").

    Get enough sleep, eat right, try to keep the rest of your life in good shape (beneficial social connections, exercise, get outdoors in daylight regularly when you can, etc.), and you'll do better overall health-wise than the average first-world person, I predict.

    I tend to be a night owl, and have been living that way for almost 12 years of retirement so far, but did have a day job during most of adulthood. I'm 63, so it hasn't killed me yet, and I'm in good health now AFAIK.
  • spinnerdell
    spinnerdell Posts: 231 Member
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    Another night owl here, retired now and generally sleeping from 3:00am to 9:00am. I worked swing shift (3:00pm-11:00pm) and graveyard (11:00pm-7:00am) for many years, as well as the dreaded (for me) day shift. Some of my coworkers suffered from the late work hours, and some (like me) thrived.
  • Safari_Gal
    Safari_Gal Posts: 888 Member
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    Night owl here with a non traditional work schedule. I too have read articles about working nights not being optimal for the body / but we adapt. I typically get home after 11pm and in bed by 1- day starts around noon. Weekends don’t exist for me so I don’t know what TGIF means lol

    I believe so long as we are rested - that’s what matters. IMHO.
  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,259 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    There's some research at the margin about shift work having some negative health correlates at a population level of analysis, but I haven't seen anything that definitively clarifies the underlying mechanism (lack of exposure to natural light, possible reduced average sleep levels because of being out of synch with other people in one's life, who knows what else might be different for shift workers, vs. just "being a night owl").

    Get enough sleep, eat right, try to keep the rest of your life in good shape (beneficial social connections, exercise, get outdoors in daylight regularly when you can, etc.), and you'll do better overall health-wise than the average first-world person, I predict.

    I tend to be a night owl, and have been living that way for almost 12 years of retirement so far, but did have a day job during most of adulthood. I'm 63, so it hasn't killed me yet, and I'm in good health now AFAIK.

    I think one of the problems that arise with shift work is when you can't get enough rest in a solid block. If you have a spouse who works a different schedule, or you have children (school starts when school starts, and kid's wake up regardless), or you have obligations during normal working hours as well as a later shift for work, etc.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,013 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    There's some research at the margin about shift work having some negative health correlates at a population level of analysis, but I haven't seen anything that definitively clarifies the underlying mechanism (lack of exposure to natural light, possible reduced average sleep levels because of being out of synch with other people in one's life, who knows what else might be different for shift workers, vs. just "being a night owl").

    Get enough sleep, eat right, try to keep the rest of your life in good shape (beneficial social connections, exercise, get outdoors in daylight regularly when you can, etc.), and you'll do better overall health-wise than the average first-world person, I predict.

    I tend to be a night owl, and have been living that way for almost 12 years of retirement so far, but did have a day job during most of adulthood. I'm 63, so it hasn't killed me yet, and I'm in good health now AFAIK.

    I think one of the problems that arise with shift work is when you can't get enough rest in a solid block. If you have a spouse who works a different schedule, or you have children (school starts when school starts, and kid's wake up regardless), or you have obligations during normal working hours as well as a later shift for work, etc.

    ITA. And I'd bet people working shifts also have a tough time structuring their eating/exercise and probably eat a less than optimal diet if it isn't a top priority to that individual!

    OP, I would say just control what you can control. Get enough sleep, eat a well balanced diet, stay active. Even if there is some vague health drawback to working nights, you'll still probably be better off from most with a traditional schedule who aren't prioritizing their health :wink:
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,442 Member
    edited April 2019
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    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0,13&q=night+shift+study&btnG=

    Lots of different studies have been done on night shift workers, and different correlations have been identified.
  • magnusthenerd
    magnusthenerd Posts: 1,207 Member
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    Pretty sure IARC classifies shift work as a probable carcinogen - class 2A.
    I don't know how much, if any of it, is the disruptions in rhythms versus the timing, but it definitely looks like not having shift work is better for a number of health outcomes.
  • lalawaterlala
    lalawaterlala Posts: 56 Member
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    I dont think one who follows a mostly set sleep routine is unhealthy even if they're sleeping 'late'.
    The only worry is vitamin D (from the sun and some enriched products).
    I think when people stay up late just for the sake of staying up late and have a messy sleep routine is when it can get unhealthy
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
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    Aside from the lack of sunlight and detachment from the majority of society...no. There's no physiological rationale.

    There have been a number of studies conducted on shift workers, particularly police and front line emergency service personnel where a higher number of sick days are recorded on 3rd shift, followed by 2nd, with 1st shift having the lowest number.
  • mstheglitch
    mstheglitch Posts: 37 Member
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    My husband and I work 4 ten hour shifts, 3:30 pm to 2 am and usually sleep from 4:30 am to noon. We've been on this schedule for 13 years. We just follow our calorie goals, make sure we exercise on the weekends and avoid those late night snacking temptations.
  • ssurvivor
    ssurvivor Posts: 142 Member
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    While there is a correlation between a lack of sleep and a myriad of health issues. There is NO correlation (generally speaking) between WHEN you sleep and your health. As long as you get enough rest, there's nothing wrong with staying up late.
  • ssurvivor
    ssurvivor Posts: 142 Member
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    I work from 1 - 8 PM, so I usually sleep from 4 AM - 12 PM.

    Is this bad?

    The only issue is a lack of vitamin D. If you take D supplements and/or walk to work, you're OK.
  • _Cece_x
    _Cece_x Posts: 53 Member
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    I really hope it’s not unhealthy 😂 I work normal hours but for some reason just can’t sleep! I suddenly wake up in the evening and then up half the night 😩