Update: Informal night-shift study

It’s been 4 weeks since I wrote an article about an informal study into working night shifts and the effects it would have on the body. Unfortunately, I only did a fraction of the time (the job was completed a lot quicker than anticipated).

However, I can report on the time I did do. This was my action plan timetable so to speak:

8am – 10am 10am- 12pm 12pm-2pm 2pm-4pm 4pm- 5pm 5pm- 6pm 6pm- 7pm 7pm – 8pm 8pm – 8am
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP GYM FOOD FT FT FT WORK
GYM FT FT /SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP WORK

 

 

This is what my week actually looked like:

8am – 10am 10am- 12pm 12pm-2pm 2pm-4pm 4pm- 5pm 5pm- 6pm 6pm- 7pm 7pm – 8pm 8pm – 8am
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP GYM FOOD SLEEP SLEEP FT WORK

 

 

My body completely shut down on me. No matter how much sleep I got I couldn’t complete my exercises properly. I found myself sleeping when I came home in the morning and again in the early evening to ensure I wouldn’t crash through the night. Surprisingly, staying up through the night wasn’t too difficult, but my days were completely written off.

The human body has evolved to release anabolic hormones during sleep at night. Your body naturally begins to feel tired when the sun goes down, and this is no coincidence. As soon as your head touches the pillow, the pathways in your autonomic nervous system (the part of your nervous system that does things without you having to think about it, e.g. digesting food) associated with ‘rest and digest’ are stimulated, and hormones like testosterone are released throughout the night as you sleep.

While we might balance out the sleep numbers on a night shift, it’s just not the same as getting your eight hours at night and being active throughout the day, as I found out.

Posted in Miscellaneous

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