Late-night work is a trend nowadays, as people are struggling to cope with the demands of family and work. There is a standard of living and lots of expectations in everyone’s life. To meet all these expectations, one needs money. This struggle to live a rich and luxurious life surely affects sleep time and patterns, leading to health-related risks. Further, some companies follow late-night work as they are functioning for a client who is in a different time zone. To meet up with this official time, the companies hire people from other corners of the world to do late-night jobs for them. In this blog, let’s look at late-night work impact on health.

Late-night working for clients from different time zones

It is proven that working late at night affects a person’s health and is a hidden epidemic. Night shift health risks are far too many. It has been observed that 43% of Americans rarely get enough sleep and cannot focus on their work. This ticking time bomb needs to be defused before it takes a toll on your health.

The Health Consequences of Working Late at Night

  1. Night shifts and late-night part-time jobs change the biological clock of a person, and hence the first thing that gets affected is sleep, followed by digestion. Eating and sleeping patterns are fixed in a human being, and night shifts change them to a great extent.
  2. Human beings require a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. A person sleeping very late after a night shift tries to compensate for his lost sleep in the daytime when everyone is awake and has their own work to do. But the family members have to work during the day. The person who returns home after a late night shift cannot get those 7 hours of sleep due to the noise and disturbances around them.

    Noise and disturbances while sleeping
  3. If you wonder how sleep deprivation and health are interconnected, here is the answer! The digestion and metabolism rates of the body are affected by the lack of sleep. Indigestion, mood swings, and a sick feeling are always there.
  4. Less sleep is the reason you won’t feel like eating; hence, you reduce your appetite. Reduced appetite and no specific time to eat will lead to indigestion; hence, the person will lose weight in the long run.
  5. Graveyard shifts, which are complete night shifts, can make you look ugly and pale. Common signs that can be noticed are the dark circles under the eyes. Moreover, a person on the night shift who gets a very late night sleep will look less fresh and feel tired. Dark spots on the skin and dry skin without any glow can be observed.

    Dark spots on skin due to night shifts
  6. There are many more side effects of late-night sleep, which is caused by the late-night work culture. If you have a night shift, you cannot compensate for the lack of night sleep during the day. Less sleep can affect vision and concentration, which can lead to accidents. Furthermore, alertness is crucial in manufacturing industries for safety precautions. Night shifts or late-night working can be difficult in such situations and they might even lead to accidents.
  7. Working late-night shifts is common even in the medical profession. Here, lack of sleep can lead to a lack of concentration, resulting in the wrong drugs and medicines being prescribed, which in turn, can lead to fatal mishaps.
  8. Late night sleep during pregnancy can be harmful to both the mother and her child.
  9. One cannot give much time to the family, causing rifts. During the day, when your family is awake, you need time to sleep. When you get up in the evening, you are preoccupied with work, and at night, you are about to get ready for work. Your partner can have the feeling of being left alone, which can have serious consequences. In some cases, it can give rise to loyalty issues with the partner as it hampers the sex life and can result in divorce. 
  10. Less sleep can even cause problems like impotence and infertility.
  11. Late-night sleepers and people who don’t get enough night sleep are found to make more mistakes/errors when compared to people who get adequate night sleep.
  12. Certainly, late-night shifts do affect the health of a person leading to many diseases. So, decide if the money you are getting or your health weighs more.

Working Night Shift and Well-Being

On some days, after you return from your night shift, you might have other important activities to perform during the day. Once you finish all of them, you may find that it is too late to sleep before your next shift. This can contribute to severe sleep deprivation, which can lead to more complications.

Sleep deprivation leads to more complications

Late-night job health concerns have now become part and parcel of many people’s lives. In such cases, the lack of quality sleep combined with other occupational hazards can drastically impact a person’s physical and mental well-being. Eye problems, irritation, and changes in weight are just some of the hazards of night shifts. Hence, there is a dire need for coping with late-night work effects.

Strategies for Night Shift Health

Working night shifts will result in your body’s Circadian Rhythm disruption and impact your overall health. However, with a few adjustments and conscious efforts, you can stay healthy while working night shifts. Here are some tips that can address the issue of late-night work impact on health.

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on weekends, and creating a sleep-friendly environment.
  2. Prioritize sleep: 7-9 hours daily; use blackout curtains or eye masks to prevent sunlight from disrupting your sleep routine.Use eye masks to prevent sunlight
  3. Try taking short breaks during your late-night work shift to maintain alertness and mental well-being.
  4. Plan meals wisely, focusing on a balanced diet with whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and avoiding heavy, greasy meals.
  5. Hydrate and limit caffeine intake during shifts to maintain good sleep. 
  6. Always have a bottle of water handy at your workplace.
  7. Regular exercise boosts energy, improves well-being, and can be done before or after shifts, even for short bursts. However, keep in mind that even regular exercise cannot compensate for your lack of sleep caused by late-night jobs.
  8. Maintain social connections during night shifts by coordinating schedules and joining online communities for socializing. You can try these steps if you keep wondering, “How to feel less lonely at work?”
  9. Reduce bright light exposure before bed by dimming lights and using blue light filters on electronic devices. Bright lights have the ability to affect your late sleep at night.
  10. Pay attention to body reactions to night shift schedules and adjust accordingly. Consider alternative work arrangements or medical advice if significant health issues arise.
  11. Night shift work experiences vary; find strategies and prioritize self-care for overall well-being.

Women’s Health and Night Shifts

Women doing night shifts are prone to experience Shift Work Disorder (SWD). This sleep disorder is also associated with the disruption of the Circadian Rhythm. Women who practice very late sleep at night or work night shifts can face lots of physical and mental health issues.

Night shifts can especially affect pregnant women and those considering pregnancy. Women already go through lots of hormonal changes in their lifetime and night shifts can have an adverse effect on hormone secretion. And, do you know that too much or too little sleep can lead to depression? Therefore, it would be wise for women to avoid night shifts. 

The Bottom Line

So, by now, you would have obtained the answer to your question, “Is working late at night or sleeping late bad for health?” Many students and working professionals have the habit of always sleeping late. Several people who struggle to bring a balance in work and love life try to allocate more time for their partners by chatting or texting them late into the night. But they need to understand it’s a bad habit that can take a toll on their health. The bottom line is that you need to avoid late-night work or going to bed too late at night. In case you have no alternative, follow our strategies for night-shift health!