Print Edition - 2018-07-19  |  Health and Living

Nightshifts disrupt rhythm between brain and gut

  • new study

Jul 19, 2018-

Working night shifts can mess up the body’s natural rhythms so much that the brain and digestive system end up completely out of kilter with one another, scientists say. Three night shifts in a row had little impact on the body’s master clock in the brain, researchers found, but it played havoc with gut function, throwing the natural cycle out by a full 12 hours. The finding highlights the dramatic impact that night shifts can have on the different clocks that govern the natural rhythms of organs and systems throughout the human body.

Internal disagreements over night and day may explain why people on night shifts, and those with jet lag, can suffer stomach pains and other gut problems, which clear up once their body has had time to adjust.

One of the first symptoms people experience when traveling across time zones is gastrointestinal discomfort and that’s because you knock their gut out of sync from their central biological clock.

 Our bodies have a central master clock in the brain that draws on changes in ambient light to control when we wake up and when we fall asleep. But many other organs in the body have their own biological clocks, including the digestive system.

Published: 19-07-2018 07:48

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