2

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Graveyard shift

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Hi all. I have been contemplating a return to the "Night Shift", where the owl of Minerva flies about,etc. My question realtes to Paleo somewhat as follows: Can humans function as well being up all night? My past experience had been that I was worn out usually at around the we hours of the night/morning(0300-0430) and then became progressively wakeful as the dawn came around. I was usually energetic until approx. 0200 when a little exhaustion would set in. Usually I would wake sometime during the early night/late evening around 1900-2000 during which time I would be very alert. Sleeping during the day went fairly well without much interruption given that the windows were sealed shut and no light source was present. At the time I incorporated (and still do but will change this in the coming week after a trip to the grocery store) little to no vitamin D in the diet and was fairly deprived of the fat soluable vitamins mainly subsisting on canned tuna and oats, peanut butter, dates, and all manner of what I thought to be "healthy food". Know that I have distanced myself from conventional bodybuilding fare I have become a new me. I am contemplating a return to the graveyard as it is so peaceful and so much more personal work can be accomplished during this time. Would anyone shed some light on how to best adapt to this style of life and...if possible...to Thrive??? I am thinking Vitamin D in the form of Cod liver oil would be a good inclusion. I have purchased a seasonal affective disorder light and it has also improved my mood. Is this sound practice(SAD light??). My prospective regime would consist of waking at approx 2000(8PM) and sleeping at approx 1300(1PM)-1330 in the afternoon. Does anyone see any health risks involved in doing this long term? I had only done this briefly for 6 month periods in the past and having seen many night shift workers who do it long term they seem pretty sickly...but it might be attributable to other factors(mcdonald's hamburgers being one, sedentary lifestyle being another...). Now I am in a state of great health thanks to Paleo/Keto dieting and general exercise and wouldn't want to ruin it. What would the best health practices be that could best allow me to experiment with changing my circadian rhythms and not digging myself into an early grave? Sorry for the length of the post but...to me the matter is pressing as decisions must be made!

Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on March 20, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I developed severe anxiety/depression, and abdominal fat (while the rest of me slimmed down) while I was working the night shift for two years. Combine that with the increased risk of cancer and I'll never work the night shift again!

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:58 PM

"Now I am in a state of great health thanks to Paleo/Keto dieting and general exercise and wouldn't want to ruin it" - PersonMan, if it ain't broke, don't fix it !

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 20, 2011
at 06:48 AM

There's tons of observational studies linking night shifts to cancer, such as this one...http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/11/825.short. I understand about the peacefulness of the night time, and that is why I'm a natural night owl. However, you could still get some of that benefit with a biphasic sleeping pattern. I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that the time he spent awake late at night after his "first sleep" was the most peaceful he'd experienced, or something of that nature.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:50 AM

It would appear so. Would you care to elaborate with more scholarly references? I was thinking of going "back into the night" for one year's time but the longest I had been able to do so before was 8 months...and it was a prison, but a peaceful one when I was alert(which was comparatively less than being a "normal"). It is definitely like being in a dreamworld...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:47 AM

I was thinking there was something wrong with those night workers!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 20, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Part of this is false ("There will never be a time that you are able to make melatonin"). I'm not sure where your speculation is coming from, but melatonin production occurs in the daytime in graveyard shift workers, as rhythyms shift (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1455127). Also, the original post said that he slept in a light-free room, so he is not "sleeping in light during the day". That being said, graveyard shifts are definitely terrible for your health!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:54 AM

Research dats shows that shift work actually shortens telomeres and causes disease....my advice is to change your life ASAP

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2 Answers

1
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 20, 2011
at 01:08 AM

It's probably unwise to nail down your paleo diet while messing up your paleo hormonal rhythms, if you can help it. Maybe you can adopt a biphasic sleeping pattern? Here's a question about alternative sleep patterns:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/9143/how-does-bimodal-segmented-sleep-feel#axzz1H5w1npjg

And the first answer on here has some good reads:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/22385/are-we-meant-to-sleep-much-longer-in-the-winter-than-in-the-summer#axzz1H5w1npjg

1
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:37 AM

You're a member of a diurnal species. I wouldn't work graveyard shift unless your job's riding on it. Yeah, we have lots of nifty inventions now that help mitigate some of it for a little while but tell me, is there any way you can sleep in complete darkness? That's important too. There will never be a time that you are able to make melatonin because you will be under bright lights at night and then sleeping in light during the day.

Now this is coming from a former graveyard shift worker. Been there. My health started going wonky during my swing shift phase of life, and I wasn't even fat yet.

It also seriously messes up your social life. I don't know how they do it, I've not had much luck with this, but it's going to seem like most of your friends hit the jackpot with daytime jobs. They'll have get-togethers and you'll be at work.

If all your friends work nights it might not be such a big deal but it's not like start and end times for work shifts are standardized across all industries and employers. Swing-shift work typically does not have regular weekends either so that'll be an added complication.

So, yeah. Not many reasons to do it except out of desperation.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 20, 2011
at 03:50 AM

It would appear so. Would you care to elaborate with more scholarly references? I was thinking of going "back into the night" for one year's time but the longest I had been able to do so before was 8 months...and it was a prison, but a peaceful one when I was alert(which was comparatively less than being a "normal"). It is definitely like being in a dreamworld...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 20, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Part of this is false ("There will never be a time that you are able to make melatonin"). I'm not sure where your speculation is coming from, but melatonin production occurs in the daytime in graveyard shift workers, as rhythyms shift (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1455127). Also, the original post said that he slept in a light-free room, so he is not "sleeping in light during the day". That being said, graveyard shifts are definitely terrible for your health!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 20, 2011
at 06:48 AM

There's tons of observational studies linking night shifts to cancer, such as this one...http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/11/825.short. I understand about the peacefulness of the night time, and that is why I'm a natural night owl. However, you could still get some of that benefit with a biphasic sleeping pattern. I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that the time he spent awake late at night after his "first sleep" was the most peaceful he'd experienced, or something of that nature.

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