Is Working Through the Night Bad for You?

After millions of years of adaptive evolution, our bodies have become naturally suited to functioning during the day, and certain organic chemicals are released into the blood stream accordingly.

After millions of years of adaptive evolution, our bodies have become naturally suited to functioning during the day, and certain organic chemicals are released into the blood stream accordingly. Melatonin, for example, is typically released by the body at night as we are preparing to sleep. When are schedules require us to stay up through the night, however, our body tries to adjust though typically with limited success.


One study done on Canadian police officers found that only 40% adjusted from the day shift to the night beat without suffering sleep disorders. In a larger study of 3,000 officers, researchers found that 40% had difficulty adjusting to the new schedule. So sleeping at night tends to make us feel worse, but is it actually bad for our health? By increasing the likelihood of weight gain and other diet-related disorders, the answer seems to be an unequivocal yes:

A study from the University of Surrey found that "after five weeks, people who stayed awake at night and slept during the day showed impaired glucose regulation and changes in metabolism which could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity in the long-term."

In his Big Think interview, nutrition author Jonny Bowden explains how getting adequate sleep helps maintain a healthy bodyweight:

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: Shutterstock

How getting in sync with your partner can lead to increased intimacy and sexual desire

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Stan Lee, Marvel co-creator, is dead at 95

The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.

(Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
  • Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
  • Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
Keep reading Show less