There are some clear benefits to working the night shift: higher pay and… well.. OK, there's one clear benefit to working the night shift.
And in exchange for more money, you're literally putting your life on the line if you take that night job: Shift work has been linked to obesity, heart disease and more.
Now, the latest research adds one more big-time risk to the list: Diabetes.
And nurses, you might want to pay close attention to this one -- because the latest study was done specifically on your profession, as researchers compared data on nurses who worked night and rotating shifts to nurses who kept to the daytime.
I know what you're thinking: What nurses work only during the day? But trust me, they're out there -- and try to make yourself one of them, because those who worked even three nights a month had a 58 percent boost in diabetes risk over 20 years.
Not planning to work 20 years on the night shift? Better keep an eye on the calendar -- it can happen more easily than you might think.
Besides, even nurses who spent less time on the night shift had a much higher risk of diabetes: A 40 percent boost for those who spent at least a decade on rotating shifts, 20 percent increase after three years, and a five percent increase after a single year.
The study didn't finger a specific cause, but anyone who's worked the night shift -- and I've been there myself -- knows what happens.
First, there are the obvious changes in habits. You tend to eat lousy food. You tend not to get out much, especially if your night shifts are more regular, so you're more stationary.
But there are also more subtle changes taking place on the inside -- hormonal changes as your body tries to flip its internal clock.
Tries, and fails… because no matter how many years you spend on nights, it's never easy to go to sleep when the sun is up.
Put it together, and you've got the perfect set of risk factors for diabetes and any number of diseases.
So that day job you have? Don't quit it… no matter what.