This Is Your Brain on 10 Years of Working the Night Shift

TIME

Hourly shift work has been linked to all kinds of ills, from obesity to heart attack, and now a new study shows it might also have serious implications for your brain.

The study in Occupational & Environmental Medicine looked at more than 3,000 people living in France, about half of whom had experience working shifts. Those who had done so, either in the past or present, had lower scores on tests of memory, processing speed and overall brain power than those who worked normal office hours, the study finds.

These effects persisted even after researchers controlled for effects of sleep deprivation and they got even stronger after people had worked nights for 10 or more years. Those long-term shift workers had worse memory than those who had always worked days, plus cognitive deficits so steep that the study authors equated them to 6.5 years of age-related decline.

There is…

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