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Live Well: Coping With Odd Work Hours

News 13 wants to help you make 2014 the healthiest year yet. Over the next three months, we will bring you a series of special reports on what wellness means to us.

Working any shift outside the normal 9 to 5, can take some getting use too. But especially if that shift is at night.

"These night shifts have a profound impact on families, a profound impact on relationships. We like to eat together as a family so that causes problems," said Dr. Paul Martin, an occupational physician.

Studies have shown shift work often leads to serious health problems, obesity, diabetes, depression, heart conditions and even cancer.

"They don't do so well with eating so they eat on the run.  They eat fast food that might be open. During the day it's harder to establish a good sleep pattern," said Dr. Robbie Buechler, a neurologist at Mountain Sleep.

It's harder because our minds tell us we're supposed to be sleeping at night.

"The natural order, the natural bio-rythym or cercadian rythym of our body is to be be a sleep when it's dark outside. So we're fighting against that," said Buechler.

When the sun is out and it's time to get some sleep, that's when the real struggle can begin for shift workers. Trying to sleep during the day and hopefully at home. It's important to avoid light and to make the room completely dark. Also, limit noise as much as you can.

Getting rest in good quantity and quality is a matter of good health. Diet and exercise is also important to adjusting to shift work.

You can keep up to date with Larry Blunt on his Facebook page, click here.

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