Stress, Gut Health and Shift Work:

What's the connection?

As a shift worker plagued by exhaustion, I’m pretty sure you will remember a time when you experienced digestive discomfort whether that’s in the form of bloating, stomach pain or nausea, and it was most likely during a night shift, or soon after getting up for an early shift.

But why is that?

Well its because lack of sleep or sleep disruption, is essentially a form of stress, and stress plays a huge role in digestion and bowel function.

Essentially nerves to the bowel get affected by stress, which can impair nutrient absorption leading to poor bowel function.

Whenever the body is under stress or faced with a stressful situation, (whether it be real or perceived as real) digestion no longer becomes a priority.  This leads to a reduction in gut motility or muscle contractions along the digestive tract; less saliva being produced in the mouth; along with a reduction in gastric acid secretion in the stomach which in turn, impairs the digestion of our food.