Working the night shift throws the body “into chaos” and could cause long-term damage, British researchers say.

The BBC reports that scientists at the Sleep Research Centre in Surrey, England, have uncovered the disruption shift work causes at the deepest molecular level.

The experts were actually surprised at the scale, speed and severity of the damage caused by being awake at night.

Previous studies have shown that working at night could increase the risk of Type-2 diabetes, heart attacks, depression, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

It’s all to do with the body clock – changes to it could even damage the immune system.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, followed 22 people shifting from regular patterns to those of a night-shift worker.

The researchers found that shift work had a similar effect to suffering from major jet lag.

Do you work night shifts? Has it affected your health? Comment below.