An interesting finding was recently discovered in nurses who work rotating shifts. These nurses were found to have a higher prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and abdominal pain than nurses with a more regular schedule. More interesting was that this link had nothing to do with sleep quality.
There is a good explanation for this. The colon has its own internal clock which follows sleep patterns. This is why we are more likely to have a bowel movement in the morning. But when sleep patterns are changed – even if adequate sleep is experienced – this can throw off the regularity of the colon, which can result in symptoms of IBS.
This makes total sense. Have you ever traveled to a different time zone, only to have your bowel movement completely change schedule? Well, now you know why.