Hi there and welcome!
My name is Audra Starkey, AKA The Healthy Shift Worker, and I help shift workers sleep better and get healthy despite working crazy hours!
I’m also a mad traveler, a huge fan of tennis (or should I say a fan of Roger Federer), a lover of the natural environment and all types of furry critters.
After 21 years of working in the aviation industry, in October 2014 I decided to take a leap of faith and accept a voluntary redundancy from Qantas, Australia’s largest airline, to pursue my interest in nutrition, with a special focus on shift work health.
As a fellow shift worker, I think you would agree that when we work shift work, our diet is often the first thing to fall apart, which over the long-term, can have serious consequences on our health. This led me to commence a Bachelor of Health Science degree, majoring in Nutritional Medicine at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Brisbane, which I completed at the end of 2016. I also recently graduated as a Functional Nutrition Consultant from the Changing Habits Functional Nutrition Academy based here in Queensland, and became a member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), a prominent natural medicine association that has been supporting natural health practitioners for over 30 years. My special interest in sleep, or more specifically sleep nutrition, also led me to become an Associated Member of the Australasian Sleep Association, which is the peak scientific body in Australia & New Zealand representing clinicians, scientists and researchers in the broad area of Sleep.
At the beginning of 2016, I decided to launch a podcast of the same name – The Healthy Shift Worker with one of the largest health and wellness podcasting networks in Australia, The Wellness Couch, to help share my healthy-shift-worker message both here in Australia, and all over the world. The podcasts are available via iTunes, or can be accessed through the links on this website.
My special interest in shift work health stemmed from my own personal struggles of working shift work for nearly two decades. Like anyone who has ever worked shift work before, you can appreciate just how hard it is on our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Whilst after 6 years of study, I can now call myself a Nutritionist, this website and podcast is not all about nutrition.
I have a very holistic view on health, in particular when it comes to those who work through the night, and get up at ridiculous times of the day because sleep-deprivation can be the catalyst behind a lot of our struggles – and not just on the food that we eat.
Do I believe nutrition is important? Absolutely. In fact it’s even more important when working 24/7.
Do I believe it’s the answer to all of our shift working woes? Absolutely not.
As a population, we are chronically sleep-deprived, and with that comes serious consequences.
Sleep deprivation affects our:
- nutritional intake, digestion and absorption of foods
- it disrupts our hormones
- it impairs our cognitive function
- it weakens our immune system
- it affects our mood
- it makes us prone to accidents
- it makes us feel way too tired to get off the couch and exercise, and
- it certainly plays havoc on our family and social life – amongst many other things.
Not the rosiest of pictures, but it’s the harsh reality of the situation, and comes with the territory when working 24/7.
It’s what ultimately led me to release my first book in August of this year (2019) titled ‘Too Tired To Cook – The Shift Worker’s Guide To Working (And Surviving) In A 24/7 World‘. The feedback has been amazing with it even reaching Top 6 on Amazon Australia’s Best Seller’s List when it was first launched online!
So if you are new to my website, then – ‘welcome’. I hope you’re able to gain some value from the content which I share both here and on my podcast, and look forward to meeting some of you in person one day. Whether that’s at one of my ‘Healthy Shift Worker Workplace Wellness Events‘, through my Better Sleep Intensive Program – Exclusive For Shift Workers or via the written word of my new book Too Tired To Cook.
Big shift working hugs,