When you work a 24/7 roster which encompasses some pretty ruthless hours, shift work burnout is going to be inevitable.
Considering sleep deprivation is often unavoidable and many employees have to work harder in today’s economic environment – burnout is becoming increasingly common amongst employees around the world.
But can you reduce the effects of shift work burnout?
You bet. And it all begins by watching out for the symptoms.
These may include things like headaches, stomach aches, high blood pressure, back and neck pain and even skin rashes.
They are basically warning signs that your body is not at its optimum.
In fact when you suffer from shift work burnout you can become more susceptible to viruses and other infections.
Gut issues are prevalent in many who work 24/7 due to a myriad of reasons including dehydration, insufficient dietary fibre and especially … mistimed eating.
Mistimed eating is when we eat out of sync to our natural sleep/wake cycle.
If causes gut issues because the stomach, along with all of the ancillary organs involved in digestion such as the liver, kidneys, gall bladder, small and large intestine, do not break down and process foods at night in the same capacity as they do during daylight hours.
And when do most shift workers eat?
All over the place!
Anywhere from 8am, 3pm, 10pm, 2am, 4am … whenever they have a designated break or find the time to squeeze one in if they’re super busy and under the pump.
No doubt you can relate :-).
Have you been told health practitioners to “flip your meals” when working the night shift?
As in have a big meal around midnight?
I remember having to bite my tongue when one of my lecturers at University recommended to do this because instinctively I knew this was not the right thing to do.
And that’s waaaaaaaayyyyyy before I spent years diving down the rabbit hole learning all about chronobiology and circadian nutrition.
Why is it an issue?
Well, when we do this, it confuses the clocks in our gut, liver and kidneys that its daytime.
This can lead to gut pain, bloating, constipation, nausea, acid reflux and a whole host of other fun things that we’d much rather avoid!
It’s no wonder so many shift workers are prone to gut and digestive complaints, that actually have nothing to do with allergies or food intolerances.We need to get back to the basics.
Eat your main meal no later than 9pm (preferably earlier if you can), as this will help to minimise further disruption to your biological clock.
At the end of the day, just because we’re awake on shift during the night, doesn’t mean we’re supposed to eat.
P.S: Want to learn more about this topic?
Check out my ‘21-Day Healthy Shift Worker Kickstart Program’ by CLICKING HERE.
Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
OR… Have you been on every diet under the sun, but are still struggling to lose weight?!!
Because when we actually take time out from eating (call it fasting, or just not eating continually which is what most people have become accustomed to doing these days) – it initiates hormonal changes that make stored fat more accessible.
It essentially helps the body to break down surplus fat, leading to weight loss.
This occurs as the body uses fuel in the following order:
- Glucose (sugar)
- Glycogen (sugar stored in the liver and muscles)
- Adipose or fat tissue
So when blood sugar and insulin is low, it enables fat burning to occur.
Are you looking at your health as if through a set of binoculars?
Are you relying on one area of medicine to keep you healthy?
Achieving optimal health doesn’t occur when we focus on one thing.
It’s a bit like driving a car with the handbrake on as we’re unable to see the bigger picture. The blind spots that play a pivotal role in our long term health and well-being.
This is because health encompasses a myriad of facets including sleep, movement, nutrition, sunlight, connection, hydration, breath work etc.
It’s why it’s good to see a variety of health care practitioners who are trained across various modalities, along with seeking out different opinions.
The best part is that your body will begin to thrive when you make adjustments across all areas of your health – as opposed to just one.
P.S: Needing help embracing more of a holistic take on your health whilst working 24/7? Check out the 21-Day Healthy Shift Worker Kickstart Program by Clicking Here.