HSW 99 – Shift Scheduling and Chronotypes with Michael Wieden.

This week we’re heading all the way to Germany to chat with Michael Wieden, the founder of Aliamos, a company that works with organisations to improve the health and well-being of employees by taking into consideration the unique biological rhythms of individuals.

Things we discuss:

1. What is chronobiology, and why is it important for shift workers to understand its significance?
2. What are chronotypes and how do they influence our ability to work specific shifts?
3. How incorporating plant-based food options into workplace canteens is improving the health of employees.
4. Why the mindset of the employer is key in rolling out successful health and wellbeing programs.

Links mentioned on the podcast:
Michael’s website – http://www.wieden.com/ and https://www.aliamos.de/
Michael’s email – wieden@aliamos.de
Michael’s Instagram account – liquidworker

HSW 97: Becoming a Healthy Shift Worker with Roger Sutherland.

A healthy shift worker – myth or a reality?

In today’s episode, we discuss this exact topic with Roger Sutherland who has been a police officer for over 35 years, and is part of an emergency services family with a son, daughter and partner who also work 24/7.

Some of the things that we discuss include:

  1. Roger’s heart-warming story of how he wanted to become a police officer since he was 2-years old.
  2. Some of the health struggles he faced later in his career including being crippled in pain from Sacroiliitis, and what he did to overcome it.
  3. How years of poor dietary choices, sedentary behaviour and undervaluing his sleep would have been a contributing factor in the development of his poor health and chronic pain.
  4. What made the most significant change in his health when he began to prioritise it?
  5. What is LISS training, and how it has helped him to incorporate exercise and movement into his lifestyle, without adding additional stress to his body – especially when on the night shift.
  6. How a shift in mindset played a pivotal role in helping him to transition from being an unhealthy shift worker, to one that is now healthy.

Links mentioned on the podcast:

Roger’s Instagram Account – https://www.instagram.com/roger_suth/
Roger’s A Healthy Shift Instagram Account – https://www.instagram.com/a_healthy_shift/
The Oura Ring – https://ouraring.com/

Do You Struggle With Broken Sleep? Why Your Diet May Be To Blame.

Ditching the processed foods not only help us to feel better (and shake off a few extra kilos!), but it also helps us to sleep better.

This is because most processed foods are:

  • Low in dietary fibre required to support optimal gut health. Poor gut health impacts the production of certain hormones and inhibitory neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine, which help to calm the nervous system and encourage better sleep. Lack of GABA also contributes to anxiety in a lot of people, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • High in refined sugars which feed pathogenic bacteria leading to an imbalance of gut microbes, otherwise known as dysbiosis. For example, when there is an overgrowth of a yeast infection such as Candida, it causes inflammation in the gut. This in turn triggers production of cortisol – a stress hormone that also acts as an anti-inflammatory. When cortisol levels are elevated, it can contribute to insomnia because it dampens down production of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin.
  • Deficient in nutrients that play a role in sleep such as vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium – all of which help to facilitate the many biochemical processes required to produce melatonin. For example, magnesium, calcium and vitamin B5 act as co-factors in the conversion of serotonin to melatonin.

So if you’re struggling with continual bouts of broken sleep (on top of working shift work), it might be time to take a good look at your diet. Because gut disturbances and nutrient deficiencies as a result of consuming foods that are highly refined and processed may be further contributing to your sleep disturbance – in addition to the shift work itself.

Audra x


References:

Ji, X, Grandner, M & Liu, J 2017, ‘The relationship between micronutrient status and sleep patterns: a systematic review’, Public Health Nutrition, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 687-701.

Li, Y, Hao, Y, Fan, F & Zhang, B 2018, ‘The role of microbiome in insomnia, circadian disturbance and depression’, Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol.9, no. 669, pp. 1-11.

Smith, R, Easson, C, Lyle, S, Kapoor, R, Donnelly, C, Davidson, E, Parikh, E, Lopez, J & Tartar, J 2019, Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans’, PLOS One, vol. 14, no. 10, pp. 1-17.

HSW 95 – Exercise, Mental Health and PTSD with Beck Lawther.

Today we’re talking about the benefits of exercise when it comes to managing our mental health – in particular around the topic of PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Beck Lawther, a Police Officer with the Victorian Police Service based in Melbourne.

Beck is also the co-founder of Triple Zero Fit, a personal training company which runs fitness sessions specifically for first responders and emergency services personnel who are struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Things we chatted about:

– What led Beck to set up PT4PTSD?
– Why taking a 9-5 job for a couple of years can be a great strategy to reset our physical and mental health
– Why simply getting to the gym can feel like an insurmountable task, especially for those suffering from PTSD
– How physical exercise stimulates hormone production that improves our mental health
– How you can become a volunteer personal trainer, or utilise some of the services offered by Triple Zero Fit

Links mentioned in the podcast:
Triple Zero Fit Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/triplezerofit/
Triple Zero Fit Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/triplezerofit/
The Code 9 Foundation – https://www.code9ptsd.org.au/

Reflecting on 2019 – 3 Things

Something to ponder as another year draws to a close, and we get ready to embark on a new one.

1. Do more of what’s working
2. Stop doing what isn’t working
3. Try new things to see what does work

What new things and changes are you going to make in 2020?

Audra x