Sleep Loss and Glucose Regulation.

This is why shift work and a diet high in refined and processed sugars is not a good mix.

Results published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism identified how just one night of sleep deprivation caused a 40% reduction in the body’s ability to handle glucose.

What does this mean?

Quite simply, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body struggles to keep your blood sugar in check

Given consistently elevated blood sugar can damage blood vessels and contribute to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes … shift workers need to know this stuff!!

Unfortunately it becomes a bit of a Catch-22.

When we’re sleep deprived, our body screams out for sugar, because the brain is seeking out a source of energy to help it to function and remain alert.

But too much sugar – AKA donuts, cakes, biscuits, energy drinks etc, (in lieu of sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fats and fibre), can lead to blood sugar dysregulation and inflammation.

So please be mindful of your sugar intake whilst working 24/7 – not just from a weight gain perspective, but to help reduce your risk factors for developing other chronic health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.

Audra x

Poor Sleep – Why Your Diet May Be To Blame.

As someone who works irregular hours, I’m pretty certain that you’d be well aware of how a shift working lifestyle can play havoc on our ability to sleep and sleep well.

Whether it’s due to a rotating roster, long stretches of early or night shifts, or as a result of nasty minimum turnarounds that don’t really allow sufficient opportunity to sleep.

Hmm. Don’t get me started on that one!!

But have you ever considered that your diet may be affecting your ability to sleep as well?

Because most people don’t.

In fact, it never crosses their minds.

We’re usually more worried about how our food choices are going to affect our waistlines (which is a good thing), but the association between how it can impact on our sleep is often overlooked.

So here’s the kicker.

What we eat (or don’t eat) can definitely play a role in how well we sleep (or don’t sleep).

A BIG role.

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Fruits & Vegetables – Why They Are A Shift Worker’s Best Friend.

We should eat more fruits and vegetables! We’ve heard it all before, but why are they specifically good for shift workers, or why are they a shift worker’s best friend?

Well before I get into the nuts and bolts of it I think it’s important to understand that a staggering 96 percent of Australian adults are not consuming the recommended 5 servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day.

Given we live in a country that has an abundance supply of fresh produce, it’s a pretty woeful and somewhat embarrassing statistic.

In fact, depending on which part of the world you live, those statistics may be similar to where you reside too.

So why are they so important – especially if you work 24/7?

There are many reasons, but these are my Top 2 recommendations as to why you need to be incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet if you work irregular hours:

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HSW 91 – Chrononutrition with Dr Jonathan Johnston

In today’s podcast episode, we’re talking all things chrononutrition with Dr Jonathan Johnston from the University of Surrey, in the United Kingdom.  Dr Johnston is a world expert and researcher in the field of chrononutrition, and has led many studies looking at the links between circadian, metabolic and nutritional physiology including the analysis of timed meal effects on the human circadian system.

This topic of chrononutrition is particularly relevant for shift workers given when we work irregular hours or 24/7, we tend to eat 24/7 however the way in which your body digests and processes food, depends on what time of day that you eat it.

HSW 90 – Reducing Fatigue When Working 24/7.

This week’s podcast I’m talking all things fatigue, and how to reduce it without relying on pills, potions, and stimulants such as energy drinks.

To do this, I discuss how to optimise our circadian rhythms or natural sleep/wake cycle using circadian medicine strategies because the single most common cause of fatigue for shift workers, is a disrupted circadian rhythm or “body clock”.

By implementing circadian medicine strategies such as working with specific circadian “cues” or disruptors, otherwise known as Zeitgebers, that can either send messages to our brain to be in ENERGY MODE, or alternatively make us feel tired and go into SLEEP MODE, it helps the body to transition from night to day (and vice versa) as quickly as possible as a result of shift rotations.