Trouble Sleeping? Have You Tried Grounding?

Did you know the simple act of earthing, otherwise known as grounding can help to improve sleep?

Sound a bit strange – or to good to be true?

Earthing works because when direct skin comes into contact with the ground, it helps to rectify an electron deficiency.  Essentially the body becomes charged with negative electrons that are abundant on the surface of the earth.

Think of it as topping up your vitamin G – as in G for ground.

This in turn helps to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and lower stress hormones such as cortisol, which in most cases helps to improve sleep.

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HSW 89 – A Book For Shift Workers!

It’s finally here.

A book exclusively for shift workers!

After many years of writing on and off, my new book – ‘Too Tired To Cook:  The Shift Worker’s Guide To Working (and Surviving) In A 24/7 World’ has finally hit the stores of global online book retailers, along with being distributed within bookstores around Australia.

In this podcast episode, tune in to hear all about the book, why I wrote it and what it’s all about – along with some of the 5-star reviews and feedback from people who have already read it since it was first launched just a few short weeks ago.

One thing I do want to make mention is that this book is written very much from the heart, as my soul intention for writing it was to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of some of the most misunderstood people on the planet – those being shift workers.

To purchase your copy click on the ‘Shop’ tab above, or if you live in my home town of Brisbane, head on down to Riverbend Books in Bulimba as they are now stocking it in their store too!

HSW 73 – Adopting a Better Sleep Mindset with Constable Tracey Rogers

Sleep.  It can be so elusive when we work shift work, but is it really possible to get better sleep whilst working 24/7?  According to First Class Constable Tracey Rogers it absolutely is, but it all comes back to adopting a ‘Better Sleep Mindset”, and being prepared to do whatever it takes to foster and encourage better sleep.

Tracey Rogers is a First Class Constable with the Tasmanian Police Force, who has worked a combination of shift work and day roles throughout her 15-year career in the Police Force.  Understandably, her job can be pretty stressful at times, so being able to unwind and get sufficient quality sleep has become a huge priority and focus for improving her health and well-being.

In this episode you’re going to learn:

  • why having an outside interest is absolutely vital in being able to ‘switch off’ from a stressful job and shift
  • what Tracey did to conquer her ‘hate relationship with sleep’
  • how she overcame self-sabotaging sleep behaviours, that were having a huge impact on her sleep
  • why in order to get better sleep, we must be willing to try new things
  • Tracey’s top 3 strategies to becoming a healthy shift worker

Links mentioned on the podcast:

To get in contact with Tracey – reach out to her through Facebook / Messenger at Tracey Lee

For more information on Audra’s Better Sleep Program, you can book a Free Better Sleep Strategy Session by Clicking Here

Better Sleep – The Missing Link To Sustainable Weight Loss:

Your Best New Year's Resolution For 2019!


As we close the door on yet another year, I have to ask – “is one of your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight?”

As a shift worker immersed in a sleep disrupted lifestyle, I’d say the chances of you replying to that question with a “yes”, is pretty high.

Why?  Well generally speaking, the less we sleep, the more we’re going to weigh.

I know what you’re thinking – “that sucks!”

I agree.  It does.  But the thing is, when we’re sleep deprived, there are 3 distinct things or biochemical changes which occur within our body, that if we ignore, can fast track us down the express lane to weight gain before we’ve even had a chance to see it coming!

  1. When we haven’t had enough sleep, our body instinctively seeks out energy that it didn’t get during a restorative night’s rest.What does that mean?  Well the quickest and easiest source of energy that our body can use is, you guessed it – sugar!  Or more scientifically, glucose, which means if you don’t get sufficient sleep, you’re going to have some serious carbohydrate cravings.
  2. When we haven’t had enough sleep, it dysregulates our appetite-regulating hormones ‘ghrelin’ and ‘leptin’.  Ghrelin is a hormone that gets released to increase our appetite, whereas leptin is a hormone that lets you know when you’re feeling full.  The problem when we’re sleep deprived, is ghrelin becomes elevated making us feel hungrier than normal, whilst at the same time, leptin becomes suppressed meaning you’re not going to receive that “I’m feeling full” signal which can lead to overeating and subsequent weight gain.So yes, you do have a valid, scientific explanation (or shall we say ‘justification’) as to why you polished off 1/2 packet of Tim Tams in your meal break!
  3. When we haven’t had enough sleep, it increases a stress hormone in our body called cortisol. While it’s a great hormone to have around when you need to slam on your breaks in traffic, its not good to have high amounts of it floating around on a consistent basis.  This is because cortisol raises our blood sugar, which in turn, raises our insulin levels.  Like with anything in excess, too much insulin can lead in the development of a condition called insulin resistance, which reduces our body’s ability to burn fat often leading in the development of weight gain around the abdomen or belly region.

So whilst what we eat is important when it comes to sustainable weight loss – it’s certainly by no means, the be all and end all.

Instead of following the crowd and focussing all of your attention on a restrictive, unsustainable diet for your New Year’s Resolution (which let’s face it, most have usually given up by the 2nd week of January anyway!), my recommendation for you, is to take on a completely different approach.

That being focussing on improving both the quality and quantity of your sleep, because this is going to help your body to experience less sugar cravings and hormonal dysregulation, which will inadvertently help you to lose weight anyway!

And let’s face it, who doesn’t want better sleep – especially when working 24/7!

Audra x

 

References:

Greer, S, Goldstein, A & Walker, M 2013, ‘The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain’, Nature Communications, vol. 4, no. 2259.

Hirotsu, C, Tufik, S & Anderson, M 2015, ‘Interactions between sleep, stress, and metabolism:  From physiological to pathological conditions’, Sleep Science, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 143-142.

Taheri, S, Lin, L, Austin, D, Young, T & Mignot, E 2004, ‘Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index’, PLoS Medicine, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 210-217.

HSW 67 – Sleep Debt: What Is It, And How Can We Minimise It with Audra Starkey

In this episode I go solo and discuss a phenomenon called ‘Sleep Debt’, which given the irregular hours and rotational rosters that many shift workers are required to work, is a situation experienced by many who work 24/7.

In this episode you’re going to learn:
– What exactly is ‘sleep debt’, and why are shift workers prone to it.
– Some of the short-term and long-term effects of sleep debt
– The million dollar question – can we pay it back?
– Some tips and strategies to help reduce and minimise this sleep debt

Links mentioned on the podcast:

For more information about Audra’s Healthy Shift Workers Workshops, email Audra at audra@healthyshiftworker.com