Struggling With Fatigue? Read This BEFORE Seeing A Health Care Practitioner.

There are a myriad of reasons that can contribute to fatigue.

Some of which include low iron and an under-active thyroid.

However, before spending a fortune 💰 on exhaustive testing, have you considered the real reason for your fatigue?

As in – could it be because you’re just trying to juggle “life”, whilst being a full-time shift worker?

I’m mentioning this because I had a client reach out to me after a 3am early shift (yup, that’s not a typo… ⏰️😳😵‍💫), whilst juggling full-time shift work AND being a mum to 3 young children.

Long story cut short, she was running on about 3-4 hours sleep EVERY night.

I could have run some tests and prescribed some pills, but that wouldn’t have addressed the root cause of her fatigue.

All it would have done is artificially suppress her body’s overwhelming feeling’s of fatigue, and possibly delay the onset of a chronic disease later in life.

So my question to you is this.

Have you created a life that doesn’t allow your body sufficient time to rest and sleep?

Because no amount of pills can fix a lifestyle that not only involves burning the candle at both ends… but sets fire 🔥 to the bit in the middle as well.

Just something to ponder if your health care practitioner is quick to “diagnose and prescribe”, without taking into consideration your lifestyle first.

Audra x

Shift Work Burnout – Ten Tips To Help Reduce The Debilitating Effects.

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.

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Morning Light and Fatigue

The number 1 most commonly used drug in the world today is coffee, and this is because the vast proportion of the population is not exposed to the morning light.

We’ve moved from spending so much of our lives outdoors, to a completely indoor one and shift workers are especially vulnerable due to having to work shifts that go against the body’s innate timing system or circadian rhythm.

Morning light exposure stimulates the eye to instigate subconscious functions within the body. It activates the autonomic nervous system, part of the body that controls heartbeat, waste excretion, hunger, thirst etc.

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How To Eat on Night Shift to Reduce Fatigue?

Back in my Uni days of studying to become a nutritionist, I remember overhearing a discussion between a lecturer and student about what would be the ideal meal option for someone who work’s the night shift.

The lecturer’s reply was:

“Just get them to flip their meals around. As in have their big meal around midnight and 1am”.

The thing is, that never really sat right with me.

Given the functionality of our circadian rhythm varies enormously between that of the day versus the night, I instinctively knew that nocturnal food intake, especially in large quantities, was bound to cause havoc on our digestive system. Not ideal, given most shift workers are plagued by gastrointestinal complaints at the best of times!

However, it doesn’t stop at the digestive system.

It can affect our cognition, amongst other things, which if your work involves making complex decisions, operating machinery or performing surgery, can be extremely important.

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Gut Loving Energising Smoothie

Do you experience gut discomfort and lack energy?

Yeah I know. It’s a bit of a silly question as most shift workers do.

This is due mostly to something called circadian misalignment, which is just a fancy way to describe eating out of sync to our natural body clock.

That being said, it’s not just about food timing.

When we’re tired we don’t always make the healthiest of food choices because let’s face it. It’s really hard to muster up the strength to whip up a culinary delight when we can barely keep our eyes open from exhaustion!

This ends up being a bit of a Catch-22 because it contributes to an even further lack of energy due to insufficient nutrients needed for energy production on a cellular level. 

This leads to a disruption in the regulation of the nervous system. In other words, makes us feel even more tired, anxious and frazzled!

The good news is, I’ve got a “can’t-be-bothered-to-make-anything-fancy” smoothie recipe that is not only quick to make, but will supply your body with a wonderful assortment of nutrients to give you more zing.

The apple cider vinegar and ginger in this smoothie will also help to settle an anxious tummy.

What’s In It?

100g blueberries (preferably organic)
250ml almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 orange – juice and zest
2cm piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

How To Make It?

Throw everything into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Drink immediately or pop into a chilled thermos to take into work and enjoy whilst on shift.

Note: you’ll need to give the smoothie a good shake once it’s been in the fridge for a while as the coconut oil will harden slightly.

Audra x

References:
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Antunes, L, Levandovski, R, Dantas, G, Gaumo, W & Hidalgo, M 2010, ‘Obesity and shift work: Chronobiological aspects’, Nutrition Research Review, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 155-168.

Kanarek, R 1997, ‘Psychological effects of snacks and altered meal frequency’, British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 77, pp. S105-S120.

Nor, A, Norsham, J, Nur, T, Sahar, A, Srijit, D & Effendy N 2020, ‘Consequences of circadian disruption in shift workers on chrononutrition and their psychosocial well-being’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 1-17.