When getting vitamin D levels tested, many shift workers show up as being ‘deficient’.
In other words, they fall short of fitting within what’s deemed to be the healthy range.
However serum vitamin D, is simply a proxy marker for sun exposure.
Clinical trials have found vitamin D supplementation provides little to any meaningful health benefits.
It’s the sunlight, along with it’s related factors, which are responsible for the beneficial effect on human health.
I’m not going to be very popular for sharing this post, but I’m going to share it with you anyway, because I do what I do because I CARE.
This means telling you things that you don’t necessarily WANT to hear, but NEED to.
So, if you’ve got into the habit of relying on caffeine to ward off your tiredness, in lieu of prioritising your sleep, over time, this can lead you down a very slippery slope.
A slippery slope towards developing a chronic disease like Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM).
One of many health conditions, sadly, that shift workers are prone to developing.
This can be due to myriad of reaons, but I’m going to touch on TWO KEY AREAS.
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 :-).
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.
I was speaking at a conference on the weekend, and I asked the attendees the following question:
“Do you have a lollie jar stashed in a drawer at work? There were quite a few nods in the room, and one guy even said they have a Lollie Locker!
Whooska. Well, at least he was honest.
The thing is, they’re pretty much in every shift working workplace on the planet.
Incredibly, (but not surprisingly), they line the drawers of most hospital wards … but don’t get me started about the food in the hospitals. I’m going to save that for an entirely different email!!
Anyway, I digress.
Getting back to the lollie jar. Does your workplace also have those “fundraising choccies” that make several appearances throughout the year??
It’s for a good cause, right?
Well … yes, I’m not going to disagree with that, but at what cost to those who are consuming these sugar-laden treats?
You see, when we’re constantly sleep-deprived our bodies are essentially in a state of ‘fight or flight’ which leads us to crave sugar.