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.
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.
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.
There is a myriad of drugs that can affect our sleep, some of which include beta-blockers (prescribed for high blood pressure), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI’s (a type of antidepressant) and, ironically, even some which are designed to enhance sleep quality such as benzodiazepines.
Given shift workers endure bouts of restricted and fragmented sleep depending on their shift rotations, minimizing exposure to anything which can further exacerbate poor sleep needs to be a priority.
I would recommend writing down every drug and supplement that you are taking and asking your health care practitioner if any could be interfering with your sleep.
Then look at reverse-engineering things by asking if any lifestyle modification strategies could be implemented to address some of the reasons why you’re taking the medications.
Are you eating food made out a laboratory … AKA lots of ultra-processed, refined and sugar-laden foods, or more whole, real foods designed by Mother Nature?
Because apart from the fact the body struggles to break down and digest these types of “foods”, according to a French study published in JAMA (2019), for every 10% portion of our diet that’s made up of processed foods, our risk of developing diabetes jumps up another 15% right along with it.
Now this might not sound earth-shattering, but if you are a shift worker, this percentage rises even more as sleep deprivation, alone, disrupts the regulation of blood sugar levels.
This is because if you’re awake when you’re not meant to be (AKA the life of EVERY shift worker on the planet!), it leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar levels.
The body does this because when you’re sleep deprived, it senses that your life is in danger.