The NUMBER ONE Food That I Avoid If I Want To Sleep Better …

The other day I had someone ask me, “Audra, what’s the number one food that you avoid when you want to sleep better?”

My answer?

SUGAR!!

I know right.  I can almost hear you let out an enormous sigh.  Damn it!  We all love sugar – especially when we’re sleep deprived!

But the thing is, our bodies need nutrients – not sugar.

Yes, sugar can give us an energy boost, but too much sugar, on the other hand, can cause something called hypoglycemia, where the blood sugar ends up dropping quite severely, leading to an energy slump later on.

Not ideal when you’re trying to pry your eyes open from getting up at “stupid o’clock”, or trying to stay awake during the night shift.

But getting back to nutrients.

Nutrients = informationand sugar, especially the highly refined and processed sugar found in most processed and takeaway foods do not contain nutrients, and this can cause problems.  Especially on our sleep.

Let me explain.

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HSW 47 – Gut Health, Probiotics and Sleep with Dr Jason Hawrelak.

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast:

This week I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing one of the leading experts on gut health, Dr Jason Hawrelak who is a researcher, lecturer, naturopath, and nutritionist based in Hobart with over 17 years of clinical experience.

Whilst there’s an enormous amount of research on some of the damaging effects a poor diet has on our gut health (high saturated fats, low fibre, and high sugar), another less known factor is how sleep disruption can have negative implications on the state of our gut health too.

Given shift workers are prone to circadian rhythm disruption or a disruption to our sleep/wake cycle, what most people are unaware of is how this sleep disruption can actually disrupt the composition of our gut microbiota which can subsequently impair the lining of the digestive tract, leading to an increase in the permeability of the gut, otherwise known as “leaky gut”.

Dr Hawrelak goes into detail on some of the mechanisms behind this increase in intestinal permeability, along with discussing the difference between pre and probiotics; capsules versus powder; and when is the best time to take your probiotics in order to maximize their effectiveness.

Links mentioned on the podcast:

Probiotic Advisor

Goulds Natural Medicine Clinic

HSW 38 – Sugar Cravings and Sleep Deprivation.

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast Episode:

One of the most common struggles I hear from my shift working clients is this ongoing, relentless craving for sugar!

But why is that?  Why are shift workers notorious for craving (and eating) all of the sweet stuff – the highly refined carbohydrates that are neither good for our insides or our waistline?!

Well it all comes back to sleep deprivation, so in this episode I will be shedding the light on how lack of sleep effects our brain function, and how one chemical in particular, which causes us to seek out and eat foods which are high in sugar, is much higher in those who are sleep deprived.

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