Do You Really Understand The Consequences of Poor Sleep?

Yesterday I was talking to a potential client, who was bit unsure and hesitant about working with me, so I decided to ask her a few questions regarding her current lifestyle habits.

Because let’s face it, our diet and lifestyle habits are often one of the firsts thing to turn pear- shaped when we begin working 24/7!

But I also I asked her this question:

“Do you really understand some of the consequences of poor sleep?  Like really understand some of the consequences?”

Like many shift workers – she didn’t.

I mean she’d certainly heard about them, but had chosen to either ignore them or had gone into “oh, that won’t happen to me mode” – like so many people who work 24/7 do.

So let’s share some of the consequences of poor and/or insufficient sleep – and how it raises your risk of developing certain health conditions:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Weight Gain
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Depleted Immune system
  • Strained Relationships … to name a few!

Not to mention, we’re more likely to become reliant on sleep medications – many of which are not designed for long term use, and can come with some nasty side-effects.

Worse still, when we haven’t had sufficient quality sleep – we’re prone to making mistakes and/or being involved in an accident when we’re tired.

Multiple studies have shown that even moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments equivalent to those of alcohol intoxication.   After 17 to 19 hours without sleep, performance is equivalent or worse than that of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 percent.  This effectively makes you a drunk driver – without having a single drop of alcohol.

So please keep this in mind the next time you decide to sign up for a double shift!

Quite simply, there isn’t one area of your life that IS NOT affected by lack of sleep.

Now if you’ve been following my work for a while, you know that your health is important to me.  Gosh, I even walked away from a career that I loved, in order to go back to “school” and learn all that I could about shift work health, so that I could then go on, and help as many people as I could.

Right now, I’m looking for a handful of people who are committed to taking care of their sleep (and health), and are prepared to do whatever it takes NOT TO become one of the “sleep deprived statistics” that I’ve shared above.

On the other hand, if you don’t care about raising your risks of developing cardiovascular disease, gaining weight, developing Type 2 Diabetes and/or having a depleted immune system – at least do it for the sake of your relationships and/or family.  I’m sure they don’t want you to become one of those statistics – even if you don’t!

And now for the good news.

I’ve just opened up limited spots for the beta launch of my ‘7 Day Better Sleep Kickstart Program’ to take people through a step-by-step process to improve their sleep – despite working 24/7.

So if you care about your health, then let’s talk.

Book your Better Sleep Strategy session with me today (it’s Free!) by Clicking Right Here – and let’s get your sleep (and health) sorted once and for all!

Audra x

P.S:  If you don’t believe me when I say that sleep affects us in this way, feel free to read the research article below as it goes into great detail of some of the short-term and long-term health consequences of poor sleep.  The reality is, we can no longer afford to ignore the importance of sleep, and how it affects our overall health and wellbeing.  If we do, it’s only a matter of time before our health begins to suffer.

 

Reference:

Medic, G, Wille, M & Hemels, M 2017, ‘Short and long-term health consequences  of sleep disruption’, Nature and Science of Sleep, vol. 9, pp. 151-161.

Healthy Shift Worker Workplace Trainings –

Having worked for 3 different shift working organisations spanning two decades (I’m really beginning to show my age here) – one of the things that surprised me most was that despite this huge time-frame, not once did I receive any education or training on how to stay healthy despite working 24/7.

I did however receive plenty of training on systems and product knowledge, combined with customer service training which was kind of important given customer service was a huge part of what I did.

But it still left me perplexed as to why we never got any help or support on how to take care of our health given it forms a huge part of what we do each and every day – and night!

I mean let’s face it, shift work is hands down one of the most challenging occupations on the planet and certainly not for the faint hearted.

It also explains why shift working organisations would have one of the highest incidences when it comes to employee sick leave and reduced productivity, so it makes sense to invest in their staff, and do whatever is humanly possible to keep their staff well.

This is because when we work irregular hours, our bodies are under an enormous amount of stress – and that’s even before we set foot into a stressful workplace.

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HSW 39 – Weight Gain, Food Timing and Chrononutrition.

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast Episode:

This week I chat about my all time favourite topic – Food Timing, or the more fancier, scientific way to describe it is Chrononutrition.

Chrononutrition involves the study of how nutrition impacts on our metabolism, via our internal body clock, which includes meal regularity (or in the case of a shift worker, meal irregularity), frequency and clock time.

Eating out of sync to our body’s natural circadian clock is very common in those who work 24/7 (thanks to some pretty crazy rosters), however this can disrupt our metabolism leading to weight gain as our body is not geared up for night-time energy and nutrient consumption.

Over time, it can also contribute to gut disturbances and various chronic diseases such as peptic ulcer disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which are quite prevalent in the shift working population.

So tune in to hear my biggest tip in helping to overcome weight gain whilst working 24/7, and why as weird as it sounds, we need to be thinking of ourselves as walking clocks … because as human beings, that’s exactly what we are – finely tuned walking clocks.

Audra x

 

Resources mentioned on the podcast:

The Obesity Code, by Dr Jason Fung available through Amazon

To book a Healthy Shift Worker Consultation with Audra Click Here.

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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HSW 35 – Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss with Wendy Steward.

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast Episode:

As I’ve submerged myself in journal articles on all things to do with shift work health over the years, one of the things which keeps coming up in the research, is that shift workers are quite prone to developing insulin resistance, a condition where the body in unable to move glucose from the blood, and into the cells efficiently. This causes blood sugar levels to rise to unhealthy levels, which can lead to prediabetes and eventually type 2 diabetes.

Sleep deprivation alone has shown to impair the way our body responds to insulin, however when you combine it with a diet high in unhealthy fats, fructose and carbohydrates from processed and take-away foods, it can enhance our likelihood of developing diabetes even more, along with leading to a steady gain in weight.

In this episode, I invited Wendy Steward from Melbourne who after incorporating more whole foods and movement into her lifestyle, along with removing a lot of processed foods from her diet, managed to reverse her dependency on insulin, along with losing a staggering 40 kilograms!

Wendy is a real character and is authentic as they come, so was happy to share her diabetes and weight gain story which incorporated a roller coaster of emotional eating, a diagnosis of PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and an ongoing struggle to have children. If any of these things resonate, then you’re going to love this episode because Wendy is one incredibly inspiring lady :-).

Wendy’s website

Wendy’s Facebook page – Wendy’s Way

Wendy’s Podcast – Wendy’s Way

Changing Habits, Changing Lives book by Cyndi O’Meara