Shift Workers & Nutrition Tips to Help Sleep

How can shift workers boost nutrition and sleep?

The biggest problem for shift workers is that Melatonin & Serotonin – two neuro-chemicals in the brain that help you sleep – get imbalanced with shift work & circadian rhythms go “out”.

This brings about the increase in conditions like:

  1. digestive upsets
  2. obesity
  3. heart disease
  4. some cancers
  5. more accidents because of sleepiness during the daytime
  6. mood changes

and the decrease in your body to heal and repair itself, normally – which is a result of your body’s HGH (Human Growth Hormone) not releasing every night at a certain time. This damages the DNA over time and increases internal damage (ageing) of all internal systems…

To Help Manage These Health Issues

**Foods that help as your last meal before planned sleep:-
– spinach, pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, black beans, avocados & dark chocolate – these are full of magnesium
Cottage cheese – helps promote serotonin, as well as melatonin rich foods like walnuts, almonds, berries, bananas, prunes, raisins & plums

Also, these additions help considerably:

  1. Have a Protein Shake before bed – protein helps trigger one of your neuro chemicals to start sleepiness (Almond Milk is good here too if don’t eat dairy)
  2. Take Magnesium at bedtime – this is a muscle relaxant & will help you wind down
  3. Planning meals so that you have lean protein at every meal – spaced 4hrly apart and keeping to a regular pattern of eating (like a normal day) loaded with a variety of fresh greens to help the liver stay “clean”, detoxify more and increase metabolism
  4. Keep protein sources varied – eg. nuts & seeds are fantastic and fuel your brain, as well as make you feel full & help with digestive issues
  5. Extra Vit D is needed to increase immunity & also stimulate the uptake of other nutrients converting to energy in the body -2-4mg p/day
  6. Melatonin in its most natural form (ie. not synthetic) can be beneficial – look for a pharmaceutical brand
  7. Protandim AntiOxidant Activator – this helps repair DNA damage from free radical damage at a rate of 1,000,000,000 x faster than taking antioxidants alone.

Click here for some published medical studies on reduction of oxidative stress with Protandim & here for oxidative stress & shift work

This also helps your OWN antioxidants increase – one of which is Glutathione (hard to supplement with)  – by 300% and is responsible for repairing, regenerating and anti-ageing all the body’s normal processes – ie. you will feel LESS TIRED

Other Health Tips for Shift Workers
  1. No Caffeine – 6hrs before planning to sleep
  2. No blue light or phones 2-3hrs before planning to sleep or use Blue Light Glasses – this is what damages your Melatonin release from your brain (the neuro-chemical that makes you want to sleep)
  3. Nap – 20-45mins is ideal time
  4. No heavy meals or processed carbs or sugar 4hrs before planning to sleep
  5. Try a herbal tea – like Camomile, Ginger, Licorice Root…anything except black tea – to create a “ritual” around bedtime
  6. Skincare routine – use the action of “washing your face” as a “cleansing the end of the day” and it will trigger neuro-chemicals to start sleep

NB – All supplements & wellness products (ex Melatonin) can be obtained through my online business  – speak to me first for your best options

Picture of Vicky Jamieson

Vicky Jamieson

Vicky is a qualified Health and Nutrition Consultant and has been helping women live healthier more fulfilled lives for over 25 years.

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