5 Night Shift Sleep Tips
Sacrificing sleep for work, family, or school can be a huge strain on your body, especially for people trying to bounce back from shift work. HYLETE Health Advisor Thomas DeLauer helps you better understand what’s going on with your body and provides 5 quick tips which will help you perform at your best! After explaining some of the short-term and long-term effects DeLauer gives advice on how to help your hormones recycle better.
Circadian rhythm- cues from the external environment around us. Also known as the body’s “central clock”.
Peripheral clock- One’s cells, organs, and the body itself.
Sometimes lack of sleep is purely a result of a fun night. Click here to learn how to bounce back after a night out.
about the author
From 280lbs to the Covers of Magazines... All by living a lifestyle that is honest and real. Thomas DeLauer brings the nutrition expertise along with a unique perspective on health and wellness that is everything HYLETE.
The following is a transcription of the above video:
Hey, it's Thomas DeLauer with HYLETE, and this video is going to give you the five ways that you can bounce back from shift work, especially if you're a first responder and you're someone that's having to work all kinds of crazy hours, 24-hour shifts, where you're sleeping different weird hours. We all know that it's not the healthiest thing, but I'm here to teach you some ways that you can utilize your food and utilize some interesting patterns and habits to get your body to bounce back so your hormones are the way they need to be so that you can perform at your best.
But first, we have to understand circadian rhythms and how the body works and how that correlates with our hormones. You see, the circadian rhythm takes cues from the external environment around us. That's called the body's central clock. Our brain sees cues, like, ""Hey, it's dark out,"" or, ""Hey, it's cooling down,"" or, ""Hey, it's getting later in the day,"" and the brain picks up on that. Then it sends signals to what's called the peripheral clock. The peripheral clock is your cells, your organs, your body itself. You see, it essentially goes: environment telling the brain that it's dark out, then the brain tells the rest of the body. Well, the problem is, when the peripheral clock doesn't match the environmental central clock, that's when things get thrown off and that's when hormones can be disrupted.
Now, it's no joke that night-shift work and graveyards and long crazy hours are unhealthy, but we really want to understand what's going on in the body. From a short-term effect, it does things like affect your anxiety levels, it affects depression, it affects your food cravings, and it affects your hormones, even your sex hormones, and your overall libido. Those are things that we don't really want to deal with. Then, in the long term, the effects are really negative. We're dealing with long-term bouts of anxiety, long-term bouts of depression, even chronic gastrointestinal issues, and chronic issues with weight gain and controlling our weight and controlling our overall metabolism.
Let's talk about how we can fix these, five quick things to implement into your life that's going to help your hormones recycle better so that you can perform at your best, whether it's at work, whether it's at home with your family, or it's in the gym or on the field.
The first one is actually kind of obvious. Hear me out through all of these, because the first couple is kind of obvious. This first one is about 150 milligrams, no more, of caffeine. Why 150 milligrams? Because studies are showing that after 150 milligrams, you start having negative hormonal effects. You start having negative sleep effects. It's very, very important with the caffeine that you're only having it within the first 8 to 10 hours of your day. Do not consume caffeine past that 8 to 10 hour period, preferably just the first 4 hours. See, caffeine actually has some effects on the circadian rhythm, and if we implement it right, believe it or not, it can help you out.
Number two only uses melatonin when you're first adapting to a new schedule. A lot of people that I talk to like using melatonin regularly. The problem is, melatonin, being that it's a neurotransmitter that helps promote sleep, is something that you can develop a tolerance to. I want you to make sure that you only use melatonin for a couple of days transitioning into a new sleep pattern. What melatonin does is it helps your body recognize that it's getting dark out. You see, when it starts getting cool outside or it starts getting dark, your body starts creating melatonin. All we're trying to do by taking exogenous melatonin is giving the body a leg up in understanding that this is the new rhythm.
The next thing that I want you to try out is light therapy. What is light therapy? Well, it's a way for you to get the same effects of melatonin, but with light. You see, when you turn out the lights or when it starts getting dark at night, that's when melatonin naturally increases. Well, you can actually manipulate the lights around you to trigger the release of melatonin and let yourself naturally get into a pattern. For instance, in the morning you surround yourself with very, very bright lights. What this is going to do is it's going to signal melatonin to shut off, whereas ordinarily, your melatonin might still be running.
Let's say it's 2:00 o'clock in the morning and you're getting up. It's still dark outside, so naturally, your melatonin levels are still going to be high, but if you surround yourself with a lot of bright lights at that time conditionally, time after time, your body's going to learn that that's the time to shut down melatonin production. Same kind of thing when it comes down to going to bed. Surround yourself with dim lights. When you come home, even if it's mid-day, shut out the lights and start adjusting a couple hours before you go to bed.
The next one is crazy. Eat carbohydrates before bed. Why carbohydrates before bed? That seems kind of counterproductive from everything we've heard. Well, doctors and researchers have found, including one study about 30 years ago at MIT by Dr. Wurtman, found that carbohydrates are what allow serotonin to be produced. Serotonin's what gives you that sense of wellbeing. It all has to do with tryptophan. You've heard of tryptophan, like when we're talking about a turkey dinner, when we're talking about Thanksgiving. You have the turkey dinner and the tryptophan puts you to sleep. Well, that's because of tryptophan signals serotonin; serotonin signals melatonin, relaxation, and sleep. Without the carbohydrates, serotonin can't effectively be produced. Now, this study has been proven time and time again. How much carbohydrates? I promise you-you won't get fat. It doesn't work like that. I recommend about a quarter gram of carbohydrates per pound of body weight within three to four hours of going to bed.
The next one that I want to teach you is to simply take a hot bath. This isn't just about relaxation. There's some legitimate reason behind this. You see, what happens before you go to bed, your body's body temperature naturally decreases. It's your metabolism's way of saying, ""We're slowing down. It's time to go to bed."" That typically happens in relation to melatonin. When it's getting dark out and it's getting cooler out, then your body cools down and it's time to go to bed. Well, if you're working shift work, it can be a little bit tough. If you take a hot bath, what it's going to do is it's going to temporarily elevate your core body temperature, so then, when you get out of the bath, by contrast, your body temperature starts to cool down again. Well, that cooling process signals melatonin signals serotonin and allows you to relax. But, additionally, it also draws blood flow away from the brain and to the core of the body. More blood flow to the brain equals more neural stimulation, more brain stimulation, keeping you awake. You want to draw blood into the core so that you relax.
Now, the purpose of this video was to help those first responders, help those that are putting their lives on the line and putting their days and sacrificing their time for our communities, for our country, for our world, for humanity. The purpose of this is to really give you tangible steps that you can implement to live the best possible life, whether it's in work, whether it's at home, whether it's on the field, in the gym, to be the best person you can ultimately be.
I'm Thomas DeLauer with HYLETE. Make sure that you let us know if you're liking these videos and what kind of topics you'd like to see in the future. I'll see you all soon.