Welcome to episode 449 of The Whole View! This week, Stacy and Sarah discuss circadian rhythm and navigating shift work in a healthy way. They look at the science behind circadian rhythms to see how they work and even offer techniques you can use to help adjust to a constantly fluctuating schedule. If you enjoy the show, please review it on iTunes!
The Whole View, Episode 449: Navigating Shift Work in a Healthy WayWelcome back to episode 449! (0:28) There are many people throughout the US and the world with careers that involve working on alternate shifts. This constant fluctuation in waking and sleeping hours can make navigating shift work difficult since your circadian rhythm never gets the opportunity to fully stabilize. However, if you work regular shifts like Stacy and Sarah, you can still utilize the techniques in this show for things like jet lag and daylight savings. Sarah explains that there aren’t many differences between jet lag and working alternate shifts because they impact circadian rhythms. This show was inspired by this listener question:
I have been dialing in my nutrition, activities and sleep and feel so much better for it. But due to my work schedule everytime I come off a rotation of night shifts it takes me 3 days to recover back to my new normal again. I started working 12 hour shifts (7am to 7pm for 4 days then 2 days off. Then 7pm to 7am for 4 nights, then 6 days off to rest).
It’s like having jetlag every 16 days! Is there anything I can do to help and support my body through this? Many thanks,
SophieThis is a common issue for many over the last year- specifically front-line workers through the pandemic. Many thanks to front-line workers and medical staff for their flexibility to be there when we’ve needed them. Sarah remembers when this alternation between day shift and night shift was introduced. Before it, people would work days or nights and stick with that one shift all the time. Balance and fairness are important in the workforce, yes. However, Sarah feels it’s important to talk about why having a consistent night shift would be better than going back and forth.