5 Ways to Recover from a Night Shift (or Jet Lag) | #ScienceSaturday

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Thomas DeLauer (aka. Mr. Mineral) explains 5 ways to quickly recover from night shifts and jet lag in order to keep your body in balance.

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Thomas Delauer is a member of Jigsaw Health's Business & Scientific Advisory Board.


Transcript generated by Rev.com

I'm Thomas DeLauer with Jigsaw Health and today, I'm talking about shift work and I'm talking about five ways that you can bounce back from your shift work and get your hormones back in check so that you don't have to be running behind the person next to you that's running on eight hours of typical nighttime sleep.

No more excuses, let's get down to the facts and teach you how it can be done but first, we have to understand circadian rhythms and how the body works and how that correlates with our hormones.

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.

So 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, okay, but we really wanna understand what's going on in the body and the 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 and those are things that we don't really want to deal with but 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.

So let's talk about how we can fix these.

Five quick things to implement into your life that's gonna 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.

So the first one is actually kind of obvious and hear me out through all of these 'cause the first couple are kind of obvious.

So this first one is about 150 milligrams, no more, of caffeine.

Why 150 milligrams? Because studies have shown that after 150 milligrams you start having negative hormonal effects.

You start having negative sleep effects and it's very, very important with the caffeine that you're only having it within the first eight to 10 hours of your day.

Do not consume caffeine past that eight to 10 hour period, preferably just the first four hours.

See, caffeine actually has some effects in the circadian rhythm and if you implement it right, believe it or not, it can help you out, okay? Number two is only use melatonin when you're first adapting to a new schedule.

So 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 so 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 starts getting dark, your body starts creating melatonin.

All we're trying to do by taking exogenous melatonin is giving the body sort of a leg up in understanding that this is the new rhythm, okay? The next thing that I want you to try out is light therapy, okay? 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 gonna do is it's gonna signal melatonin to shut off whereas ordinarily, your melatonin might still be running.

So let's say it's two o'clock in the morning and you're getting up.

It's still dark outside so naturally, your melatonin levels are still gonna be high but if you surround yourself with a lot of bright lights at that time conditionally time after time, your body's gonna learn that that's the time to shut down melatonin production.

Same kinda thing when it comes down to going to bed.

Surround yourself with dim lights.

When you come home even it's midday, shut out the lights and start adjusting a couple hours before you go to bed.

Okay, the next one is crazy.

Eat carbohydrates before bed.

Why carbohydrates before bed? That seems like 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 and serotonin's what gives you that sense of well-being.

It all has to do with tryptophan.

You've heard of tryptophan when we're talking about a turkey dinner and we're talking about Thanksgiving, you have the turkey dinner and the tryptophan puts you to sleep.

Well, it's because tryptophan signals serotonin, serotonin triggers melatonin, relaxation and sleep.

So without the carbohydrates, serotonin can't effectively be produced.

Now, this study has been proven time and time again.

So 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.

Now, the next one that I wanna teach you is to simply take a hot bath and 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 and that typically happens in relation with melatonin.

So when it's getting dark out and it's getting cooler out then your body cools down, it's time to go to bed.

Well, if you're working shift work, it can be a little bit tough.

So if you take a hot bath, what it's gonna do is it's gonna 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 wanna draw blood into the core so that you relax.

So as always, keep it locked in here with Jigsaw Health so that we can be the foundation for you taking back control of your health and taking back control of your life even if your schedule may not be as ideal as you want it to be.

I'll see you in the next video.

  • ScienceSaturday
  • Jet Lag
  • Thomas DeLauer
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