Poor sleep or nightshift
I’m gonna take the opportunity to try and explain a bit about what happens to your biology during night shift and how best way to counteract it.
Below is a chart showing Cortisol and Melatonin Levels throughout the day.
As we know from previous discussions Cortisol is the energy hormone which is high in the morning causing us to wake and Melatonin is the feel good happy hormone which is high in the evening allowing us to sleep and they work alternatively to each other. The times in the graph are irrelevant as every individual has their own personal circadian rhythm.
But what you’re doing when you switch to night shift is you’re turning your own circadian rhythm on its head.
Common problems with night shift and disturbed sleep patterns are:
- People making poor nutritional choices due to having low Cortisol levels during the day and there body requiring immediate energy for the tasks at hand.
- Directly effecting your anabolic and catabolic pathways and directly hindering your rate of results and recovery
- Negatively effecting your immune system
- Feeling lethargic and performing poorly during their work outs or skipping work outs. (physical ability isn’t actually affected, only mental willingness)
There’s a few things we can do to reduce the effects but ultimately we need to create awareness around the effects of night shift and just set realistic expectations for that period and the week following as it can take a week to re-calibrate.
A well balanced diet and a well engineered general health supplement stack is a great starting point. (you already have this).
Ensure you’re looking at light when you wake up, this signals to the brain that it’s day and signal the chemical pathways as normal. If you’re waking up at night use a 10,000 Lux capacity lamp, these can be purchased off the internet relatively cheaply and offer an excellent return on investment. 20 minutes exposure as you get ready at the start of each day will contribute towards better regulation.
Ensure you’re not looking at light when you go to bed. Make sure your room is as dark as possible. (this sounds obvious but so often overlooked) Tin foil over your windows is a good idea.
Prepare for sleep, don’t just walk in the door, lights on, shower and head down. Spend 30 minutes preparing for sleep. Get those lights off, perform 10 minutes of deep breathing exercises, phone off, calm your mind, list your tasks for the day ahead and ensure you’re ready for sleep when you hit the pillow.
We can substitute Melatonin as a supplement to help regulate your rhythm better but this is only available from the US or from an AUS doctor on prescription. Phenibut is a great alternative and available in most supp stores.
Magnesium or Gaba is also a great supplement to use here.
Your physical capabilities aren’t one bit effected by reduced sleep quality, it’s just your mental willingness that creates the problem so be mental strong and execute the weights as per the program.