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[shiftworker online]

March/April
1998
Issue 2
Shiftworker Online

News Headlines. Canada.  USA.
Weather. Canada.  USA.
Current Scores.
from USA Today.
from Sportsline.
Laugh of the Day.
from Reader's Digest.
Picture of the Day.

This Day in LIFE


Book of the Month.
Sleeping Fires - George Gissing
Previous Issues
#1 Jan./Feb. 1998

Enter a Room.
Main
Break
Circadian
Dolphin
Effects
History
Links
Me
Scheduling
Sleep

Welcome to Issue #2 of the Shiftworker Online.

Bookmark this page for easy access to News, Weather and Sports and Shift Work related information.

In this issue:


Around the Clock

Anyone in North America that tried to follow live events for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan maybe can appreciate in a small way the effects a shift worker feels. The difference is that the shift worker is doing this every few weeks. Those that tried to catch a live hockey game or skating event would have felt the effects of the body clock or our “circadian rhythm.”
Circadian rhythm is an internal body rhythm that cycles approximately every 24 hours. (for more information go to Circadian Rhythm Room)

Our circadian system is only able to adjust to a change of an hour or two a day at most and can take up to two weeks to fully adjust to a new time schedule.

Because of our body clock when we change our sleeping patterns significantly the “tired feeling” will be present even if we get our normal amount of sleep at a different time period.

The main result of changing your normal sleeping times is fatigue. Fatigue causes a general feeling of tiredness and irritability. As long as it is short term the effects are minimal. When upsetting our body clock is a constant event, chronic fatigue can occur. Chronic fatigue can cause irritability and depression, inability to concentrate, headaches, sudden sweating, giddiness, mood shifts, increased vulnerability to illness, loss of appetite, digestive trouble, sleep loss and irregular heartbeats.

Sleep-Wake Disorders Canada says, “ One in four workers suffers from sleeping problems, but few are ever diagnosed. North Americans spend a fortune each year on prescription drugs to sleep, or other medication to stay awake.”

Studies have indicated that even losing a few hours of sleep can cut performance on challenging tasks the next day by thirty percent. Some of the biggest man-made disasters experts blame on sleep deprivation. Examples of this include the deadly Bhopal gas leak in India and nuclear leaks at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union.


No Matter What Shift You Are On ----- Get Up On the Right Side of the Bed!!

During the time you are sleeping our metabolism slows down. Our heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature get lower also. (see Stages of Sleep Room).

Waking up means getting all these bodily functions up to speed instantly.

After you wake, try these few simple exercises to get your metabolism going again.


Back Relaxer

- Sit on the edge of your bed.

- Hold your hands above your head, joined by the fingers.

- Stretch up us high as you can until you reach the ceiling. (just kidding, the ceiling that is.)

- Stay in this position and bend at your hip first left then right, slowly moving your head back and forth.

- Do this for 8 to 10 seconds, inhaling and exhaling once.

- Repeat 3 times.


Flexible Legs
(Grab a chair for this one)

- Rest your hands on the back of a chair.

- Bend your knees and exhale.

- Stand up and get up on your toes and stretch as far as you can and inhale.

- Repeat 5 to 10 times.

You are now ready to face the day or night (depending on what shift you are working).


Hey, Watch That FAT

Keeping your blood cholesterol level under control is a key factor in reducing the risk of heart disease. Your intake of fat has a large influence on your blood cholesterol levels. If you could make only one change in your diet, lowering the total amount of fat you eat would be the best action to take.

Here are some simple tips to help make a healthy change in your diet:

  • Be label conscious. Read about the ingredients, the nutritional information and the percentage of fat in foods.

  • Buy and eat well-trimmed lean meat and consider choosing smaller portions.

  • Choose lower-fat dairy products and foods prepared using low-fat cooking methods.

  • Use milk in your coffee instead of cream. At 3 cups of coffee each day, you can save up to 10 grams of fat.

  • Bake, broil, steam, poach, microwave or stir-fry in a non-stick skillet (using little or no oil) instead of frying.

  • Beware of “hidden” fats in powdered creamers, chocolate, microwave popcorn and frozen vegetables with added sauces.

  • Cut back on oils, dressings, gravy and sauces, or a least ask for them on the side.

  • Choose rich desserts less often, and eat a smaller piece.

  • When eating on the run - forego the fried chicken or chicken fingers in favour of a grilled chicken breast sandwich; make burger ordering simple - select one plain patty without added sauce.

  • Try lower-fat, “light” recipes.


Sweet Dream Cream Pie

This low fat desert is easy to make and easy to eat.

First get two mixing bowls - 1 large, 1 medium and 1 pie plate (9 inches).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place in the medium bowl and mix well the following ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of Chocolate Baking Crumbs (example - OREO Baking Crumbs)

1 egg white

Spray pie plate with non-stick spray.

Press crumb mixture on bottom and sides of pie plate.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Place in large bowl the following ingredients:

2 cups 1% milk

2 cups low-fat sour cream

2 packages instant Vanilla pudding mix (4 ounces/ 102-113 grams each) (example - Jell-O Instant Pudding) Note: If you prefer use chocolate instant pudding mix)

Beat with electric mixer until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes)

Make sure pie crust is cool then place 3/4 cup of sliced bananas over the bottom of the pie crust.

Spread 1/2 the pudding mixture over bananas.

Place another 3/4 cup of sliced bananas over this mixture then cover with remaining pudding. Spread to the pie’s edges.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

After eating this you will have sweet dreams no matter what shift you are working.

This recipe makes 8 servings.

Each serving is approximately 300 calories.

That’s it for this issue.

Bye for now!!!

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If you have any comments or questions,
Please E-MAIL me at rlaird@ican.net