No matter what anyone says, we all are designed to work during daytime and rest at night. We’re our best and most productive during the day too. But when you work against your natural body’s rhythms, it starts running into a set of challenges and extra stress. If you work night shifts, you may come across some unusual experiencea such as a change in your appetite, weight loss, weight gain, digestion problems like gas, constipation and heartburn and also insomnia. But the good news is, by following a balanced diet and keeping yourself active, you can stay away from such problems.
Hence, if you are a night shifter you need to pay extra attention when trying to maintain your physical and mental health. Amongst which adequate sleep and making healthy food choices are the two key factors on which you need to focus on. For correct guidance here are few health and diet tips to be followed if you are the night shifter. Here it follows:
- The biggest killer of your health in working hours is the constant coffee mug on your table and multiple energy drinks. Try to limit coffee intake during your night shifts and drink it four to five hours prior your shift end because caffeine stays in your body system for quite a long time and after reaching home you might find it hard to sleep.
- Avoid fatty, spicy and fried foods like kachori, samosa, puris, potatoes and an excessive quantity of desserts. Such foods will leave you feeling heavy, sleepy or might be bloated which a few hours later could provoke acid formation in your stomach leading it to acidity. To prevent such indigestion issues or heartburn, eat low-fat foods, lightly spiced up, and none fried too.
- Before going to sleep make sure you eat small and light meals which should be a balanced combination of lean protein, low-carbs, and low-fat. Your body and digestion process naturally slows down when your body goes in a rest mode. Therefore, eating a small meal will provide you with quality sleep and get digested easily.
- If you are an energy drink person then, it should be the second most thing to cut down because it’s packed with sugar and other nasty ingredients. So, better you replace it with some herbal tea or infused water that will give you energy.
- 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. is the time when your body system naturally tends to feel more sleepy as it is programmed to be that way only. You need to choose healthy protein options like yoghurt, nuts and fruits which will give you the burst of energy without making you sleepy.
- Last but the least take scheduled breaks, do some desk, stretches and walk up a flight of stairs. Doing so will give you strength to finish up your shift, give a boost to your mood and help you stay awake.
Night Shift Meal Pattern Choice
Large night meals choices can possibly make you sleepy and decrease alertness during working hours and might also encourage weight gain. So, rather you should take small meals like protein-rich foods, wholegrain sandwiches, boiled eggs and some fruits and salad topped with crunchy seeds and nuts. But make a schedule to eat these foods in the first half of your night shift, the perfect time when you need energy. If at times, you plan to have dinner until you’re at work then, make sure to have a count on your calorie intake. For that choose lean protein like tuna, beans, fibre-rich whole grains and at last some fresh veggies for sustained energy to help you push through your shift.
Over to you
Working at night can be really difficult to stick up to specific healthy schedule in which you are likely to eat unhealthily, irregularly or may be skipping meals. So, if you work at nights, it’s extremely important for you to implement proper schedule meal plans which are easy to follow and is also healthy taking inspiration from health and diet tips suggested above. Following so can make your working hours easier and can improve your overall well-being.