Some of us like to be awake late into the night. At other times, you may be lie awake watching TV, chatting, reading a book or just finishing extra work from office or school. Many people work the night shift and their lifestyles are adjusted accordingly. These top diet tips for night shift workers will save them from many health issues that they might be prone to.
A lot of people are fascinated with the idea of sleeping all day long and being awake at night. But this may actually stress out your system, especially if you have a two-day weekend. For 5 days you tell your body that night is the time for work, don’t get sleepy and then suddenly on the weekend you want to sleep in the night. Your body will not be able to understand this and it may lead to several health problems such as:-
|Insomnia and sleep disorders|
|Mouth and stomach ulcers|
|Increased stress leading to heart ailments|
|Increase in accident rates|
|Increase in mental stress, fatigue and tiredness|
Some people succumb to cigarette smoking and alcoholism to cope up with the increasing stress and to remain awake through the night. They compromise health and a lot of other things to adjust to this routine. Stress may lead to weight gain and early ageing signs on the face if you are not able to handle it well. Night shift may affect a person’s health, lifestyle and social relations as well.
I believe if you take certain measure towards health, all the other factors are in your control and you can manage them well. These tips for night shift workers will prove to be useful in improving your overall health and correcting lifestyle.
Diet tips for night shift workers
1] Dinner – Normally a person would end his day by eating dinner. But for those on night shift, the cycle starts with dinner.
– If your shift start from 7 pm onwards or later, you should not have dinner late to compensate. Instead have your dinner and then leave for work.
– If your shift starts at 4.00 – 5.00 pm , then have your dinner at around 7.30 / 8 .00 pm. Don’t wait to get home and then eat.
The most important tip for night shift workers is that your dinner timings are crucial. Many people avoid dinner before the shift to stop from feeling sleepy or heavy during work hours.
Eat – lighter dinner items like brown rice with veggies and dal , idlies with chutney / dosa / utappam / only phulka instead of oily chapatis / puris, with salads and veggies / vegetable daliya / vegetable khichadi. Veggies are very important to avoid acidity.
Avoid – Fatty food , fried foods like samosa , kachori, puris, potatoes and excessive sweets and desserts. Avoid starchy foods. These will leave you heavy and bloated and sleepy, and a few hours later they would provoke more acid formation leading to acidity.
2. Hydration – Many people take up to drinking countless cups of tea and coffee to remain awake and active through the night. But this is another habit that is detrimental to your health. Hydration is very important, keep sipping some liquids every 30 -45 minutes and you will never feel sleepy.
Avoid – Tea and coffee in excess. 1/2 cup once or twice is fine, but not more than that. Especially if you have not had a proper meal that day. It may lead to acidity, insomnia, and restlessness. Avoid excessive aerated beverages and cold drinks.
3] Snacking at night – When hungry at night, keep some roasted nuts like almonds , soyabean , pumpkin seeds , flax seeds and peanuts handy. These are healthy snacks and will not lead to weight gain and will prevent you from overeating. Roasted channa is another healthy option. You can also keep some murmura / kadlepuri / puffed rice handy and have a bit when hungry.
If you are very hungry , choose poha and upma from the canteen over pizzas, burgers or wada pav.
4] Antioxidants – Antioxidants play a very important role in the life of those people who work in night shifts. Include foods with vibrant colour like red (tomatoes , carrot, strawberry, red cabbage, etc ) green (green leafy veggies) yellow and orange (lemons , orange, pumpkin, carrot) and berries and citrus fruits. Antioxidants have various health benefits specially for the night shift workers.
What to do on reaching home from night shift?
– If you reach home at midnight or a little later like 2.00 am, don’t immediately go to bed. After reaching home drink lukewarm water and lemon or a glass of warm milk , change up and then hit the bed.
– If you reach home in early morning hours like 5.00 am or later, have a bath, wear light clothes have a small meal poha / upma / corn flakes or wheat flakes with a glass of milk and then hit the bed.
What to do when you wake up ?
– After you have slept for 6-7 hours , wake up and have a round of exercise. You can choose walking / jogging / or even a gym workout or activity like swimming / skating / table tennis / lawn tennis or other if you don’t have that kind of time or options, then simply do yoga and some stretching and warm up exercise at home.
Hope these diet tips for night shift workers will be of benefit to you.
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