Hey reader! If you are a night shift worker or attending the night shift for the first time and you ignore this article you are going to miss something about night shift diet ideas to stay healthy:)
Are you one of the night owls who have night shifts and keeps coffee as your only companion throughout the night? You are not alone pal!
Let me tell you the tragedic story of an affected victim!
When I attended the night shift for the first time, I was really excited as I felt super fresh, the time was 8 PM, I slept at the day for 4 hours which I thought was enough, smelled the cold breeze, gaze at the twinkling stars and crescent moon through the window until he came!
Had your dinner Elakeya? Come here and start writing the case sheets for the patients. I examined them one by one, start writing the notes and finished my work quickly!
Ding Dong! The time is 2 PM. What is happening? I couldn’t take my hand out of my chin. I am getting sleepy. Thus, I went to the canteen and bought a coffee in the canteen where he billed 22 rupees. 22 rupees for a cup and it was like a barbie’s toy cup and the coffee wasn’t good either! I thought I could have brought something from home.
( I Really Appreciate Your patience)
Ding dong! The time is 3 and I am counting the hours. Still 4 hours! Oh, man! My stomach is rumbling. Why am I getting hungry? Watching everyone moving like zombies here and there, I look at the clock and it was 3.05. Is my watch really working, yeah it was.
After felt like waiting for years, the clock at the wall struck 7 am. Sun was up! FREEDOM! I am going to go home! I remove my coat, kept it in my bag.
There he came! My professor again:/ Aren’t you going to attend the morning class Elakeya? He asked without any kind of pity on me.
After he went, I asked the nurse where he was gone throughout the whole night. She said that he went to sleep. She could have lied to me without telling the truth, it was like a raw deal. Really Unfair!
Carrying the heavy rumbling stomach, I went to class and take the miserable seat. My friend came and sit beside me to look at my face after a night shift. “Ohh Myy Godd! You have dark circles for the one- day night shift.” My heart felt heavy along with my stomach.
Went to home with my heavy heart and stomach, take my phone and google “healthy night shift diet ideas” and finally ended up here which is definitely gonna help you after long lousy story !
Diving straight into the topic!
1. How Do Your Body Knows That It’s Time To Wake Up In The Morning And Sleep At Night?
Is there any hidden mystery in our body? Nope, there is a hidden clock inside the hypothalamus of our brain. Tick! Tock! They are called circadian rhythms. The 24-hour biological process that exists in every living being on Earth.
Taking the vision and brightness as a cue from the eye, it coordinates the function of the body according to time including the production hormones like melatonin which prepare our body for waking and sleeping hours. Receiving lights at the wrong time of the day confuse the body clock. This is the rhythm of our cells and impacts on our health and well-being.
2. How The Confusion Of Body Clock Affects Your Body?
- The National Centre Of Biotechnology Information has mentioned that night have been associated with many problems like sleep deprivation, sleepiness, suppresses melatonin production, decreased cognitive performance increase human errors and fatigue.
- Night shift work is also one of the major factors for increasing the risk of industrial accidents.
- The American Journal Of Preventive Medicine has mentioned that women who are attending rotational shifts for 5 years or more are experiencing shorter lifespans due to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Studies of shown that the disruptions to the natural rhythms put an extraordinary strain on the body increasing the risk of serious complications like cancer, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and depression.
- Night shift work can also lead to increased anxiety, weight gain and menstrual irregularities.
3. Sleeeeeep on the day!
You may wonder “ Isn’t there any life hacks instead of sleep cuz I am having children to take care of and I don’t really feel sleepy during the day? ”
Nananana Nah! Your brain is tricking you. The cues from the daytime light and body clock are telling you to be awake even though your night shift was a battle.
Tips To Get A Good Sleep
- Wear sunglasses in the way home to suppress light reaching your eye and make you sleep quicker.
- Turn your phone silent mode cuz it’s everyone’s favourite though! More away from people, more peace to the brain lol!
- Have your breakfast before you go to bed since hunger or thirst may wake you up.
- Don’t take a long time to go to bed since it will keep you more awake.
- Never take alcohol before going to sleep! It makes you be sleepy but disturbs your sleep quality and prevents the deep sleep stages leaving you to be unrefreshed the next day.
- Smoking is a should not think since nicotine is a stimulant that may keep you active.
- Take out the earplugs from the drawer, wear the eye mask, close the windows with high-quality blackout curtains and watch how the game changed as day into night.
- You can also listen to an audiobook, a healthy way without affecting your eyes.
Are you there with me? Great,then!
4. What Are The Healthy Night Shift Diet Plans You Can Choose For A Night Shift Work?
Balanced Diet Is Certain
Try to eat a balanced diet before coming to work or within 2-3 hours before starting the shift.
Sugary Snacks Is A Threat!
Sugary drinks and oily snacks since our digestive system is inactive at night, it feels hard to digest them and can cause gastric issues.
Choose Protein rich!
Protein foods can help to increase alertness and focus, so try to incorporate this in your night shift diet. Snack lightly during the shift. Protein-rich foods are
- Boiled eggs,
- peanut butter,
Carbohydrates– foods like rice, potatoes have a relaxing and sedative effect.
They can also make you full throughout the night without hunger cues.
- Brussels sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Sweet potatoes
Don’t Trust Caffeine!
If you have a habit of making coffee at night, this is the dirtiest decision you are making for the disgusting 5-hour energy! The coffee masks the need of sleep and it’s also pushing your internal clock later told sleep researcher Kenneth Wright JR, Department of Integrative Physiology, University Of Colorado.
Water Is The Your Buddy!
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water besides choosing caffeinated beverages. A regular habit of drinking water every hour reduces dehydration and improves cognitive functions, concentration and many more mind-blowing benefits.
Enjoy A Crunchy treat!
Choosing a healthier choice of roasted cashews, almonds, pistachios does wonders for your night shift diet instead of the middle night vadas and samosas which will go inside your tummy and make it sick or get the tasty energy-dense moha moringa ( made of murungai leaves) bars at best prices now!
5. Don’t Forget Your Melatonin Levels!
You should be also careful of your melatonin production. Since this is a hormone which is released by the pineal gland only during the night according to the circadian rhythm.
Clinical nutrition journal has mentioned that supplementation with 250 g of fresh tomato (which contains 1274.5 ng of melatonin levels) significantly raised the night time circulating melatonin level and improved their sleep quality.
New research out of the Health and Science centre shows that walnuts contain a fair amount of melatonin and amino acid, tryptophan which protect ourselves against oxidative damage.
Drinking warm milk in the morning can also help you fall into a deep sleep. Milk is rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is a precursor for serotonin transmitter which is converted into melatonin.
This is known to enhance sleep and brain relaxation said Dr. Rupali Dutta, the chief clinical nutritionist at Fortis escorts Hospital.
6. The Bottom Line Message
Don’t forget about high protein and low carb diet to stay active throughout the night, stay hydrated and don’t eat more in the night since your digestive system is inactive. The above-listed foods are just a healthier choice instead of coffee and dump snacks.
If you one of the night owls who work at odd hours or long over shifts, you may be a healthcare professional, drivers, industrial worker, airline or a graveyard worker.
The thing you should understand is your manager, boss or your night shift schedule planner aren’t going to care about your health unless you do!