Fitness

Diet, exercise and sleeping tips for people who work night shifts

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Diet, exired during the night and the day and by the time you get to Monday, you are a zombie. You have to write everything down as you forget your appointments. On the flip side, there is no hustle and bustle at the workplace, but it can significantly impact your health. We have got you tips that will help you survive night shifts.

Exercise
Regular exercise can not only make you more alert at work, but it can also help you get a restful sleep in the morning while helping your body transition from day to night. If you think you do not have the time, planning can be the key to a more active lifestyle.

  • Walk whenever you can at your home or your office. Get off the bus a stop before your workplace and walk the rest of your way. Also, take the stairs instead of the lift or the elevator. Or go for a brisk walk during your meal break.
  • During your breaks, get up from your bed and stretch for a few minutes every hour. Stretching can help ease tensed muscles in your shoulder, neck and back. Stress reduces blood flow that results in muscle tension.
  • Stretching can improve blood flow, ease tension in your muscles and help you relax and sleep well during the day.
  • Yoga can also help you stay alerted during the night and get a restful sleep during the day.

Diet
An internal (circadian) clock rules your body which not only makes it difficult for you to digest food but also stay awake. If you are working night shifts, you may be more prone to experience, gastrointestinal problems like heartburn, constipation and acidity between 9 pm to 5 am. While maintaining a proper diet can be a challenge for those who work night shifts planning what you foods you will eat and when can help.

  • When you are sleepy, you are more likely to reach for unhealthy foods so it can be a good idea to stalk your tiffin box with raw vegetables and hummus or a container of almonds and raisins.
  • You can also consider eating raw oats as it will keep you full and productive for long.
  • Eating a heavy dinner can make you feel sluggish or tired so, eat small frequent meals as opposed to a significant portion. Also, do not eat too late at night as it can be hard to stick to your circadian rhythm.
  • Also, do not consume too much liquid as you near the end of night shift as it can have you get up and go to the bathroom several times, interrupting your sleep.
  • Sip at least eight glasses of water a day to support your digestion.
    Reduce caffeine intake as it can keep you up during the day.
  • Drink fresh, juice, water and milk instead.

Sleep
If you are working night shifts, you will know that it gets tough to stay awake at night just as it is to get sleep during the day.

  • Try not to change your shifts too often, to avoid resetting your internal clock too frequently.
  • If you are working night shifts, wear sunglasses on the way back home as it will prevent the sunlight activating your internal day time clock.

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