Health Sabz

Diet for Night Shift Workers and Risks of Night Work

Night shift Challenges And How to Stay Healthy

 The employment structure in today’s world changes dramatically. The most noticeable change is the expansion of activities to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to the CDC, more than 15 million Americans work irregular hours, such as weekends, rotating shifts, evenings, and nights.

Concerns about family stability, job hazards, substance misuse, and health have arisen as a result of the predicted increase in the number of employees who work outside of conventional hours. Reduced concentration, restlessness, exhaustion, sleepiness while working and disturbance of the body’s metabolic process are among the issues that night shift workers face.

So, can you work the night shift and stay healthy? Yes, it’s totally feasible! We’ll show you how to do that in this article.

Let’s take a look at some of the challenges associated with rotating and night shifts before we look at how to work night shift and stay healthy.


Digestive Issues and Weight Increase 

According to a study published in this journal, night shift workers not only get less sleep, but they also have a higher BMI and weight than those who work during the day shift. Obesity is three times more common among those who work at night, regardless of gender or age. 

Night shift workers, according to the National Sleep Foundation, can have metabolic and gastrointestinal problems. Because these employees are likely to be sleep deprived, they may notice changes in their appetite and metabolism. This, together with other biological factors, leads to poor dietary habits and irregular eating patterns.


Lack of Sleep

Another health issue that many night shift employees face is insufficient sleep. This research found that daytime sleep is less restful and lighter than nighttime sleep. This implies that, while nightshift workers may get the requisite 7-8 hours of sleep during the day, their sleep isn’t as deep or as restful as it should be.

It is possible for them to suffer from stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure as a result of their poor sleep quality. The coordination of night employees is thrown off when they don’t get enough sleep. Some of them become unhappy, worried, and irritable as a result of their experiences.

Other health issues that affect night shift employees include:

According to this study,

  • There is a higher chance of heart attack.
  • Mental health suffers as a result of this. Various research, like this one, link working the night shift to an increased risk of mood disorders and depression.
  • Changes in metabolism that are drastic
  • Melatonin suppression
  • Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health problems.

Even if you work night shifts, there are ways to stay healthy.


Choice of Food

Avoiding carbohydrate-rich and sugary foods not just during but also before your nightshift is one of the things you should do. The impact of your nutrition on your mood and energy levels is critical to consider.

Although you may believe that such meals supply you with energy spurts to get you through your shift and keep you alert/awake, they actually cause your body to crash. During your nightshift, the golden guideline is to eat only one well-balanced meal.

You should begin your day with a light dinner, such as vegetables and brown rice. You can also bring grilled chicken steaks with you.

The general idea is to eat high-fibre, high-protein dinners since they help you feel satiated for longer without making you sleepy.

A spoonful of ghee is also recommended to help balance the dryness in your body. Oily foods should be avoided because they will make you feel bloated and heavy. They can also cause weight gain.

If you’re craving a snack, go for nuts. Almonds, makhana, and chana are some of the healthful options.

You should avoid caffeine-containing drinks, contrary to popular belief among nightshift employees. Instead, every half-hour or 40 minutes, drink fresh juices or water.

In conclusion, here are some healthy midnight snack options:

  • Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that is made
  • Juices made from fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Vegetables and fruits in season
  • roasted nuts in a dry state
  • Pieces of wholegrain bread
  • Beans and sprouts
  • Sandwiches with low-fat meats and vegetables


Sunlight benefits 

Sleep is governed by the body’s circadian cycle. It’s just a built-in mechanism that cycles between waking and sleep on a 24-hour schedule. The main thing that affects the circadian rhythm is light.

By the time you wake up and before the start of your night shift, you can benefit from optimal natural light coverage to signal the start of the day and improve alertness at night.

The more natural light you can obtain the better. If this isn’t possible, consider utilising a light box like the Lumie Vitamin L.

This illuminator is a good solution for people who want to imitate nature’s light at night, as well as being drug free and non-invasive. Its brightness is also adjustable, with four different brightness levels to pick from on the lamp.


Work out is a Must

Cardiovascular health is one of the risks of night shifting people. Physical activity not only alleviates cardiovascular stress and remedies, but also increases concentration, energy and mood. You should practise as much as possible whether you work day or night shifts, if your schedule is acceptable. Exercise does not affect sleep quality, health nor work negatively for the majority of night workers.

The former should always take precedence if you work the night shift and choose between sleep and exercise.

Now that we’ve proven that working out is important for everyone, including nightshift employees, the million-dollar issue is: when is the optimum time to do it? Well, you should do heavy exercises a few hours before bedtime if you are on the safe side according to the study.

A difficult force and cardio circuit could have a negatory impact on your sleep quality within one or two hours of going to sleep. It also helps to practise externally.


Keep up with Antioxidants

It is usual for night shift workers to have a greater leukocyte tally, according to this study. A higher leukocyte count indicates that they are irritated, which is linked to metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular problems. So, what’s a person to do in such a situation? Antioxidants have a role in this.

You can improve your situation by eating more antioxidant-rich foods including beans, cocoa, spices, herbs, berries, and green tea. EPA – the omega-3 fatty acid – is usually the remedy against the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, despite the fact that inflammation increases the risk of several heart diseases. It is thought to be cardio-protective by several experts.


Change Tour Room Accordingly

Nightshift workers will tell you that sleep deprivation is one of the challenges they have to deal with. Daytime tiredness, occupational mishaps, and even difficulties managing day-to-day activities are all symptoms of poor sleep quality. You don’t want your cognitive abilities to be harmed simply because you didn’t get enough sleep.

Making sure that your bedroom or sleeping place is sleep-friendly is an efficient approach to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.

Several ways can be used to achieve this goal.

  • The first step is to make sure your bedroom is solely used for sleeping and sexual activity. Please don’t do anything else in this room.
  • Second, confine distraction and noise to regions of the house other than the bedroom.
  • Third, restrict the amount of light that enters your bedroom after your nightshift to get a better night’s sleep. Because you’ll be sleeping during the day, you can use dark curtains to make the room darker, tricking the body’s internal clock into thinking it’s midnight, causing sleep hormones to be released.

In your bedroom, avoid using any electronic devices.Anything that emanates light, whether it is electronic or not, should be kept out of your bedroom If you’re into design, you should incorporate relaxing and soothing themes into your bedroom. The use of blue or green colour in a room is thought to have a relaxing effect. You should think about using these colours in your bedroom.

It’s also critical that you clean up the entire area. Keep only the essentials in the room. Maintain a clean bedroom at all times. A cleanroom will assist you not only in terms of sleep, but also in terms of your respiratory system. It is necessary to have a dust-free sleeping environment. Vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting on a regular basis can help you achieve this.

By using the above mentioned techniques you can try to normalize your life even when you are working the night shift


Frequently Asked Question

How can I reduce the side effects of night shift?

Drink plenty of water, but stop drinking a few hours before going to bed. At the end of the day, stay away from sugary foods. While working the night shift, avoid consuming fried, spicy, or processed foods. Incorporate the necessary carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratios into your diet.

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