Millennials are fascinated with the idea of sleeping all day long and being awake at night. If you are on night shifts periodically, then probably you are forced to eat irregularly, skip meals and find it hard to fit in your exercise schedule. This may cause irregular metabolism leading to several health problems such as insomnia and sleep disorder, ulcers, heart ailments, Mental stress, fatigue and, tiredness
Here are some tips for you to improve your eating pattern and regain control of your lifestyle to make it healthy.
Hydration: You might be drinking several cups of tea or coffee to stay active during your night shift to betray your natural sleep cycle. But, sipping warm water or non-caffeinated beverages frequently will help you to stay active and focused for a longer time in a healthy way. Few examples of non-caffeinated drinks could be green/herbal teas, vegetable soups, carrot juice or beetroot juice.
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Smart Snacking: It’s important to snack a little during your night shift.Try limiting yourself to no more than two healthy snacks and one meal while you are on night shift. Instead of indulging in fried or junk food, it is recommended to have some roasted nuts or seeds.
Dinner: Your breakfast during your night shifts is other’s dinner. Though dinner options in India are generally on heavier side, try having light dinner. Some options, if available, could be idli / dosa, vegetable daliya / vegetable khichdi. If these options are not available, you can go for regular dinner but eat in moderation.
On Reaching Home: If you reach home around late midnight, don’t immediately hit the bed. It is recommended to hydrate yourself with options such as lime water, glass of turmeric milk or buttermilk. If you reach home in the morning, it is recommended to have a small meal such as poha/upma/vegetable sandwich or a fruit bowl before sleeping.
Exercise: After completing 6-7 hours of good sleep, carry on your regular exercise schedule. It could to be walking, running, jogging, a gym workout or a yoga session. Exercise helps to fight stress, anxiety, alleviate moods, increases concentration and focus at work place.
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Explore Your Vitamin Intake: Studies have shown that if you are working in night shifts, you might have vitamin B as well as specific mineral deficiencies. This is so because of reduced exposure to daylight as well irregular patterns of food intake. To specially counter these deficiencies it is recommended to add various colored fruits and vegetables. For example, eating a red apple, a yellow banana and a green guava helps you with fulfilling mineral requirements such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin requirement such as B6.
Long working hours or abnormal day-night shift has been in existence from centuries and such schedules are here to stay. The main physiological consequence of such shift schedule is change in the circadian rhythm which effects our work performance, sleep patterns, mental health, accident rates and cardiovascular mortality. Coping with these potentially harmful work schedules involves helping people to cope and by designing workplace environments, eating smartly to nourish our bodies that lead to the least disruption to mental, physical, and social wellbeing.
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