How to Stay Healthy When Working Night Shifts

15.10.15 Eat, Learn Blog SumoSalad

Staying healthy and eating right takes work to get in a habit, but for those who work late nights, this can be even more difficult. Working night shift or working irregular hours means that you don’t always have time to have a routine around cooking your own meals, going to¬†your favourite yoga class or even have time to exercise full stop.

People who work late hours can be at greater risk for heart disease and weight gain than those who work normal hours because they are more likely to skip meals or eat irregularly and can find it hard to fit in exercise (is 2am yoga classes a “thing” yet?). Working throughout the night also means that your body’s internal clock has to adjust which is really difficult for it to do and can lead to insomnia or indigestion.

Here are 5 top tips for staying healthy when working night shifts:

  1. Bring healthy snacks – this will curb your vending machine temptations or unhealthy fast food desires.
  2. Do NOT skip meals – if you know you are not going to be able to eat for an extending period of time, fuel up on complex carbs which are slow releasing and can provide your body energy over an extended period of time. Proteins will also help to power your muscles through a long shift.
  3. Hydrate – when you are dehydrated you tend to get headaches, get tired, or mistake being thirsty for being hungry which can lead to unhealthy snacking. Make sure you are hydrating with water and not sugary juices.
  4. Start a sleep ritual – Late night workers often cut their sleep short because they want to spend time with loved ones or friends who aren’t working the same hours. Or it’s easy to get caught up in errands or chores. Skip this until you have had your dedicated sleep time otherwise you will find yourself winding up instead of winding down.
  5. Cut down your caffeine intake РA coffee or energy drink may seem like a good idea at the time when you are drowsy but caffeine stays in your system long after you drink it and this can affect your sleep later on.

It’s not just shift workers who experience hardships when trying to stay healthy while working irregular hours. Entertainers and musicians also work an irregular schedule. We caught up with Kid Mac, a recording artist and film producer does a lot of irregular work hours between producing and being on the TV show, The Crew. After touring around the US with Mickey Avalon, doing late night gigs and the obvious temptations of going out with friends he found himself learning a few lessons about staying healthy on the road. Watch the video to learn about Kid Mac’s most important late night health hacks.



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