When your work-life balance is off, it will reflect on your metabolism. Research has shown that people who work at night are more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome. So, it is very important to monitor your diet and keep your nutrition levels up. An unbalanced diet could expose you to the risks of obesity and diabetes. There are effective ways to help you stay alert and focused during your night shift. Here are some of our best tips that help you stay awake on the clock, without compromising your nutritional levels. These tips also work for people with sleeping disorders and shift work disorders.
Have a light meal
Night workers start their day with dinner, so it is important to get the first meal right. A good meal will keep you energetic throughout your shift. For this, we recommend having a light meal. This will allow you to stay alert at your workplace. Include foods that help you not get drowsy like veggies with brown rice or grilled chicken steak. Protein and fiber-rich foods are excellent meal choices. These foods keep you full for a longer time, without making you sleepy. Planning ahead and meal prepping your food is a good way to keep a track of your nutrition. It is also one less thing for you to worry about.
Avoid too much caffeine
Everybody knows the perks of a good, old mug of coffee. Caffeine helps you stay focused and increases your productivity levels. Caffeine when used properly is a good stimulant, but overdoing it can upset your stomach and muscles. Overdoing caffeine does no good to your health. We suggest having a regular cup of coffee 30 min before your shift. However, do not over consume, too much caffeine can make you feel lethargic and anxious. You should not consume caffeinated drinks six hours before your bedtime. It can mess up your sleep schedule after your shift ends.
Avoid greasy foods
Consuming heavy, greasy foods right before your night shift will get drowsy and bloated. Additionally, this could also lead to weight gain. Humans are programmed to work during the day and sleep at night. Working at night goes against our circadian rhythm making it even more difficult for your body to stay alert at night. During the night, your digestive system is inactive, hence it becomes difficult for your body to digest food. Oily, heavy foods will lead to acidity and gastric problems.
Keep yourself hydrated
You can’t have too much caffeine, so how do you keep yourself awake and alert? A good way to keep yourself alert is to keep yourself adequately hydrated. Have sips of water at regular intervals to prevent dehydration. Carry a reusable water bottle to remember to hydrate.
Take active breaks
In order to stay alert at your workplace, it is necessary to move every few hours. Sitting in the same place is not good for your physical health. To avoid any damage, do some stretches during your break. Walk up a flight of stairs, or go for a brisk walk. Being active at work will give you energy and boost your productivity to finish your shift. It will also improve your mood and help you sleep better.
Keep your medication close
With innovation and technology, you have several medications helping you stay awake at night without any side effects. Medications like Modvigil 200mg help with excessive sleep or simply let you stay awake during important hours. Its usage among healthy individuals, particularly working individuals and students has increased to boost work productivity or mitigate fatigue. Take this 30 – 60 min before your shift and you’re good to go! We recommend consulting a physician first.
While alcohol might help some sleep, it can drastically affect your sleep quality leaving you feeling tired and sluggish. It also messes with deep stages of sleep. Consuming alcohol before work is never a good idea, as it can affect your alertness and focus. If you want to stay refreshed, it is best to leave alcohol for the weekends. Stay hydrated to promote physical and mental performance, without overloading the bladder.
It is easy to develop erratic eating habits while working at night, but including these tips in your diet can help you stay more productive and alert during the night. What works for you might not work for someone else. For more personalized advice on how to keep up with your nutritional needs, consider speaking with a nutritionist.