Shift work and your health
If you work shifts, you may find that you experience:
· A change in appetite
· Trouble falling asleep or getting a good night’s sleep
· Weight gain or weight loss
· Digestion problems like constipation, diarrhea, gas, and heartburn
- The good news is that by eating well and being active, you can avoid some of these problems.
How to eat healthier when working shifts:
- Bringing healthy meals and snacks from home will make it easier to eat well on your shift. Include a variety of foods that include plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and foods high in protein.
- If you work shifts, you may find yourself eating a large meal twice, first at home and then again at work. This may lead to weight gain. Eat your main meal a few hours before going to work. Eat a small meal and have healthy snacks spread out during your shift.
- Avoid high fat, fried or spicy foods to prevent indigestion or heartburn.
- Foods high in sugar, such as a chocolate bar or soft drink, may give you a short burst of energy, but can leave you feeling sluggish later. A snack with a little protein will provide energy when you start to feel tired and hungry. Try a handful of nuts with fruit, hummus with vegetable sticks, yogurt with berries or make your own granola bars.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. It may help you to feel more alert during your shift. Keep a reusable water bottle close by and drink regularly during your shift.
- 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 to finish your shift, improve your mood and help you sleep better.