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A Healthier Night Shifts

A Healthier Night Shifts

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As it is not avoidable to have night shifts in various industries such as healthcare, one of the most issues one has to deal with on working night shifts is keeping a healthier lifestyle. Most people rely on sugar and caffeine to stay awake but this will eventually take a toll on your health and have been proven to have negative effects especially if taken on a regular and large amount.

In an article last year, Audra Starkey, founder of The Healthy Shift Worker website and podcast and a clinical nutritionist herself, she said

“Everyone who works shift work pretty much starts to gain weight because we begin to eat unhealthy foods and get stuck in that vicious fatigue cycle where we’re too tired to make healthy choices,” Ms. Starkey recalls of her own personal struggles working shift work. So, we eat a lot of those highly processed foods which leads to inflammation and nutrient depletion, so continually getting sick all the time. At the time I didn’t put two and two together and was just in survival mode like I think most shift workers are. We just do the best we can do. But now, knowing how the body works, particularly around our circadian rhythm, I’m just passionate about sharing it.”

Here are 5 of suggested health foods night shift workers can incorporate to their diet

  • Soup
  • Slow cooked casseroles
  • Low Glycaemic Index (GI) foods
  • Hydrating foods
  • Healthy fats and protein


Other websites has also suggested the following drinks

  • Green Tea
  • Kombucha
  • Coconut Water


Each of these may have different effects per person but it is important that workers are cautious of their food intakes as they work on night shifts. So, workers must identify what works for them or not. To add, not only do they have to look out for what they eat, but they also need to prioritize other health essentials routine such as 

  • Clustering night shifts
  • Practice a good sleep hygiene and prioritize sleep
  • Exercise