There are definitely some major advantages to night-shift work schedules, affectionately known as the “graveyard” shift.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages as well. The “laid back” atmosphere and the fact that many who work nights naturally have a reduced work load, making boredom somewhat commonplace. And what do lots of folks who are bored do? Why they eat of course! And then what happens? Well… they gain weight! How much, depends on a number of variables such as exercise, diet, and sleep.
Most people have regular sleeping and eating patterns that keep pace with their circadian rhythms – our natural 24-hour body clock. When a person becomes a night-shift worker, their sleeping and eating cycles are disrupted. In addition, because many experience sleeping disorders and digestive problems than their day-shift counterparts, many easily gain 20-30 pounds once they start working nights.
One reason for this is the vending machine. Rather than bringing home-prepared meals to eat at work or eating in restaurants that offer healthy choices, many become vending machine junkies, a less-than-nutritious diet that adds on weight…and quickly!
Yet you can eat healthy working nights IF you keep in mind the following:
- Never skip a meal and adjust your meal schedule to match your “day” meal routine as soon as you begin to work the night-shift.
- Make sure you don’t eat a large meal at the end of your shift, just as you are winding down to go to sleep. It will not digest properly and you will not have time to “work it off” prior to sleeping; this contributes to gain weight.
- Avoid vending machine snacking and eat at least one well-balanced meal during your shift.
- Avoid sugar and caffeine which may keep you awake and wreak havoc with your sleep cycles later in your “day.”
And if you’re working late, schedule an early appointment at the office. We’re here to help and it’s important that you get your regular adjustments. Plus you’ll sleep like a baby following your adjustment.