Working nights instead of days can take a toll on your physical health as it throws your regular sleep, diet and exercise patterns off gear. But by chalking out a proper diet and exercise plan, there are ways to ensure you still stay fit.
If you are pulling all-nighters, make sure you follow these six rules:
1. Sleep and eat well before the shift
If your shift starts at 6 pm, ensure you get 7-8 hours of solid and uninterrupted sleep during the day. Once you wake up, go outside, take a walk and soak in in the sun. The sun will act as a cue to your biological clock, informing that it is time to be alert.
2. Relax after a hard night’s work
It’s the same as unwinding after a hard day’s work. Come home, relax for a while and then go to sleep. When relaxing before naps, avoid time-consuming activities. Choose things that you can put down easily when the time comes to go to sleep. For instance, listen to some soft music.
3. Cut the caffeine consumption and carbonated drinks
To stay awake, night shift workers often guzzle several cups of coffee. But that habit is both unhealthy and addictive. It is better to take a break, change activities, exercise, get fresh air and find a task that demands your attention, and forces you to stay alert. Sweetened, carbonated drinks may seem the best choice when your energy levels are down, but in the long run, they cause great damage.
4. Reduce your carb intake
Carbs are a go-to when you get the late night munchies, but they don’t just make you fat – they also make you sleepy. Instead, increase your protein intake to stay alert. Eggs, paneer, peanut butter and tofu help increase alertness and focus.
5. Make time to exercise
Make sure you hit the gym on at least four days in a week. Remember to have a small snack before exercising. Carbs like fruits, a protein bar, biscuit will boost your body’s supply of glycogen and prevent you from feeling drained during a workout. If you don’t want to gym, buy a pedometer and set a target for how many steps you need to take daily to stay fit and make sure you meet it. On weekends, instead of lazing at home, plan an outdoor activity like trekking, cycling, swimming and even some racquet sport.