Thursday August 22, 2019

If Doing Night Shift, Eat Small Protein-Rich, Complex Carb Snack to Stay Alert, Productive

According to researchers, working at night conflicts with a person's circadian clock, making it harder to stay focused and awake

0
//
Night, Protein, Snack
To limit this impact and maintain alertness and productivity, researchers say a light snack is better than a full meal. Pixabay

If you are a night shift worker, eating at irregular hours is just par for the course, but it impacts the body. To limit this impact and maintain alertness and productivity, researchers say a light snack is better than a full meal.

According to researchers, working at night conflicts with a person’s circadian clock, making it harder to stay focused and awake. Managing fatigue is thus critical for workplace health and safety.

“Night shift work is linked to certain chronic illnesses and diseases, including metabolic gastrointestinal issues, ulcer, obesity and heart disease. People who do night shifts don’t get sufficient sleep, which impacts their metabolism and appetite,” Shalini Bliss, Head Dietitian, Columbia Asia Hospital, in Gurugram, told IANS.

“They also tend to have a poor diet and irregular eating habits, which can affect their health and performance. If you are doing night shift, you should eat a small protein-rich, complex carb snack instead of a full meal during the break,” she said.

Night, Protein, Snack
If you are a night shift worker, eating at irregular hours is just par for the course, but it impacts the body. Pixabay

Published in the journal Nutrients, researchers from the University of South Australia surveyed 44 people to test the impact of a snack, a meal or no food at all during night shifts.

The study found while all participants reported increased sleepiness, fatigue and decreased vigour, a snack lowered the impact more so than a meal or no food at all. The snack group also reported no discomfort, as noted by the meal group.

“The findings show the strategic eating pattern on night shift may contribute to more alert and better-performing workers,” said study lead author Charlotte Gupta.

Sharing his experience with IANS, New Delhi-based Varun Matta, who does night shifts at an MNC, said, “I have been doing night shifts for over two year. I have found that people often complain about restlessness, migraine and headache. Every alternate week, I have seen an ambulance leaving office due to these problems.”

Also Read- Virasat-e-Khalsa, a Pioneer Museum in Sikh Holy Town of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab Enters Asia Book of Records

Neha Pathania, dietitian at Paras Hospital in Gurugram, told IANS the human body through thousands of years of evolution is programmed to sleep during night and work during the day.

“While no food is a strict no-no, a heavy meal can slow the body metabolism and signal the body to go to sleep. The best option, therefore, is light healthy snacks, including fruits and fluids,” she said. (IANS)

Next Story

Unable to Sleep at Night? This One Trick Can Help Advance Snooze Time by 2 Hours

Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days

0
Sleep, Night, Trick
Such changes can also lead to improved performance in the mornings. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a simple tweak to the sleeping patterns and maximising outdoor light during the mornings for a period of three weeks can help night owls — people with extreme late sleeping and waking habits – bring forward their sleep/wake timings by two hours.

Such changes can also lead to improved performance in the mornings, better eating habits and a decrease in depression and stress among people with late sleeping habits, showed the findings.

The study, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, showed that it was possible to shift the circadian rhythm of ‘night owls’ using non-pharmacological and practical interventions.

“Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days, which can lead to a range of adverse outcomes – from daytime sleepiness to poorer mental wellbeing,” said study co-author Andrew Bagshaw from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Sleep, Night, Trick
A simple tweak to the sleeping patterns and maximising outdoor light during the mornings for a period of three weeks can help night owls. Pixabay

The researchers wanted to see if simple things could solve this issue.

In an experiment with a small group of participants that spanned for three weeks, the group were asked to wake up two-three hours before regular wake up time and maximise outdoor light during the mornings.

They were also asked to go to bed two-three hours before habitual bedtime and limit light exposure in the evening, have fixed sleep/wake times on both work days and free days and have breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, eat lunch at the same time each day, and refrain from eating dinner after 7 p.m.

“We wanted to see if there were simple things people could do at home to solve this issue. This was successful, on average allowing people to get to sleep and wake up around two hours earlier than they were before,” Bagshaw said.

Also Read- Cisco Unleashes the Capabilities of the New Network

“Most interestingly, this was also associated with improvements in mental wellbeing and perceived sleepiness, meaning that it was a very positive outcome for the participants.” (IANS)