It’s often said that people lose their health when they’re younger in pursuit of money only to spend that money to restore their health in old age. Regardless of whether you fit into this category or not, it’s undeniable that health is more important than anything else. Many of us take our good health for granted, only to be reminded of its importance during winter seasons when overcome with colds and fevers. I must admit myself that during my younger years, I too frequently neglected to ensure better health for myself but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to change my perspective.
I’ve reduced my soda consumption and been a bit more careful about what I eat by avoiding overly greasy or fatty foods. However, these have been minor changes, and there is much more I can do I’m sure. After starting my job at SoftLayer, I’ve started paying more attention attention to health, I work night shift or what I like to call “the shift for vampires.” I’ve become most concerned about my diet because my new schedule has drastically changed the times that I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To give you an idea of what my internal clock looks like, my breakfast now takes place around 11pm or midnight, lunch is around 4am in the morning, and dinner is about noon.
Since this schedule is pretty atypical, I browsed the internet for research on how best to handle my diet, and the information I provide may be beneficial to those who read this on their night shifts.
From my research, here are a few potential health problems that “vampires” can face: increased heart disease, ulcers and intestinal problems, social and psychiatric problems, sleep disorders, increased fatigue and increased error / accident rates. All of those are bad.
So what are some suggested methods to reduce these risks? This list is a pretty good start:
- Eat at 7 or 8pm instead of midnight if possible
- Keep your body hydrated throughout the night
- Try to manage your hunger by drinking more fluids instead of eating starchy foods
- Drink luke warm water before eating to improve digestion
- Control the amount of tea and coffee you consume
- Limit the consumption of things like white bread, sugary foods, and fried bread
- When coming home, drink hot milk or barley with high fiber biscuits before going to sleep
- When waking up, do some body stretches, take a shower and eat a normal meal
I haven’t tried all of these suggestions yet, so I can’t comment on how effective they are, but as I work on them, I hope to see great results. Fellow vampires, do you have any advice for a newbie to the night shift?