So apart from sleeping, another thing that is extremely difficult about working the nightshift is eating. Researchers at the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing found that 55 percent of the 2,103 female nurses they surveyed were obese, citing job stress and the effect on sleep of long, irregular work hours as the cause.
55% of nurses are obese. It’s time for healthier choices.
As a nightshift RN you are not surprised by this, because you see your co-workers, and maybe even take a concern for their health or your own weight control. It’s easy to overeat when you work nights because if you can’t sleep during the day, and are awake during a meal time it feels natural to eat. But then you are awake all night and have more meals than you usually would, including snacking which helps to keep you awake through the long sleepless shift.
Another reason eating healthy is so hard as a nurse if that our patient’s and their families like to “tip” us per say, and it is usually with sugary, carb-filled goodies.
Some helpful and healthy tips for you
- Don’t eat meals during the day. Stick to healthy snacks if you can’t resist the temptation to eat when you should be sleeping.
- Bring a water bottle to work and be sure to drink, drink, drink!
- Pack a healthy lunch, such as a salad. Not only will this be healthier for you, but a low carb dinner will help to give you more energy and avoid the dreaded “carb coma.”
- Include protein foods like tuna, eggs, string cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, turkey, and tofu which can help increase alertness, energy, and focus.
- Limit yourself to one cup of coffee per shift. Gasp, wait what?! Coffee can dehydrate you, leave you jittery, and when you add cream and sugar it becomes very fattening.
- Walk when your tired, rather than snack to keep you from falling asleep. That lap around the unit might be more refreshing than you think.
Here’s to eating less sugar, because let’s be honest, you already sweet enough 🙂
Fit for Lyfe,
P.S. My Dad texted me this morning with “complaints” of no blog post this week. I told him I would report that to HR, haha! But in all seriousness, as I’ve prayed more and more I’ve felt like it makes the most sense for me and for my readers to transition from two posts a week to one post a week. Many of you know I will be starting a new job, also I am becoming involved in ministries in my church, growing my community in SoCal, and spending time with family and the love of my life. For my readers I know we get so many emails per week, so I think maybe less will be more as you will have time to read all the good content rolling out into your inboxes. Thank you for joining in the journey!