Healthy Night Shift Snacks – Top 10
Healthy night shift snacks
Eating healthy night shift snacks is important. Our bodies tend to want to crave the foods that we would not normally eat. Click To Tweet The hormones that are released during the dark cycle of the circadian rhythm have an effect on what we eat at night. The hormone leptin in at its lowest in the dark cycle. This hormone tells the body that it is full. If the levels of leptin are low at night, then the body does not have its natural shut off valve in place.
I talk about the effect of sleep deprivation on decision making about food choice in a previous blog.
It is inevitable that one needs to eat during an overnight shift. Planning ahead and bringing food to work is crucial for success. Click To Tweet By bringing your own snacks, the chances of mindlessly consuming the plethora of sweet treats at night is markedly decreased.
Snacks for the shift
- Raw veggies – I go to Sam’s and get a large party pack of raw veggies and put them in Ziplock sandwich bags to create “veggie snack packs”
- Hummus – this can be easily coupled with raw veggies like carrots
- Almonds – these are a great snack as a stand-alone or coupled with Greek yogurt
- Greek yogurt – plain can be used to add fruit, nuts, whole grains
- Apple slices and nut butter – almond or peanut butter compliments apple for a yummy snack
- Salad made with quinoa like this one from Chelsea’s Messy Apron are high in protein. Here is a more in-depth look at the health benefits of quinoa and the reasons why it is a superfood.
- Fresh fruit – grapes, apples, oranges, pineapple, cherries are all nature’s awesome sweet treats. Fruit is great as a stand-alone or coupled with string cheese
- Whole grain crackers like Wasa crackers and nut butter
- Peanut butter or almond butter sandwich on whole wheat or Ezekiel bread
- Fruit and nut bar like Larabar, KIND or Kashi TLC
What should you drink?
The best thing to drink is water. Your body needs at least [body weight (lbs)/2] ounces of water daily. Drinking water helps the body to function well and stay hydrated. Cold water when you are sleepy can jolt your system awake. Drinking water fills the stomach and allows for less eating.
Limit the caffeine ingestion. Coffee and caffeinated beverages can give you a boost that banishes grogginess, but it can cause the jitters. In addition, caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours, disrupting sleep after your shift. Limit caffeine to 400 milligrams a day — no more than four small cups — and stick with non-caffeinated beverages within four hours of bedtime. Choose decaffeinated herbal teas instead.
Be strong. Be brave. Unleash your greatness!
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