Up All Night: How To Stay Healthy On The Night Shift
We’ve all been there — pulling an all-nighter before an exam, partying until 3 a.m. after said exam, + sometimes even feeling the urge to hit the gym at 2 a.m. It feels good to be productive [or just kick back + let loose ; )] into the late hours of the night here + there, but most of us can’t imagine living a true *nocturnal* lifestyle. However, there are dozens of CHAARG girls who do, mostly due to their certain majors or job//career. Nurses, pre-meds, bartenders, etc… we’re lookin’ at you!
When your schedule is completely backwards from the rest of the world, it makes staying healthy that much more of a challenge — think about how difficult it already can be to sleep 8 hours, finish all your school work, meal prep, ++ fit a workout into your day on a *normal* schedule! For those of you pursuing//already living a nocturnal lifestyle, you can still find a rhythm to live out your healthiest life possible. Here’s how to maintain a *healthy lifestyle* in all aspects of life while on that night shift grind.
No matter how hectic your schedule, eating is essential! Our bodies take a long time to adjust to a nocturnal lifestyle, so eating the right foods helps keep energy levels high + your immune system functioning normally. Meal prep is absolutely essential. Designate part of your *off day* for prep so you can have more time during the week for sleeping, doing homework, + living! Make sure to have lots of healthy fruits, veggies, nuts, + other snacks readily available, ++ keep some at work if you can so you always have a supply. Whip up some of our Bars + Bites to have on-hand ; ).
Also, make a point to stick to a *regular* eating schedule — aka avoid eating dinner at 3 am, if you can. Try snacking on natural foods if you’re hungry, rather than a large meal.
Finding motivation to complete homework assignments or study is even harder to muster up after working until 6 a.m. Make sure you get your studying done after you’re well-rested + well-nourished.
Getting quality sleep may seem like an impossibility while working the night shift, but like anything else, it’s an adjustment. Even though you may be sleeping during *daytime* hours, it’s still essential to carve out 6-8 hours per day for some shut-eye. Make sure you’re eating foods that will help you get your *best day’s sleep* [ ; ) ] possible ++ take naps as needed.
After being on your feet all night, the last thing you may want to do is hit the gym for a #sweatsesh, but regular exercise should always be non-negotiable for the sake of your health! If you work during *off hours*, make sure to join a gym that is open 24/7 so you don’t have to compromise being a #goaldigger ; ). No 24-hour gyms near you? Buy a set [or two!] of dumbbells, a jump rope, ++ you’re set to complete any of our *no gym no problem* workouts—BOOM.
Possibly the hardest thing to maintain while working a *backwards* schedule from the rest of the world is a social life. How are you supposed to maintain a social life when your time to sleep is scheduled for the hours when your fam + friends are out + about? It may not be ideal, but we recommend limiting time with your loved ones to your days off. Plan//schedule these dates in advance so you don’t miss out on weekly quality time. ++ While a challenge, try not to stress about seeing loved ones during workdays. Unfortunately, you can’t do it all — make sure you’re taking care of yourself first + foremost!
For all our night-shift warriors out there — we’d love to hear your tips for staying #inCHAARG of your life while working nights! Share your tips with us on Insta. Make sure to tag @chaarg.
++ Nat [@natalie_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG Grand Rapids