Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the US.1 Following a cardio-protective diet is important for anyone and may be especially important if you’re a shift worker. A large meta-analysis including more than 2 million shift workers found that shift work is associated with a 24% increase in cardiovascular disease.2 Shift work is […]
Many shift workers turn to dietary supplements to boost energy during their shift and sleep better during the day. Supplements can be a valuable part of your plan, but they shouldn’t be your only solution. Supplements won’t make up for poor habits. Exercise, adequate sleep, naps, shift scheduling, and dietary strategies should all be included in your plan to combat the stress of shift work. Simply using caffeine to power through your nights and neglecting other beneficial strategies is a bit like focusing on perfume or cologne as your only approach to personal hygiene. Sure, you’ll smell sweet for a few days, but the grime and body odor will eventually become overpowering.
I’ve worked nights both as a CNA at a hospital as well as a military service member at tactical operations centers or guard posts. Currently, I’m a dietitian. While I don’t work nights anymore, there are some key dietary strategies I wish I would have known and implemented when I was a shift worker.
Healthcare providers can help their clients increase their activity levels using fitness trackers to help them start and/or maintain an exercise program. Learn about the benefits fitness trackers offer.