GEAR FOR GRAVEYARD SHIFT ( If you are working night shift it is a must read)

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics millions are working a permanent night shift. But did you know the nightmare of night shift is a free way to a plethora of debilitating health conditions? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, declared, shift work that involves circadian disruption is probably carcinogenic to humans. The Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society, in Copenhagen states, night shift work involves exposure to light, decreasing the production of the night hormone - melatonin which protects against certain cancers. The evidence is strongest for breast cancer. Men who work at night may also be at risk for prostate cancer.  A study by the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, suggested that an extended period of rotating night shift work modestly increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, partly due to increased body weight.

The night shift worker has disrupted circadian rhythms and is vulnerable to sleep deprivation and disorders, fatigue, decreased attention, cognitive ability, decision making and disruption of the body’s metabolic process, obesity, metabolic syndrome, glucose dysregulation, vitamin D deficiency and accidents. The many health risks are cancers, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems – appetite alternations, constipation, diarrhea, gas, indigestion, heartburn, stomach ulcers, weight problems and obesity, pregnancy and infertility problems.

Nourishment for night:

·       Eat a wholesome dinner around 7.00 - 8:00 p.m.
·    Protein-rich foods help stay alert and hence are a good choice for snacks eaten mid night. Energy bar with added peanut butter or soy nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, fruit/vegetable with low-fat cheese, eggs, nuts - almonds and especially walnuts are known to increase the blood concentrations of melatonin.
·     Large meals decrease alertness, small and frequent meals is the thumb rule.
·     Avoid sugary, fatty/greasy foods as they slow digestion, making you sluggish.
·     Keep your metabolism ticking by taking short walks around your work area.
·       Choosing hot beverages increase core temperature which starts to drop at night. 
·       Drink plenty of water as inadequate water consumption and too much caffeine leads to dehyrdration and fatigue.
·       The effects of caffeine linger up to 8 hours after consumption, which makes falling asleep after work more difficult. Avoid caffeinated drinks for at least 4 hours before bedtime to reduce their effects on sleep.
·       A light snack that is high in carbohydrates, is an excellent choice before bed, as they speed the release of serotonin. Supplement whole cereal with a glass of skim milk, rich in tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin to lullaby you to sleep.
· Sleep deprivation, overproduces the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and suppresses the satiety hormone leptin, hence leading to weight gain. Get undisturbed sleep at a stretch for atleast 8 hours.
·       Regular exercise also helps you to sleep better, but it would be otherwise before going to bed!
·       Make the first meal after waking, the heavy meal of the day.
·       For evening snack, nibble on deep colored fruits packed with vitamins, antioxidants to antidote stress.


The messiah of nutrition guarantees better health!


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