Night Shift eating habits...Register Today!
- by RN1982 Jan 29, '09So I work tomorrow night and I'm planning out what I will be eating and writing it down in a journal. I'm not sure if I should eat a full meal when I wake up to get ready for work and take another meal with me to work or if I should eat a full meal and take small snacks with me. I know that I have to eat because I work 12 hours and if I don't I will be craving junk food in the a.m. when I'm leaving. I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas or input?
- Jan 29, '09 by Equinox_93Quote from TraumaNurse07I don't work night shift, but if I were, I would try to just flip my days so that I were eating regular meals like I would if it were daytime. I'd eat "breakfast" when I got up before getting ready for work, then have "lunch" and "dinner" at work. And then daytime I would either not eat or just eat light healthy snacks (and hopefully be sleeping a good chunk of the time )So I work tomorrow night and I'm planning out what I will be eating and writing it down in a journal. I'm not sure if I should eat a full meal when I wake up to get ready for work and take another meal with me to work or if I should eat a full meal and take small snacks with me. I know that I have to eat because I work 12 hours and if I don't I will be craving junk food in the a.m. when I'm leaving. I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas or input?
- Jan 29, '09 by Ria21I agree...I would eat my heaviest meal at the start of my shift. You want to be able to use up the energy at the busiest part of your shift. If u get hungry midway in the shift, I would eat a snack such as a yogurt and a banana/ some cereal (lunch). After shift would be breakfast time, or if you're going home straight to sleep I wouldn't eat at all. My overall advice is don't eat a heavy meal within 2 hours of going to sleep. Hope that helps
- Jan 29, '09 by Purple_ScrubsIn theory it's good to eat a decent meal at the start of your shift, but back when I was working nights I was nauseated when I woke up (never did sleep well or adjust to nights), so I ate small healthy snacks throughout my shift. Fruit, granola bars, crackers and peanut butter, yogurt, etc were my friends! I tried to eat a little something about every 4-6 hours, then I ate a supper-like meal when I got off in the am then tried to sleep. Good luck!
- Jan 29, '09 by PepperladyI try to have an actual meal before my shift ... even just soup and toast/cheese. I know I need a protein in that meal.
For the shift I try to take fruit, crackers, hummus and vegetables, things like that. And I have cereal at around 5 am, getting myself ready for going home to bed.
BUT... I have a really hard time resisting the bag and bags and bags of chips that tend to come in on nights. Either the doctors bring them or the other staff does.
I keep a can of tuna at work and some soup (usually the tetra pac Campbells soup) so I can fall back on that if I need too.
- Jan 29, '09 by RN1982Thanks for the input. I'm eating my oatmeal right now... All I can say is blahhhhhhhhh. It didn't come out right...put some cinnamon and a packet of splenda in it. I'm gonna eat my lunch before work and take a snack and small supper with me. I'll drink water throughout the shift. I'll let ya know how it goes.I bought a low calorie, high protein drink with 15g of protein in it so I'll have one of those on my way to work.
- Jan 30, '09 by Mimi2RNI eat dinner before I go to work, sometimes it's soup and a sandwich, chicken nuggets, or breakfast. It's rarely a meal that takes any length of time to fix. As long as my DH is fed, he's happy! I only have a couple of hours before I have to start work. I usually take a banana or other fruit, yogurt, sometimes a small frozen bagel that will be thawed by the time I'm ready to eat it. Leftovers are good! I also keep a frozen dinner in the freezer at work. I keep a can of soup that will microwave in my bag. It's good to have quick snacks available so you don't go to the vending machines too often!
We do have a cafeteria open for a couple of hours at midnight, but the food varies, so I like to have a back-up plan. We sometimes do a potluck, and have more than enough food for the ones who didn't know that we were having one! Some nights we have pizza delivered, or get food from a local restaurant.
You do need liquids, and water, energy drinks, sodas and coffee or tea are popular. I hate to buy drinks from the vending machines, I don't like the $1.50 or $2 prices. It's easier to take everything with me, so on crazy nights I can keep going.
Then I go home and eat breakfast before I go to bed.
- Jan 30, '09 by lpnfloridaI would eat before I go to work. When I worked nights I use to eat with the family to try and maintain some normalcy. Then around 2 am I would have a light snack as a heavy meal makes me sleepy. I try and keep cut up apples, or some type of vegetable in my pocket for those times I just feel I have to have something now. I can quickly step into a staff room much down a few pieces of whatever and then be on my way.
- Feb 5, '09 by VegasSummersI usually eat dinner right before my shift and drink coffee throughout the night until about 5am and have a piece of fruit so that way when I go home to sleep, I can wake up a little after lunch and have lunch and go on with my day.
- Feb 5, '09 by Spidey's momOur "night" shift starts at 3 p.m. so I would just eat a normal lunch and then take dinner with me - a salad or leftovers. Something that wouldn't make me tired. Granola bars or fruit for a snack. Lots of water or sugar-free drinks.
The problem with night shift at our hospital is night shift staff bring in LOADS AND LOADS of food - chips, salsa, candy, cake, etc.