Night Shift eating habits...

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    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?
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Quote from TraumaNurse07
    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?
    I 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 )
    RN1982 likes this.
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    I 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
    RN1982 likes this.
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    In 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!
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    I 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.
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    Thanks 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.
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    I 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.
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    I 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.
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    I 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.
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    Our "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.


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