living according to your biological clock
Our biological clock can be found in the part of our brain called the hypothalamus. With the help of daylight, this clock controls specific processes in our body. Of a day, it ensures that we function as well as possible. During the night, it makes sure we can relax and rest. When this clock is disturbed, for example due to irregular working hours, this has an effect on our body.
It can result in sleeplessness which is also linked with tiredness and which can lead to cravings and restlessness. Sleep is the most important medicine for the body. It allows the body to recover, physically and mentally. Your quality of sleep can be influenced by eating the correct foods, getting enough exercise and alloting enough time for relaxation.
What can you do to feel as fit as possible?
Make sure you get enough sleep (at least 8 hours). Also try (when possible with night shifts) to go te bed and get up at set times. Make sure your bedroom is cool (16-18 degrees) and dark enough.
Make sure, when working night shifts. that you get enough daylight. This is important for initiating body processes such as the metabolism. It is also important to get outside, especially when the sun shines. Get some vitamin D!
Getting enough exercise is important. It helps you to fall asleep quicker and enables a deeper sleep. Try however to avoid exercising just before sleeping. This encourages alertness in the evening.
Make sure you have enough time to relax. For example meditation, yoga & mindfulness
Avoid coffee (and other caffiene rich drinks) and alcohol as much as possible. Make sure your first meal (in the morning or before your night shift) is a protein rich meal. This results in the most satisfaction and helps to avoid cravings. Make sure you are prepared when you leave the house by having healthy and protein rich snacks with you. If you then suffer from cravings, you are prepared! Examples of such snacks are nuts, plantbased yoghurt or a healthy (protein rich) bar.
Magnesium for a good nights rest, chrome to lessen cravings and multivitamins for in the morning or before you start your night shift. Valerian and lemon balm can help to encourage more rest. Melatonin is a natural hormone that controls the biological clock. The body makes this itself when it is dark. This can be used in the case of a jetlag to help you to fall asleep. It is then further not necessary as the body produces it itself.