How do I deal with night-shift munchies?


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It’s the middle of the night and you haven’t eaten anything since before you came on shift. The combination of tiredness and hunger breed a desire for comfort foods, greasy foods, fried foods, chocolate, etc. How do you combat these cravings?

Although you can hear the cafeteria grill calling your name through three floors, you know that guilt will strike after you make poor food choices. Pack snacks for the night so you won’t be tempted to even look at the unhealthy selections provided at the cafeteria. Although it may taste more soothing to eat a plate of french fries, the fruit you packed will keep you alert longer and is better for your state of mind.

If it’s the “comfort” of the food you are craving, try bringing healthier alternatives of soothing food, such as low-sodium Healthy Choice soups with crackers or your childhood favorite “ants on a log” (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins).

Another great way to avoid the cravings is to exercise and get some of that sleepy blood flowing. Instead of heading downstairs toward the food, take those stairs all the way to the top and back down, then repeat. It will get your heart rate up and curb your appetite for unhealthy food.

Also, eat small frequent snacks throughout the night to maintain your blood sugar because the more hours you wait, the more unstable your blood sugar will be and the more famished you’ll feel. Got any more healthy eating tips for rotating shifts? Share them below!

Nicole Lehr
Nicole Lehr is a pediatric nurse. She can be described in three adjectives: content, thankful and fortunate. All credit for the aforementioned description can be given to the love she has for her profession as an RN. She graduated from University of Florida with her Bachelor’s in Nursing and moved to Atlanta to work at the Cardiac Stepdown Unit at Children’s — her dream job.

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