NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours

Diet Suggestions for Night-Shift Nurses (Continued)

  • General diet suggestion from Lowden et al.10 is to avoid alcohol and foods with added sugar. Eat complete meals with animal products and starchy vegetables or protein-rich plant foods (beans plus cereals, rice, pasta, root vegetables) and nonstarchy vegetables and fruits or vegetarian meals consisting of protein-rich plant foods, fruits and vegetables.
  • If you are a night worker, eat a small breakfast before day sleep to avoid waking due to hunger.
  • Avoid large meals 1 to 2 hours before the main sleep episode.

Additional guidelines from Holmbäck,13 Knauth and Hornberger,14 and Lennernäs15:

  • Avoid heavy, fatty, or spicy foods
  • Try to have only light caffeine during your shift
Module: 9, Page 9 of 12
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2020