Watch What You Eat On Snow-Plowing Nights

11 Jan 2013 10:52 PM | Deleted user

I found the following article and thought it was important to pass it on.

Watch What You Eat on Snow-Plowing Nights

Road crews often battle snow and sleet throughout the night, but usually for only a night or two. That means they are also battling sleepiness since their bodies are adjusted to the usual daytime shift. Sleepiness can be dangerous. At least 10,000 accidental deaths a year are sleep-related and 200,000 traffic accidents annually are due to driver fatigue.

Recent research on sleep deprivation shows that what you eat before and during nighttime work can affect sleepiness. Since the body slows down at night, it does not want to digest a donut, a "Big Mac," or most other fast foods. Greasy, heavy, protein foods bring on sleep according to information in The Shiftworker's Handbook.

Drivers can still enjoy eating, though. Take light, well-balanced meals and eat snacks that are compatible with slower, nighttime digestion.

  • Main meal before night work (5:00-7:00 pm) Eat light protein foods like chicken, turkey, fish, or cooked beans and peas. Vegetables, fruit, breads, pasta and potatoes are good, as are low-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt. If you're planning to sleep before work, make this a lighter and smaller meal.
  • Meals during breaks Eat soup and salad, soup and a light sandwich, or light protein foods and vegetables.
  • Snacks before and during work Good snacks include low-fat dairy products, fresh and dried fruit, popcorn, cereal, plain cookies, pretzels, and baked crackers.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine Coffee and tea contain caffeine; smoking and chewing tobacco contain nicotine. These are stimulants at first but soon become depressants. They make the heart beat slower.
  • Do not consume alcohol before or during snow plowing operations

([Food information] [a]dapted from Road Business, Fall 1994, University of new Hampshire T2 Center. The Shiftworker's Handbook is by Marty Klein, Ph.D., SynchroTech, Lincoln, Nebraska.)


Please stay safe out there!


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