They say early birds get the worm. But is that really the case always? While waking up early can help increase productivity, improve organisation, reduce stress and boost mood, it doesn’t mean that night owls have it all bad.
Don’t get us wrong, folks! We love to sleep. In fact, we advocate it as one of the most crucial things to stay healthy throughout. But if your lifestyle gives you the liberty to wake up late and stay up late too, might as well create a healthy routine out of it.
Moreover, being a night owl can also have several benefits. You have fewer distractions when you work and can thus focus better. It could help you work on projects independently, and even encourage creativity. So if you are in the habit of staying up till wee hours of the night, our Nutrition Expert, Chandni Haldurai is here to give you a rundown on how you can ace being a night owl, without compromising your health in return.
Simple tips on how night owls can stay healthy
1. Having fixed meal timings
For your body to get used to the pattern, make sure to have properly-timed meals everyday. This might take a few hit-and-trial shots initially, but once you get a hang of it, it is for the better. And trust us when we say that keeping your gut happy while being a night owl, is a sure-shot way of nailing it.
2. Reduce caffeine intake
We know this is a hard pill to swallow, but regulating your caffeine intake while adjusting to patterns and routines that suit your body best, is something you should definitely do. That XL cup of hot coffee or tea you take before you’re set to work through the night might not look pretty to your digestive system.
Healthy alternatives to these can be chamomile tea, warm water with honey and lime, a glass of milk, protein shake, or something that doesn’t make you jumpy. Studies have shown that choosing these can in turn, can keep you full through a mid or all-nighter.
3. Snack smart
Make a mental note of all the things you need to add to your meals while burning the midnight oil. Protein-rich foods such as chicken, nuts, cheese, and leafy veggies like spinach can serve as a great snack option for night owls. Whereas carbs like rice and bread induce drowsiness, therefore not recommended.
And it's needless to say to keep your water intake high.
4. Activity breaks to break the monotony
Working through the night can get a little monotonous at times. And to be honest, our body can . definitely use some movement from time to time. So move. Move your neck, back, head and any other stiff area that helps you stay alert. Get that blood pumping, body moving, and mind working faster. Quick activities like jumping jacks, high knees, a brisk walk or randomly dancing to your favourite music can make you move, without exhausting you.
5. Power naps FTW!
15-30 mins power naps are the newest prodigy when it comes to mastering the art of being more productive. So, right before you start your night routine, set an alarm for 15-30 minutes. All you’ve gotta do is indulge. These are proven to increase your focus and give that much needed tinge of relaxation that your body can surely use and definitely needs. Other positives being -
- Enhanced memory
- Improved cognitive performance
- Stronger logical reasoning
6. Switch things up
Sitting at your work station for the past 3 hours? Change to the living area. Bored of that too? Change to the balcony. A classic switcheroo in your surroundings can hugely impact your mood and mindset while working through the night. It works wonders! Might we suggest some good snacks to go with each change while you’re at it! Props for proteins, fruits & vegetables. Afterall, switching things up can lead to better performance and improved concentration, amongst many other upsides .
What not to do when you’re a night owl
Now that we’ve pretty much covered what night owls need to do to keep their health up n’ running, the list of no-nos is as important. It largely includes:
- Not stepping out for your vitamin D dose
- Consuming preserved/processed foods in any form during the night
- Skipping out on social interactions
- Not striking a balance between work and play
- Not reducing screen time during the day
- Being a caffeine-dependant life form
- Not having a fixed sleep pattern
You can definitely live a balanced & healthy life while putting in extra hours at night. All you’ve gotta do is follow in the footsteps of the experts. And remember to keep an eye out for any extra nutrients you can get while you’re at it. Exercise only adds more to it.
If you happen to find yourself in a rough spot when it comes to sleep, consult with a specialist through us. If you’re in a good spot, thank us later.