When I was in graduate school, however, I used to work long, long into the night, go home at 2:30 am and get into work mid-morning. It was an unhealthy lifestyle, but kind of weird and fun. I really enjoy eating ridiculous amounts of greasy food at 3 in the morning. That I don't get to do so any more is a minor tragedy. I used to really enjoy getting home, cooking up a full breakfast at 4 am, flipping on the TV and watching television on agribusiness and eating homemade hashbrowns.
So imagine my surprise to read the following in the middle of an article about the public health consequences of 24-hour shift work (via The Pump Handle, and their very serious treatment of issue regarding emergency work and sleep deprivation):
The “jet lag diet” is a dietary manipulation of carbohydrate and protein intake sometimes recommended for travelers crossing multiple time zones. Essentially, protein is ingested before times of activity and carbohydrates are ingested before the sleep phase.
However, timing of meals, rather than content of the diet, has been proven of more assistance in entrainment to a new light–dark cycle. Low doses of caffeine (4 mg/kg, with 1 cup coffee =100 mg of caffeine) administered at 12:20 AM and 1:20 AM have been shown to effectively decrease sleep tendency on the night shift, enhance performance during the first 2 nights of a block of night shifts, and yet not disrupt daytime sleep.
Excesses of caffeine, however, should be avoided.Who knew!?! I was eating the right way!* Readers, do you miss late nights in the lab? What was your late night snack of choice?
*I'm mostly kidding. I recognize that's a wild misreading of the article. Grad students, you should try to get 8-12 hours of sleep a night. Yeah, I know -- but you should try.