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Working the night shift can be tough not only for your sleep schedule but also your mealtimes. Of course, the first step is to make sure you are awake and alert to perform your job safely and effectively. You’ve worked on your sleep, now consider the foods that can help you. Here are some snacks you can pack to stay more alert on the job at night.

Apple and peanut butter.

Fresh fruit and their natural sugars are great for an energy boost when you might be feeling a little sluggish. Add the protein of a quality peanut butter and you have an excellent snack that can help keep you awake and alert while working the night shift. The best part is that you can keep a jar of peanut butter near your workstation and dip into whenever necessary.

Hummus and whole grain crackers.

This Middle Eastern dip is popular, and for good reason. Hummus, made with chick peas and a sesame sauce called tahini, is a delicious and nutritious treat. Rather than pairing it with refined carbohydrates like bread, choose whole grain crackers. Your body can use these complex carbs to keep going throughout the night.

Dried fruits and nuts.

Nuts are a great snack when you just need a little boost of energy. A good selection of mixed nuts, including cashews and almonds, are a great way to much on something tasty and good for you all night long. If you want to add a touch of sweetness, add some dried fruits to the mix such as craisins, dates, figs, or anything else that strikes your fancy, and your sweet tooth.

A cup of coffee.

Finally, many people hesitate to recommend caffeine past the morning hours, but if you’re working all night long you might need that jolt of adrenaline to help you stay alert. Coffee isn’t the enemy and, in fact, it has been show to help with heart disease and even some types of cancer. Drink it in moderation and at the beginning of your shift so you don’t impact your already precarious sleeping patterns.

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