Look for Good-for-You Food
It stinks: Fast food always looks better on the days that we're sleep-deprived. But reaching for it will only make you feel worse. That's why Blaise, a 29-year-old administrator at a 24/7 call center, stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. "I can't stress that enough—lots of fruits and veggies," he says. "It's easy to grab a fast meal if you are tired, but I've found that that ends up draining my energy even more."
In fact, after her overnight shifts, Avani Desai, M.D., an emergency medicine doctor at Loyola University Health System usually heads to the grocery store for food—so that she knows there will be a good selection of fruits and vegetables. If you don't have time for that, making sure the fridge is stocked and that you have snacks on hand can be the difference between an energy-sapping bacon, egg, and cheese and fueling meals and snacks all day long. (Try these freezer meals you can warm up for breakfast.)
After all, your best bet is to avoid large meals that may send you into a food coma, says Rathz. For energy, she opts for small, frequent meals and snacks that are high in protein.