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cahill

Questions For Those Of You That Work Night Shift

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I currently work day shift.

I recently bid on a job . The job is somewhat the same as I am currently doing with some training and supervisory tasks added. A NICE pay raise AND is night shift , 10pm to 6:30 am

I accepted the position and start on nights June 13 after some training while still on day shift.

How difficult was your transition to the night shift?

Any hints or suggestions??

Do you love it/hate it??

I am not too worried about the sleep part( I dont sleep much now anyway :lol: )

but I would love any suggestions that will make the transition and working night shift easier.

Thanks guys

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When I switched to night shift almost 4 years ago it was difficult at first. It took me several months to figure out a pattern. I work 10.5-12 hr shifts though instead of 8 hour shifts. If you are going to be working five- 8hr shifts in a row I would think that would be easier. My typical schedule is week one: Sun. 7p-7a, Mon./Tues. night off, Wed./Thurs 8:30p-7a, Fri./Sat off. Week 2: Sun. off, Mon./Tues. 8:30p-7a, Wed./Thurs. night off, Fri. 8:30p-7a, Sat. 7p-7a, Then I start back rotating at week 1 again. The drawback to this rotation is that on my first day off after working a night shift I am pretty shot. I try to only sleep around 4 hours in the morning so I can sleep at night when everyone else does. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. After this long my body has adjusted to being up at night despite the lack of sleep. Usually the next night off isn't so bad and I usually can sleep. After I have been off, my first night back, I try and take a nap during the day. Again sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. I have to sleep as soon as I get home in the morning because I have to be up to get the kids from school. If you are by yourself you wouldn't have to worry about it. You could try to sleep in the mornings then be up in the evenings or some people try to get their sleep right before work then get up and go. You'll have to figure out what works for you. I would suggest that you get some really good room darkening shades so you will be able to "trick" your body into sleeping during the day. I have tried various things and it still isn't dark enough for me (even eye masks which I don't like). I'm going to look into purchasing this product called shift shade. Just google it and you will see what it is. I like it because there is no hardware to install. They work on tension rods and are easily put up and taken down in minutes. The up side to nights is that I like the autonomony. I'm the only one in my department. I do have a call person I can phone to come in if I get too busy or backed up. I also do not have to deal with the "politics" that comes with a day time job and I am home a lot more with the boys. The 15% shift diff with an extra 5% for weekends is an added perk also. Last Aug. my boss approached me and asked me if I would cross-train in ultrasound to do lower extremity venous studies (ultrasound of the veins in the legs to eval. for blood clots). I spent three months on day shift commuting to a sister hospital to do this. After I got the go ahead from our radiologists I went back on nights with a decent raise to go with it. So right now the positives are still outweighing the negatives (some sleep issues and the moodiness that goes with it). If the balance tilts the other direction I still have options. Good luck and congrats on the new position.

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I don't do it now. I did do it on occasion and never seemed to adjust to it. Perhaps because when I did do it, it was a day here and a day there. I am a real night owl and I usually stay up until 3:00 a.m. That's when I naturally get sleepy. So when I worked nights I would find myself starting to drag around 2 or 3 and it was all downhill from there.

I also did not do well working from 5:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. I had to do that for several months and I just don't remember any of it because I was so tired. I know I made stupid mistakes. I would drag myself home, crash, then wake up around 8:00 p.m. My husband was working late shift then and would get off work around 10:00 p.m. We were not yet married. I would fix him something to eat then fall asleep not long after that. Not a good period of time.

Then he went to the night shift in order to get time off for his brother's wedding in another state. He did it for maybe three months but he never seemed to adjust well to it either.

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I worked a 2am to 10am shift years ago when I bartended at a 24 hour bar. What worked for me was changing my sleep pattern so that I was going to bed at about 3 or 4 pm and getting up at 12midnight or 1am to go to work. I kept that same pattern even on days off. I was single then with no kids so it worked for me. I don't know if I could have done it if I had to be up with little ones. I think it is easier for young folks to do than us oldsters.

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I used to work swing shift years ago, 11 PM to 7 AM. I would sleep a few hours in the morning after my shift and then get up and do stuff during the day. Then sleep a few more hours in the evening before going to work. So sleeping twice a day instead of one long sleep. Worked well for me.

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Thanks for the responses guys. :)

I live alone and I plan on keeping the same sleep schedule on my days off .

I will look into the room darkening shades.

I did work nights for awhile years ago when my children were young ,, the shift was ok but in the summer time ,when the kids were off school, I didnt sleep so I changed shifts .

I am hoping this works out, I am actually looking forward to it.

The politics on day shift has gotten unbearable <_<

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i honestly love it, when i get out of work, (round 4-5am) its quiet, the sun is rising, its usually at that point, ill hit a diner and chow on some eggs n OJ, then go home n crash, but theres not much you can do to make the transition easier, cept flip around your schedule of what you do to get ready for your day job, to get ready for your night job,

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First thing after work is perfect for shopping. No one is there. The night shade is a great idea. I just had an eye mask/ear plugs set. I would prefer night shift with your lifestyle. I switched to days because I have a five year old at home. I'm actually being put back on nights at my job starting this Saturday as punishment for oversleeping. The problem with night shift at my job is that management works days, so they stick everyone they don't want to deal with on nights. As a result, I spend the night babysitting adults who are less mature than my child. I hope this isn't the case for you. If you sleep straight through your first day off, you'll be all set the next day for all the errands that can only be done during business hours.

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I worked 12-8 for about 2 yrs. I adjusted to it but the adjustment had a very ragged edge. There were problems that continually popped up.

My friends never figured out my sleep schedule (or at least never respected it). They would drop by to visit late at night thinking that they could catch me before I went to work and before they went home to sleep. That either woke me up from a sound sleep or robbed me of a quick nap.

My kitchen was an occasional fire scene. There was a burn mark on the wall next to the stove. This was due to coming home in the morning after work, starting to cook something, sitting down and promptly falling to sleep. It was smoke and sometimes flames that would rouse me.

I actually fell asleep on my feet once. I was standing up talking to someone. I felt myself drift off and then realized the person I was talking to was asking me if I was OK.

There is an advantage in that days are free and you can go places without hitting crowds. However, if your friends are at work, the advantage loses much of its luster. Constant weariness was a regular companion so going somewhere by myself was never all that attractive.

There is also the question of what to do on the weekend. Stay on the same schedule? Convert back to a regular day/night schedule (not that easy)?

The only ongoing plus has been that I now have the ability to eat anything for any meal. When I came home from work at 8:30 AM, the last thing I wanted was cold cereal and toast. I wanted a meal: meat, potatoes, salad, etc. I learned to eat dinner in the morning. Now, if I wake up in the morning and find myself hungry, I can eat leftovers from the night before.

That said, it sounds like there are some advantages to you career-wise. In view of the economy, it might be worth considering the opportunity. Hopefully, night work would not be a permanent arrangement.

One last note. Consider what it would be like sleeping during the day where you will be living. Do you have black-out curtains that can eliminate all light in your bedroom? what is the noise level during the day? Do you have neighbors that mow the grass? Do they have barking dogs? How often is construction going on? Any trains? Highways and honking cars? Car alarms that go off because a toddler is playing with their parents car keys? Loud neighbors? Keep in mind that you will be trying to sleep when the rest of the world is in full gear.

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