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Old 05-30-2010, 06:51 AM
 
70 posts, read 143,853 times
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Default Night Shift

So for those of you who work overnights, midnights, graveyards, whatever you call it, how do you operate on your days off? Do you still stay up at night and sleep during the day, or do you try and go back to a normal schedule?

Also, how do you keep your energy up? I have been working 9p-7a for about a month now. I find that sometimes on my days off I'll be so tired I end up sleeping until 7 or 8 at night and I feel like I wasted my whole day. Also, when I get off of work I cannot fall asleep until 10 or 11a. What do you do to overcome this? Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
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Years ago I pulled an 8 year stint working from 11pm to 7am and I felt like death the entire 8 years. I never did get used to working those hours that my body told me to sleep instead.

There is a reason some people never get used to wakefulness during the overnight hours. It's called the "Circadian rhythm". This is your personal body clock that your work hours are upsetting. That said, some people (like me) never ever can get used to overnight working hours.

Circadian rhythm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Circadian rhythm sleep disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Circadian Rhythm Disorders: Shift Work, Jet Lag, and More
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
677 posts, read 886,196 times
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I've worked night shift once in a while but will not do it anymore.

Kudos to you for being able to handle it, but I just couldn't get used to that sleep pattern. My body ached and I was exhausted for days following those shifts. Not to mention that most days, I would get off at 7am, go home to 'sleep', then be back at 3pm that same day. Just terrible.

On any days off, I spent the whole day sleeping. I was so tired that I couldn't do much of anything. Not fun or productive.

There is no real way to overcome it. You could try taking adderall or caffeine but that's awful for your body. My advice? Get a day job. Even though the pay is probably a bit higher working night shift, I just don't think it's worth it to wreck yourself physically and emotionally. Look up some stuff about the health risks associated with third shift. It's a bad deal.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:14 PM
 
70 posts, read 143,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchelle View Post
I've worked night shift once in a while but will not do it anymore.

Kudos to you for being able to handle it, but I just couldn't get used to that sleep pattern. My body ached and I was exhausted for days following those shifts. Not to mention that most days, I would get off at 7am, go home to 'sleep', then be back at 3pm that same day. Just terrible.

On any days off, I spent the whole day sleeping. I was so tired that I couldn't do much of anything. Not fun or productive.

There is no real way to overcome it. You could try taking adderall or caffeine but that's awful for your body. My advice? Get a day job. Even though the pay is probably a bit higher working night shift, I just don't think it's worth it to wreck yourself physically and emotionally. Look up some stuff about the health risks associated with third shift. It's a bad deal.
I have read different articles which all state that people who work nights are at a higher risk for several diseases. Unfortunately for now I am stuck with nights. The problem that I have is falling asleep in the morning, I have no problem staying awake in the overnight hours. Maybe it will get better.
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
677 posts, read 886,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdal625 View Post
I have read different articles which all state that people who work nights are at a higher risk for several diseases. Unfortunately for now I am stuck with nights. The problem that I have is falling asleep in the morning, I have no problem staying awake in the overnight hours. Maybe it will get better.
I'm sorry to hear that I'm not sure there is really a way around it. Good luck!!
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Mustang, OK
96 posts, read 126,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdal625 View Post
So for those of you who work overnights, midnights, graveyards, whatever you call it, how do you operate on your days off?
i stay up all day and go to sleep late at night. sometimes, i just sleep to "catch up" on sleep.

Quote:
Do you still stay up at night and sleep during the day, or do you try and go back to a normal schedule?
i'm restless and its hard for me to relax. i wouldn't know what a sleep schedule is

Quote:
Also, how do you keep your energy up?
as soon as i get off work, i take a hot shower, a small breakfast and go to sleep before noon. i work 12 hour graveyard shifts so if i sleep at least half the day, i can be up all night. sometimes i drink a Starbucks Doubleshot Expresso which keeps me wired til i get off work.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:13 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
11,332 posts, read 1,537,491 times
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My husband and I both worked swing shifts and overnight shifts. We stayed on the same schedule on our days off. Being consistent in our sleep schedule was the only way we could make it work. Going back and forth from one schedule to another is what makes shift work so tough on your body. Of course if you have a family or other commitments, it's almost impossible to do what we did.

For the poster who was having trouble getting to sleep in the morning, you might try either melatonin or an over-the-counter sleep aid such as Unisom. An electronic sound generator in the bedroom helped us a lot. The crash of ocean waves, chirping crickets or the gentle burbling of a brook screens out street noise and is very soothing. We still use our sound machine even though we're retired now.

Last edited by Bayarea4; 05-31-2010 at 03:14 PM.. Reason: for clarity
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Tampa FL
132 posts, read 198,936 times
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I doze off at work most nights and still sleep okay when I get home. I read first and eat small breakfast. I wake up to pee at noon and think it's time to get up but I try to fall back asleep which usually works. I have to have room super dark too. I have gained a ton of weight working nights, but it's what works for my family. My husband works days. Kids home after 3:15pm. I kind of get depressed working nights being it's so isolating. I work in homecare.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
11,309 posts, read 9,383,819 times
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I've been working the nite shift (10p-6a) for close to 9 years now, Fri.-Mon.

Generally, I sleep from 10am to 6pm, and on my days off, I might go to bed earlier and wake up earlier around 3-4pm. I love every minute of it, but then I live in a 24 hour city. And I always sleep uninterrupted, in my sun-proof bedroom.

There are times I have to get up earlier on my days off, and when I go out among the day trippers, I'm usually so disorientated and nervous, even with the darkest sunglasses, I come back from my day trips totally exhausted, stressed out and puzzled as to how anyone can work the day shift and face all that blasted traffic which I never have to subject myself to as a nite-tripper.

I'm never happier than when I wake up and the sun has gone down and I can begin my day with breakfast at 7-8pm.

I take my walks with my pet between midnite and 2am and with 24hour grocery stores here, I do my shopping after work at 6am or the middle of the night at 3am, no shopping cart rage at that hour of the day!

After you grow accustomed to working the night shift, and you develop your habits and rituals, my guess, you'll get spoiled, and you'll want to keep a box or two of sympathy cards to give to any number of the unenviable day trippers.

Last edited by tijlover; 11-23-2010 at 10:56 PM.. Reason: Edit
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,225 posts, read 4,073,258 times
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I have been working third shift (11 pm-7am) for over two years now. For me, the key has been consistency in a sleep schedule. Coffee helps. I like to come home and work out, too. I sleep in the evenings, waking up betwen 9-10 p.m. I've adjutsed. It'd probably be very difficult with a family though. I'm not sure I could stand to work days again, dealing with heavy traffic and the constant flow of people.
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