Tips for working nights

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
8905 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

That can be tough!  My husband works night shifts as a hospital RN, 3 (sometimes 4) 13-hr shifts a week.  Is your job 5 days a week?

He just eats whatever when it feels appropriate… after a long night shift, you’re often in the mood for something hearty instead of, you know, cereal.  

One of the best $5 investments EVER has been a sleeping eye mask.  And trying to maintain some sort of sleep schedule is important – your body is already confused enough as it is.  

Make sure your partner is ready to deal with this too – it kinda sucks when you want to hang out but your partner has the totally opposite sleep schedule.  On his days off, we do things like go to the gym after I get off work, when he’s just waking up, and go out to dinner, watch movies, etc at night.  Then I go to bed, and he does housework or plays music or cooks or whatever he does on his time off.

 

Post # 5
Member
60 posts
Worker bee

My dad has worked nights for ages! He has blackout curtains, a fan, and/or earplugs (for when we were loud little tykes). He goes to bed every morning between 7:30 and 8 am, wakes up between 1 and 2 pm, then eats breakfast food. He eats lunch when we eat dinner and brings dinner food to work. He works 4 days on, 2 days off and switches his sleep schedule to nights on those days to match up with my mother. I’m pretty sure he’s part robot- that isn’t enough sleep for anyone!

Post # 6
Member
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I work a three days, three nights, 6 off rotation and have been for the past 5.5 years. 🙂

 

What I do is when you are switching over (I get 24hrs off to switch to nights), I stay up late (1am, sometimes later) and sleep until about 10am, then lay down for a nap 4-5 hrs later and try to sleep for an 1.5-2.5 hrs.

When I get home from my nightshift, I shower, have a very light breakfast…maybe an egg, homemade granola bar, something light and relatively healthy. But just enough to fill me up that I can get to sleep and not wake up two hours later. I use black out blinds, and ear plugs so that it is decently dark and totally quiet. I also have been using a humidifier lately it is winter and very dry but provides just enough noise that if my earplugs come out i don’t hear vehicles driving past. Many guys people I work with use a fan instead of humidifier.

When I am working nights I typically eat lighter meals. My shifts are 12hrs, so I bring two main meals in (salad and an actual meal, like leftovers from dinner). Have the big meal 5hrs into shift, and then a lighter one like veggies, salads etc a few hours later. about an hour before I head home I have a piece of fruit and a yogurt. I haven’t had any weight gain doing this, so I am happy :). Stay away from chocolate bars and junk food though, the people I work with are soooo bad for eating that stuff. I also don’t drink coffee during my shift, if I do it will be a small cup at the beginning and that is all.

 

To switch back over on regular days off (if you want to), I will get home and have a 3-4hr nap, then stay up the rest of the day. Trying to go to bed sometime around 10 or later that night. By the next day I am back on a regular persons schedule. But the older a person is the harder switching over is. So not sure of your age, I am mid 20’s. but many guys (I only work with men) I work with are in their 20’s to 30’s and the people in their 30’s and older find it takes a few days to switch.

 

Hope these help! 🙂

 

Post # 7
Member
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’ve been on nights for about 7 months and I can’t say I love it. I work 2 on 2 off then 3 on 2 off  etc. I work 13 hr shifts!! when I get home at 7 am I might eat a light breakfast and go straight to bed. If I’m off I’ll wake up about 1130 or 12 so I can enjoy my day with family and friends and shopping!!! I’ll go to sleep normal that night with FI if I have that night off. If i come home at 7am but I work the next night I usually sleep until 4. it somehow works but my body is definitely not a night shift body. FYI I have no kids 🙂 

Post # 8
Member
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

This is so helpful! OP, I also just started nights this week and I’m hoping to learn all the tricks to making it work. No tips of my own yet, but so glad for all the advice!

Post # 9
Member
1009 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

@Equine_Breeder:  I’m a nurse and I work nights (except my weekend in which I work 12 hr days)….I bought blackout curtains RIGHT AWAY and they have helped so much. I go to bed/sleep within 1-2 hours after i go home and then can wake up and go grocery shopping, have dinner with friends, spend time with my fiance if he is home (he works Monday through Thursday 3p-2a), etc in the evening. As far as eating goes, I usually eat breakfast or a light lunch when I wake up…and I do eat a more dinner meal when i’m at work…usually around 3-4ish in the morning. I don’t know if it would help you, but I also sleep with a fan (have since before I started working nights though).

ETA: when it’s my switch over time, I usually sleep about 4 hours and then get up for the day. I can survive on that little of sleep without getting too crabby and testy though so it depends on your own sleep needs too. 

 

 

 

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