I did twelve years of permanent 12 hour nights - the pay and time off were great while it lasted.
I never really got into the a perfect rhythm of sleep and nourishment, so I don't feel I can comment on that - I just ate when I felt it necessary. I know it doesn't look like it now, but I'd regularly go two or three days after a sequence of shifts without eating, before feeling hungry - then I'd eat like a horse!
I also reckoned that if I got four hours of sleep between shifts I was doing OK.
Looking back on it, with a young family at the time - it may not have been the best thing to do all round. I was bad tempered when trying to change from night to day-time existence for the rest of the family. Overall, I'd advise against it if you have a choice.
I did 7 12hr nights in a row once a month for 13 years and been part time doing 5 in a row for the last 3... Echo everything above- I don't think there is a magical solution. I hate it when I come off them as I am a nightmare for 2 days. I just accept it as I get 11 days off afterward and my fixed rota mean we don't need childcare which in itself makes it worth while! So that and the fact we are a busy ICU means it soon passes... Till the next month!
I do a rolling shift of different hours
For example, the other week I was working Midnight till 9am at home, This week I am working 7-3 in the office. Soon I will be working 17-01 at home.
I am lucky I get to do the late shifts at home as I hate driving while tired which is the big danger on night shifts. Well any type of commuting can be annoying without sleep, we have all heard of someone who failed to get off a bus or train when they were tired.
I am very lucky to live in a quiet area, I have got double curtains for my bedroom and make sure the room is the right temp to sleep in. . I cannot sleep with a blindfold on or ear plugs, but some people I work with do.
I keep lot of hot chocolate in and some herbal sleep aids too. I would also suggest a natural light alarm clock, they can be great to naturally get you out of bed when it is still dark outside. I do find the winter months harder and take vitamins and look after myself.
Look on the bright side, you get more time outside when other people are working
I used to work 12 hour shifts, 6 'til 6, 4 days then 4 days off, then 4 nights and 4 days off, of course there was overtime as well, after a night shift I wouldn't go to bed straight away, I would try and stay awake, after all, when we work days we don't go to bed as soon as we get in, looking back on it I don't think it helped that much, my body clock was always all over the place.
I used to work them in blocks of 2 weeks every 6 weeks as part of a rotating shift pattern. I'm gonna be a sadist here and say I loved nightshift, although the trade off is I am NOT a morning person and I now work constant early shift
Don't really have many tips as I did like it.
One thing I used to do when coming off was to stay up on the last day to a reasonable time and this seemed to fix my sleeping pattern straight away. I was a lot younger when doing this though and might be a different story now
I worked night shifts on rota when nursing and enjoyed it. Home by 07:45, shower and brekkie then do what I'd do after working a day shift, watch TV/film, go online, have a beer or wine and go to bed around noon. A lot of people go home and straight to sleep which I found really messed my system up if I did that. Think about it, you don't finish work on days and go home and to bed by 19:00.
I've worked mostly night shifts for about 20 years.
they are fine to start, but get old pretty fast. I prefer to graveyard shift 11pm-7am, over the afternoon shift.
at least then, you can enjoy the sunrise every morning.
I've worked rolling nightshifts for 11 years - no magic trick to tolerating them - I just eat when I'm hungry, and tend to get through about a box of cereal per day! (When you wake up you have cereal, and when you get home from work it's breakfast time so you have cereal!) Eating well is very important though.
The best thing about nights is being about for sunrise on summer's mornings, and getting to know the baker in the local 24 hour supermarket - fresh croissants at 4am are simply magic!
I'm lucky as I have a job where I am out and about (Police Traffic Officer) so I can go and see people and places when nothing else is going on (and believe me, sometimes NOTHING goes on!)
Like a live time experiment just had some lasagne and heading back in to work. I agree Cereal becomes an attractive food I don't normally really eat it; but do as previously posted by someone have it twice a day on nights
Experienced some disorientation when I woke up at 2pm today and in my mind thought it was 2 am
Second of Four tonight