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Old 01-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default first night shift this evening

Hey guys leaving in just over a few hrs for my first ever night shift at my job , was wondering if you guys who have worked nights before could share some tips

basically I have stayed uo late as I could last night woke up earlier this afternoon , not really done much gonna have a shower and shave before I go work . Not really planning on using any caffeine stimulants as past experience of all nighters have shown that the resulting crash when the caffeine wears off is worse than the tiredness .

gonna try and drink plenty of water and stuff , Need to stay reasonably alert we are moving a load of shop fixtures around which means there will be reasonably heavy trolleys/cages all over the show which you dont want to get in the way of .

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: first night shift this evening

The first week or so of changing shifts is difficult but your body adjusts to that schedule and it becomes the "norm". If you keep busy/active then you shouldn't have trouble staying awake but if you are sitting around twiddling your thumbs it is hard to stay awake.

Is this a long-term change or just short-term?

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: first night shift this evening

You will adjust, but I have heard people with 2nd shift have pretty much no social life. Are you 2nd or third shift?
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: first night shift this evening

My dad did the night shift for the AA about 15 years ago, ended up with Brain Stem encephalitis. Not directly related but the doctors said the nights really brouht it on strong.

The latest I work is until 7pm, I've considered doing the graveyard shift (which is a separate service desk) but decided against it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: first night shift this evening

graveyard shifts are easy.

I used to work shifts if 7am - 3pm or 3pm -11pm

in that case it's easy, on early shifts, get up at 6am to get to work for 7, go to bed at 10ish
on late shifts, get up at 8am, go to work, come home and go straight to bed.

graveyard shifts are fine, there is no reason that they should mess with your sleep patterns at all.

that said, night shifts are a killer, there is no way to get used to them at all.

my shift pattern changed to include night shifts, so I was night shift, late shift early shift in a rotating pattern. I'd find myself awake at night and tired in the day, just as I got used to the pattern it'd change.

now I don't work shifts at all really. early this if now 8am - 4:30pm, late shift is 9:30am - 6pm
I work on call though as well, so some nights (like last night) I get called loads (five different times) and work all day, then all night before working all day again. (actually I didn't work all day I told my boss I'd be late in an went back to bed for a bit first!)

my girlfriend works night shifts now, she does no preparation, just have an easy day not doing a lot before starting, then do a 12 hour shift, go to bed, then wake up and straight back for another 12 hour shift. at the end, crash and spend a couple of days in bed.

Basically, I don't think that there is a method that you can use at all. mostly just try to stay up later and sleep in longer before starting nights, and then try to get up earlier and go to bed sooner after doing nights.

I read something a little while ago suggesting that if you ever need to "reset" your body clock (either through jet lag or shift work) get up, and immediately have a big breakfast. it's a bit of a caveman/hunter gather thing that supposedly your body will then be in a rhythm where it assumes that food will come at that time, so it's a good time to wake.

if you're planning on sleeping during the day consider getting heavy curtains to block out all the light, then a light alarm thing that gradually makes the room lighter to simulate dawn to ease you from sleep rather than jolt you awake with a buzzer...

-those are things I've read that are supposed to help, but like I say I found that nothing helps, you just have to gut through it.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: first night shift this evening

Nightshifts are easy! I've been doing them for 8 years. The best thing is to get yourself into a good routine each week. I usually go to bed around 2pm the day of my nightshift and sleep til 7pm.

I find when you work nightshift you get used to sleeping at anytime of the day or night, no problems at all!

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Old 01-17-2012, 12:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: first night shift this evening

I recommend not trying to hold dayshift hours during your weekends while working nightshift-- all it does is screw up your internal clock and you end up more tired.

Some people are more night-owls (ie not morning-people) and those types find the nightshift to not be much of a problem.

Me, I've worked swing-shift/night shift (16-24), and midnight shifts (23-07); and the big problem I had with the midshift is that I would fall asleep at 0800, regardless of where I was or what I was doing (which was usually driving home), so I would have to work around that.

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