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Night shift

  1. Jul 21, 2007 #1
    I just accepted a job offer for a position stocking shelves in a grocery store... at night. I originally asked for a shipper/receiver position but eh, I wanted the job anyways. Anyways, I had my interview at 1pm and I start today for my first 8.5 hour shift at 11pm, in 2 hours. Ahh I am exhausted!!! This is going to take some getting used to. I think I have to fall asleep tomorrow around 2pm... :confused: :rofl:

    Anyone else here done night shift work? Did your body eventually adjust to it? Any tips for getting a good sleep during the DAY? :grumpy:

    Sorry this is kinda of a thread for venting and trying to keep my mind busy so I don't fall back asleep.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2007 #2
    Lol I did it for about 3 months before I had to give it up. The grocery store I was working at had horrible management and was understaffed. The stores stockers were stuck working 10pm-6am shifts. However due to being understaffed the shifts turned out to be more like 10pm-3pm and worse. Due to the over-night schedule we never really had a day off. To make matters worse I was a still a student at the time. My typical day would be like 9am-12pm classes, sleep for a few hours, the work a 10pm-3pm shift, sleep for a few more hours till I had to get up for class again. (classes were mwf) I still had to fit homework and everything else in as well so needless to say I was always exhausted. We were making a ton of overtime every week. The money was nice but I was working so much that there was never time to spend it.
  4. Jul 21, 2007 #3
    My body never really got adjusted but thats probably because I had morning classes. Night classes are not for me.
  5. Jul 21, 2007 #4
    Yea, luckily it is just a summer job, but I can already see that this is possibly going to make summer not very enjoyable :-(. Bah I gotta suck it up and do it, you are right, the pay is pretty good. Tonight is gonna be rough but there is a coffee shop nearby so hopefully I can sneak out there before work and during my lunch break and maybe make it through the night and get a good sleep tomorrow.
  6. Jul 21, 2007 #5
    Ive worked night for years, you adjust pretty quick as long as you accept the fact that during the day you must sleep. Tinfoil bedroom windows, total darkness, and a fan to drown out ambient noise.

    One difference is most people get up, go to work, then run errands, socialize after work. You'll have to do the opposite, get up and socialize, errands before work, work then right to bed. Its hard to get anything done after i get off work at 4am.
  7. Jul 21, 2007 #6


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    As long as you don't have to be awake during the day conforming to too many other people's schedules, it should be easy and you should get the hang of it soon.
  8. Jul 21, 2007 #7
    I'm working afternoons/evenings now, iv lived on 25 and 26 hour days and i have known guys who have worked nights.

    the biggest thing for the guys i knew is the social aspect. they found it really tough to get together with groups of friends for typical social stuff. they would end up going to a guy's house to play halo instead of going to parties. if you are a vary social person, working nights might not be a good job to keep for long.

    while i was going to sleep at 10am or so and generally getting the least amount of day time possible, i was surprised at how depressed i became. apparently you can develop a vitamin D deficiency that is akin to seasonal depression due to a lack of sun light. i would suggest making an effort to get outdoors more then usual while the sun is out.

    night shifts can be a good way to make money for some people, but they don't work for everyone.
  9. Jul 22, 2007 #8


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    I have been working a 12 hr graveyard (6pm -6am) for about 5 yrs. It helps if you can maintain about the same sleeping hours consistently. So I try to stay up late (2 -3 am) on none working days, then sleep as late as I can. Rarely am I out of bed before noon. The good thing about the 12 hr shifts is that we work a 4x3 week, that is I work Sunday, Monday , Tuesday and every other Wednesday. It comes down to working 7 out of 14 days, that leaves lots of recuperation between work weeks. As I type I am getting myself ready for my 4 day work week, they can be tough.
  10. Jul 22, 2007 #9


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    I've never worked a night shift, but when I was in college full time, I worked for the phone company working what they called a "late short tour" which was a 6 hour shift, usually 4-10pm, I was considered a full time employee with all of the benefits and got full time pay and a night differential. They also had a lot of "elective" time off so I had a lot of free time to study. It was great.
  11. Jul 22, 2007 #10


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    I've worked not just night shifts, but rotating shifts, and you'd have to really toughen up to do that (especially the "Southern Swing" used on paper machines!). Switching to night shifts is not a problem because once you reset your internal clock, you're all set. Just don't try to push the envelope, and make sure you get sufficient sleep. You should try getting up around 9pm, having a nice breakfast, and working your shift, then enjoy the rest of the day until around noon (with NO caffeine in the morning) and hit the sack around that time. Night shifts are easy.
  12. Jul 22, 2007 #11
    Thank you all for your comments and tips. I will try to keep the same schedule throughout the rest of the summer and eat a good breakfast Integral and Turbo :smile:. I had a coffee around 7am this morning and it was kinda hard to fall asleep so I agree with you Turbo.

    It doesnt seem as bad as I thought but it will still take some getting used to. I think it will wear on me eventually, but its only a 1.3 month job so it isn't too bad.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2007
  13. Jul 22, 2007 #12
    Oh and woops I forgot to say, I don't think I could ever handle rotating shifts Turbo. I have known a couple people that did it and one seemed to be okay with it and the other was always miserable. I think I would turn out not being able to do it, but I can see that it is possible for other people (presumably like you) that don't mind it.
  14. Jul 22, 2007 #13


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    I ALWAYS minded it, and it always seemed to turn out that my once-monthy "weekend off" was cold and rainy and I missed birthdays, weddings, and family get-togethers. Southern Swing is Hell.
  15. Jul 22, 2007 #14


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    Years ago while in the Navy, I worked a rotating shift for about a year. We worked 2 day shifts, 2 eve shifts , 2 night shifts then 2 days off. It was grueling, you never knew what day of the week it was and never got any decent sleep.
  16. Jul 23, 2007 #15


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    A consistent sleep schedule is really important as Integral indicated. The body, particularly the cerebral cortex, likes some regularity.

    I worked a graveyard shift from midnight to 0800 during my MS program in grad school. It was in operations, so I could study.

    However, at 0800 I'd go to university to attend class and teach, until late afternoon. I slept usually 3-5 hrs each evening (it was easier during winter when the sun set earlier in the evening), although Saturday is usually when I caught up on sleep. I don't recommend anyone doing that.

    In the end, I quit that kind of schedule when I started a PhD program.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  17. Jul 23, 2007 #16


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    I'll never do consistent midnights ever again. It's a terrible thing to do especially as a student. Once you have something to do during the day or the time you're suppose to be sleeping, everything is downhill from there.

    I was good for the first 2 weeks or so, but then downhill it went.

    I want the standard 9-5, or 8-4 kind of job.
  18. Jul 23, 2007 #17


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    I have been working night shifts in a bar for the last 5 years, during summer vacation. Amof, this is the first year that I won't be working there, since I don't really need any money this year (no big plans for the seaside, just studying etc.).

    Actually, every time I got adjusted pretty quickly - after one or two days, I successfully changed my rythm. Plus, I'm not a person which needs a lot of sleep, so I was usually sleeping until around 2pm (after coming home at 7am), and I still didn't completely loose my day.

    It all depends on how exhausting the job is, too. Mine wasn't specially tough, so I always had a bit time to relax or read something. Hope you share the same luck. :wink:
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