How do you guys do 12 hour night shifts?

GorbyGorby Member Posts: 141
I've recently started doing a night shift schedule which is 7PM - 7AM Thurs - Saturday with 4 -5 Hours on Sunday (7PM - 11PM). I thought it would be easy but after doing it for about a month I've been really tired lately and cranky. On the days off I try to sleep normal hours because of spending time with my family, but I noticed that it could be messing with my sleep cycle by switching like that. Any advice on making it easier for myself?


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    JackaceJackace Member Posts: 335
    Worked that shift for over 2 years. It sucked and I was always tired. Constantly changing my sleep schedule to do stuff with family and friends. I don't miss that work at all. I don't have any real advice other than get another job with a better schedule as soon as you can.
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    santaownssantaowns Member Posts: 366
    taking a nap during lunch seemed to help when I worked graves.
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    Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
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    darkerzdarkerz Member Posts: 431 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I did this for a year.

    My method was simple... I did not modify my schedule to others. In fact, I was single at the time. This really helps, everyone I worked with had a family, crummy attitude and lost a lot of sleep.

    I really miss the lack of traffic and daily take out.

    Also, change windows were always my shift. I'll bring down your adjacency and no ne can or will want to stop me, bahaha.
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    nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    drugs. hard drugs. lol jkn.

    In all seriousness, my grandmother worked nightshift for 30 years. When i was a teen she always said to avoid nightshift like the plague!

    In one of my last roles i used to do alot of OOH changes and it screwed me big time. Unless there is a very good reason, i would avoid perm nights! it will help destroy your life thats for sure!
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    den1966den1966 Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I worked shifts on and off for over 27 yrs all while keeping a sideline in carpentry open, the secret is to get up really early on the morning of your first night shift then get back to bed in the afternoon for 3 or 4 hrs, it works wonders , try to get at least 6hrs of sleep when you get home from a shift and make the room as dark and as noise free as possible, on your days off, get to bed as soon as you get in and get up 3 hrs later, by 9.00 that night you'll be so wrecked you sleep through the night.. shift work is a killer though and no amount of coffee or red bull will keep your eyes open when the noddys come!!
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    instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Don't change your sleep schedule. That is the problem.

    I worked in a NOC that rotated people through shifts. It was rough. I volunteered to stay on the third shift (since most people didn't want to work it), but that didn't pan out.

    With the rotation, it always seemed that by the time I had fully adjusted to the new sleep schedule, it was time to change shifts. It just didn't make sense to me.

    If I worked in a NOC again, I would want to be permanently assigned to a shift, not have it rotating after a number of weeks, because I will burn out due to the constant changes to the sleep schedule.


    You have a family that you want to spend time with. I see this being a difficult situation, unless you and your spouse both work the same shift. If you're trying to fulfill duties at home as well as at work, across differing schedules, you're just going to be overworked and burned out.

    Since the family is obviously a priority, then you might want to look into getting a job with a shift that is more compatible with your family time.

    Hope this helps.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    LMAO at Nel. Even though you "joke" you speak the truth. Our data center NOC techs smelled like a rock concert.
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    Im about to get into that soon except the opposite, 7am-7pm, which could really suck cause that's like prime time with bosses and coworkers buzzing everywhere and constant attention needed. I'm thinking prime study time myself, any moment your not working study and practice, load some virtual machines or simulators onto the work PC.

    Earn those human hours brother :)
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    petedudepetedude Member Posts: 1,510

    Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
    --Will Rogers
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    gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I work shifts.

    2 days 7am-7pm
    2 nights 7pm-7am
    4 days off

    It rocks. What I do is - sleep normally for the first two days. The second day shift - I will stay up until 3/4/5/6AM and sleep throughout the day, get up around 3-4PM. I'm set then for two night shifts. When I get home after the second night shift I will sleep until around 1PM at the latest and that day I don't do too much, just relax. The 3 full days off I then spend studying, up to 10 hours a day if the going is good, and then spend the evenings with the wife.

    It works for me as I am going for the CCIE but I doubt I can keep it up forever. For the time being I'm happy to keep piling in the hours and racking in the knowledge.
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    CCNTraineeCCNTrainee Member Posts: 213
    darkerz wrote: »
    I did this for a year.

    My method was simple... I did not modify my schedule to others. In fact, I was single at the time. This really helps, everyone I worked with had a family, crummy attitude and lost a lot of sleep.

    I really miss the lack of traffic and daily take out.

    Also, change windows were always my shift. I'll bring down your adjacency and no ne can or will want to stop me, bahaha.

    The advantage of being Single and not having any kids. Lol Works out perfect when you have to be deployed.

    My advice to the OP, I would try to put in some kind of workout session/routine, it will help you out with the sleep. I work everyday 12-14 hours each, throwing in a exercise session when ever I can, helps put my mind at ease and my body responses to my bed very well. Usually I will require less sleep time and feel "UP" when it is time to actually get up when I do get a session in. I know it is hard to balance but it does have benefits, grave shifts has help me keep up with my studies and experimentation as well. Lol
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    GorbyGorby Member Posts: 141
    Haha sometimes I wish I could just take a few red bulls and perk up. I usually get worse though after a few hours.

    Based on some of your responses I'm glad I'm not the only one who had problems adjusting. I'm gonna try getting gym schedule going, but it's tough sleeping all day everyday with family that needs you sometimes.

    I'm gonna start looking for a new job since I have a family now.. At least I figured out where I want to move my career towards now.
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    neo9006neo9006 Member Posts: 195
    I agree with another poster, get another job. I did this for 2 years at night and on the weekends. I was always cranky, I would just eat and watch tv when I got home and when I was ready to sleep, that is all I would do all day. That was cracking point in my life and the time and I changed things up since it was too hard on me. Good luck finding a new job. :)
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    pamccabepamccabe Member Posts: 315 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I work nights and it is a HUGE mistake. I will NEVER EVER do this again. The thing is, I left a good help desk job for this NOC job. The experience has been far worth it, however, it has taken a toll on me and my family. I am over 3 months in and I have not adjusted to it at all. I am just here to get experience and then I am gone. I will never ever work this type of shift ever again. I don't have a good thing to say about it. I take that back, the managers are gone at night so no supervision.

    I repeat, if you have a family and are considering this, unless you are going to get great experience and then leave, don't do it. You can't deny evolution and man's desire to sleep when the sun goes down. There is no getting used to it. My wife and kids are upset because I'm always groggy and tired. When I do sleep everyone has to be quiet. My wife is upset because we don't sleep together anymore and she says it feels like we are just room mates. Just an odd feeling... like I said, if you absolutely have to, then make sure you can get out of it. I will never make this mistake again.
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    IvanjamIvanjam Member Posts: 978 ■■■■□□□□□□
    @Gorby - try to get some sleep immediately prior to leaving for work in the evening.

    @gorebrush - that's one rough schedule you have there, man!
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    sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    Don't change your sleep schedule. Actually, you should try to wake up and go to bed at about the same time.
    I also recommend an app called SleepBot, it wakes you up when your body is actually ready to wake up. Works wonders. I used to need to sleep about 8 hours a day and now down to 6 or 7. Still drink coffee but whatever.
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    astrogeekastrogeek Member Posts: 251 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I did grave shifts for years and didn't realize how shitty it was until I got a somewhat decent shift. Keep in mind that statistically people who work these shifts are more prone to health issues due to the lack of sleep.
    • Go to JC Penny and buy some black out curtains to make your room completely dark during the day. Make sure your family knows when your sleeping hours are and not to bother you during that time.
    • Avoid energy drinks, they only make it harder to go to sleep when you need to.
    • Only use sleep aids when you need to, it's super easy to oversleep when you use these while working grave.
    Basically you have to almost become a vampire to deal with the schedule well. Sometimes you just gotta grunt it out until you can find a job with better hours, so keep looking for something else while you try to adapt.
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    PlantwizPlantwiz Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Eat healthy and exercise. Sleep when you get off, still leaves time for a family when you get to that point. 3rd is not for everyone but it can be a great shift...beats 2nd shift which blocks the whole day icon_sad.gif

    Sleep 8:30-3:30 still time to run errands and see the kids get home from school (when you have kids).
    3rd usually pays a premium plus has fewer supervisors.
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    paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've never worked nights so I found this thread interesting. Is light deprivation an issue? I'm curious if your employers provide accommodations with lighting for 2nd and 3rd shift workers.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Paul a large provider of Vitamin D is from sunlight. With out the proper amount of Vitamin D you body can't break down and absorb calcium. This is what led to rickets in children and studies are showing can link to other bone cancers and even prostrate cancer. In fact office workers in general can be effected by this as well. Just your arms being exposed for an hour can provide your body with a lot of Vitamin D. Bottom line the biggest factor to the lack of vitamin D is lack of daylight. (This is what my wife told me a few months ago ***Keep in mind its from memory so.........) I know there are other problems that can occur as well, I think some organ cancers can be caused by a lack of Vitamin D. Again if memory serves me correctly it prevents other vitamins and minerals from doing their job efficiently. HTH
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    ValsacarValsacar Member Posts: 336
    I did shifts for 4 years, and I loved working night shift (and that was with a family), but I always did have a delayed sleep cycle so I am more naturally awake at night. I do have a screwed up sleep cycle now (and by screwed up, I mean I have basically no cycle I can sleep any time now).

    Melatonin can help you adjust your sleep cycle if you have problems getting to sleep when you need to do so. There is also medication (provigil) that can be prescribed for shift worker sleep disorder, it was originally made for narcolepsy but does help with other sleep related issues.
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    The TechnomancerThe Technomancer Member Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Exercise in natural light. Exercise will help regulate your sleep cycle, and doing it outdoors in the sun will ensure you're getting your Vitamin D.
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