the affect of night shifts on me.

(47 Posts)

1. Zits
2. Bowel more irritable than normal.
3. Dry skin.
4. Sore bleedy gums
5. TMJ flare up
6. Snappy
7. Tired
8. Tired
9. Tired
10. Tired

11. Shocking grammar.

SeasonallySnowyPeasant Thu 06-Dec-12 19:01:44

YABU

scurryfunge Thu 06-Dec-12 19:01:58

Agree. Night shifts are not good for your health ( but it was always my favourite shift).

LightHousekeeping Thu 06-Dec-12 19:03:46

They are a necessary evil if that's the line of work you are in. I think they are useful at certain points in your life. Are they new to you?

Nah. Always done some. Always hated them. Beyond evil.

Floralnomad Thu 06-Dec-12 19:08:17

I've done nights since 1988 albeit part time . I love going to bed during the day!

How can I make it easier. I°m so tired I could cry. Need to leave again in 45 mins.

SantaWearsBlueSuedeStilettos Thu 06-Dec-12 19:15:55

I get the zits and dry skin. It's a nightmare cos my nights are 2 days out of every 10 so it never fully goes until I have some time off! sad

ENormaSnob Thu 06-Dec-12 19:21:47

I feel the same about day shifts tbh.

Especially earlies.

ledkr Thu 06-Dec-12 19:22:21

I became quite ill on nights. Looking back I think I may have suffered a breakdown!
My gp signed me off for a bit then occupational health reduced my nights.
I could never go back to them now.

McChristmasPants2012 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:26:58

i feel sorry for my husband, he does 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm and 10pm-6am a week of each.

nights are the worse, i did them before DC and vowed only if we was in dire need i would do it again

Fivemoreminutesmummy Thu 06-Dec-12 19:28:17

YANBU. I hate them, dread them for far too long in advance, feel ill through the night and can't sleep in the day. Uurgh!

scurryfunge Thu 06-Dec-12 19:28:55

I found night shifts easier if I stayed up on returning home, instead of going to bed straight away. Have some proper down time before going to bed. On night shifts it is easy to eat crap food, so proper meal plans are advisable.
Quality sleep is best. Do you get disturbed during the day? Do you get up earlier than you should? My night shift sleep was usually about 4/5 hours when normally 7 would be ideal.

GlaikingAroundTheChristmasTree Thu 06-Dec-12 19:32:04

Get a SAD lamp, you know one of those sunshine substitutes. Put it on your desk (assuming y have one) really helped me when I did might shifts. Control room operator for the police, so I was at my desk the whole shift. I appreciate if you are a nurse this won't work.

headfairy Thu 06-Dec-12 19:35:18

McChristmasPants, is your dh a copper?

I hate nights too... In winter I pretty much never see daylight, in summer I can't sleep during the day because it's too warm/people are out and about making too much noise/I resent being indoors if it's sunny.

The only upside is that when I finish on Friday morning I know I'm going home to bed while everyone else looking miserable on the tube is off to work for one more day.

Still hate them though. I get fat on nights because I comfort eat like a biatch.

FutTheShuckUp Thu 06-Dec-12 19:35:34

Hated them. Made my IBS ten times worse, id always vomit from 5am onwards, cry all day on my last shift and become a general irrational snap dragon.
Luckily ive just started a 9-5 job and it suits me so much more!

hugoagogo Thu 06-Dec-12 19:37:35

Oh god night shifts- I lost so much weight and got a chest infection when I dabbled in them. Never again. although losing weight sounds good

You have my pity.

I don't miss nights. I thought I'd have to one tonight when I couldn't cover the shift but managed it at the last minute.
I'll probably kiss the nurse in the morning.
I can understand your pain.

Shesparkles Thu 06-Dec-12 19:40:36

Mcchristmas pants, I used to do these shifts too. But we did 7 nights, 7 lates and 7 earlies and it was hell on earth!
We now do 3x2 and it's sooo much better. I love my nightshifts, but having just been off for about 10 weeks following surgery, it's the healthiest I've felt for a very long time, 8 hours sleep a night every night. I didn't realise how much the shifts take out of me until I had an extended break from them.

Zits and digestive problems are my worst symptoms- I get horrendously painful wind at about 4 am when I'm on nights-it's agony!

McChristmasPants2012 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:40:47

no, he is a warehouse supervisor.

SantasLittleControlGeek Thu 06-Dec-12 19:42:14

How long are your shifts? Are they varied with day shifts or can you get into a routine with them? Are you alone on your night shifts? Can you vary them with periods of time when you can break routine?

DP used to do variable shifts, 3 x 7am - 7pm days, 3 x 7pm - 7am nights and 3 days off. Ultimately it gave him diabetes but he did have the freedom (eventually, when the night shifts were cut down from 2 to 1 staff) to do periodic physical workouts, reading, internet. Food wise, cook when you can (proper food), freeze it and make it easy for yourself to have healthy reheats. Sorry you are feeling so shit sad

Allegrogirl Thu 06-Dec-12 19:44:31

YANBU. DH is an ex nurse and used to do 7 nights of 12 hours plus breaks, so about 14 hours) in a row. He was hell to live with. One of the many reasons he is now an ex nurse.

CrunchyCowPat Thu 06-Dec-12 19:48:14

You have my complete and utter sympathy Taggie. How many nights are you doing? I start nights tomorrow though I'm only doing two <thankfully> but I'm dreading them.
I experience nausea, constipation and awful, awful mood swings. During the day I use earplugs, an eye mask and a fan to block out any sunlight/noises.
Hope your nights pass swiftly.

Gooeyhead Thu 06-Dec-12 19:48:40

I know they can make you feel like shit but how good is that feeling of getting home from work and getting into bed when everyone else is on their way to work, especially when it's raining!! Oh and it's even better when it's a Monday morning! Love that feeling!!

hattifattner Thu 06-Dec-12 19:53:24

Id agree that its important to have some downtime when you get in at night....eat a proper meal (my mum used to plate up an extra dinner) then TV for an hour or two before bed. In fact, eating properly is very important because its easy to slip into a sugar/carb/coffee spiral on nights. Thats gonna make you feel like crap. So id eat my cereal and smoothie when I got up at lunchtime, salads and sarnies before I left and proper dinner when I came home at 3/4am.

Lots of water through the shift (avoid the coffee) and make sure you get some sunshine/natural light during the day. ALso try and fit in some exercise before your next shift - even a 30 min brisk stroll will make you feel better.

I hated night shifts (10.45 pm till 7.45 am, 1.5 hour commute each way, too) - they made me feel nauseous (usually at around 4 am) and daytime sleep was never very good. We did one week and one weekend of nights every 6 weeks, I think (this is going back a few years), with various late, early, and other shifts the rest of the time. There never seemed to be enough time to adjust. I did my best to act as though early mornings were my evenings (got a few odd looks having a swift whiskey and coke on the train at 8.30 am!), but it never really worked.

So glad that's all in the past now, and feel sorry for those of you who are doing nights and hating them!

TheWalkingDead Thu 06-Dec-12 19:56:08

My DH is on permanent night shifts in his job, from 8pm until 6am five nights a week. He really a struggled at first, but got earplugs and an eye mask and actually quite likes them now. Only thing is we don't get 2 whole days together as he sleeps for a few hours on a Saturday after his last shift of the week and Monday afternoons in preparation for the first shift.

He has found that he gets more time with the children as well, as he sees them a lot more during the week before he goes to sleep and when he wakes up before they go to bed. Hope it all works out for you though OP!

TheWalkingDead Thu 06-Dec-12 20:00:46

Oh and eat well and drink plenty and take a vitamin D supplement. And try to have a period of winding down before sleeping.

scurryfunge Thu 06-Dec-12 20:05:14

Hattifattner, yes, I forgot about the importance of excercise. When I used to do 7 nights in a row, my shift would go for a swim afterwards together or play tennis( we all joined the same gym). It makes you feel good and gives you a better quality sleep. Although I admit we did tend to ruin it on the last night by having a drink then going for a fry up!

headfairy Thu 06-Dec-12 20:07:01

McChristmasPants Oh, it's just those hours are very similar to police shifts.

lyndie Thu 06-Dec-12 20:17:43

I used to do a week of 13 hour nights every 8 weeks or so and it was awful. Good advice above - try not to eat junk food if possible, loads of water and then limit fluids after 6am (or whatever) so you don't need the loo too much. SAD lamp and vitamin supplements help. Are you sleeping enough during the day? I used an eye mask and ear plugs. In latter years I found it very hard to sleep during the day and had to take sleeping tablets which I didn't like but at least I got a decent 6 or 7 hours. During my week of nights I didn't do anything else (because DH is ace!) and basically worked and slept and it was good knowing I didn't have any domestic responsibilities during that week.

I haven't done a nightshift in over 3 years (unless you count being up feeding babies!) despite them being so lucrative they were just too disruptive.

I hope your night is ok OP. The only nice thing about nights is in the morning coming home knowing you're heading back to your cosy bed when everyone else is trudging into work through the rain!

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 06-Dec-12 20:32:05

Oh, yes. Nothing beats the feeling of going to bed after a night shift...

WelshMaenad Thu 06-Dec-12 20:39:17

I don't really mind nights, but I only do two a week. Berocca is the way forward. Lots and lots of Berocca.

Aboutlastnight Thu 06-Dec-12 20:39:28

The thought of nightshift is always worse than the reality.

That said I started nights a year ago and six months in, had whooping cough, was then put on a disciplinary pathway for having 8 days sick. Ended up doing nights when not recovered. Now have asthma and a new year appt with the respiratory clinic.

And yes I work for the NHS grin

ghoulelocks Thu 06-Dec-12 20:42:40

As a student I worked horrible shifts for Tesco around university, still etched on my brain.
Mon-5am til noon
tues-8pm-3am
thurs-5am-noon
fri-6pm midnight
satpm 12-10
sun 10-4

I got a 2:1 amazingly!

ChestyNutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Thu 06-Dec-12 20:44:51

Oh YADNBU

Evil, evil things

Sling in a few panick attacks and anxiety to night shift symptoms here.

The nausea, the abdo pains from wind, the awful skin, the minutes of sleep I manage during the day.

So glad my nights are few and far between now!

LightHousekeeping Thu 06-Dec-12 21:58:44

Look, when the weather is this cold isn't it like heaven slipping into bed when everyone else is shivering at the bus stop? I finish in the morning and nothing beats that feeling of coming off nights for two weeks.

I second getting quality ready meals in and taking fruit to work even though I've just spent £3 in the chocolate machine and plenty of water

UterusUterusGhaLaLaLaLaLi Thu 06-Dec-12 22:09:17

Yes to all of the above.

I don't mind them. I only ever do two on a row, nut I can't sleep in between because of the children!

I'm dreading not being able to sleep until Sunday.
:-(

UterusUterusGhaLaLaLaLaLi Thu 06-Dec-12 22:10:37

Also, has anyone felt themselves nodding off on the way home? I drive with all the windows down now. I must look like a loon in this weather.

ChestyNutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Thu 06-Dec-12 22:57:04

Me too uterus windows both down, radio on loud!
Sometimes think "how did I get here" hmm

I'm home.

Shocking wind. No break.
back again tonight.

hugoagogo Fri 07-Dec-12 14:04:49

Yes, be very careful if you are driving home after a night shift; someone I was at school with, crashed his car and died after his first ever night shift. He was only 18 sad

CominThroughTheWry Fri 07-Dec-12 14:41:47

I work a 12 hour night shift (3 or 4 a week) with a 1.5 hour commute each way. I have to take the bus because I struggle to stay awake sometimes and I would hate to be the cause of an accident.

I use the commute as my pre work relaxation/down time. I listen to lively stuff on the way in and usually classical on way home. My lovely kindle keeps me company and allows me to switch off a bit.

I agree with the proper meal thing, I started off eating tea with everyone else before I left for my shift, but found this made me sluggish. So I have a proper breakfast, bran flakes have solved my regularity problems followed by wholemeal toast and poached egg/tomatoes.

Sandwich and soup for lunch around 2am then a proper tea when I get in. I try to prepare something the day before so I don't have to faff, an amble round the park with the dogs and I'm ready for bed.

I have an autoimmune condition, sunlight can make my skin worse so night shifts are better for me. My skin has improved and I have lost about a stone and a half in a year or so. The major problem? Friends thinking because I am at home during the day they can just "pop round" or phone. They can't seem to grasp that that is my night time. I text them all my rotas but it doesn't make a blind bit of difference. smile a teeny bit of me is itching to phone them at 3am but I am a wimp

Have a good shift tonight Taggie, I'm on tonight too!

CominThroughTheWry Fri 07-Dec-12 14:49:58

Premature posting fail. Heading back to bed for a bit, only up because the postie had a parcel for next door. I love our postie but I have explained (very nicely) quite a few times that I work nights..

I don't even like my neighbours. Perhaps I am grumpier after all.... blush

CrunchyCowPat Fri 07-Dec-12 18:37:07

Also working tonight - only doing two nights though. hugo - sorry about your friend.
Taggie Is this your last one?

This thread has come at a good time because I go permanent nights starting Monday. I will work 7 nights on and then have 7 off and after every 3rd nightshift I get 2 weeks off. I've always recovered quickly after a weeks nightshift when I was only doing them every few months so I hope that continues.

The only thing that scares me is the health implications but this thread has been great for tips. And yes, I love going to bed when everyone else is working!

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