the affect of night shifts on me.(47 Posts)
2. Bowel more irritable than normal.
3. Dry skin.
4. Sore bleedy gums
5. TMJ flare up
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!
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!
Oh and eat well and drink plenty and take a vitamin D supplement. And try to have a period of winding down before sleeping.
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!
McChristmasPants Oh, it's just those hours are very similar to police shifts.
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!
Oh, yes. Nothing beats the feeling of going to bed after a night shift...
I don't really mind nights, but I only do two a week. Berocca is the way forward. Lots and lots of Berocca.
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
As a student I worked horrible shifts for Tesco around university, still etched on my brain.
Mon-5am til noon
I got a 2:1 amazingly!
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!
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
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.
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.
Me too uterus windows both down, radio on loud!
Sometimes think "how did I get here"
Shocking wind. No break.
back again tonight.
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
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.
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!
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....
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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