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Working nights and having a family

10 replies

bunned · 03/09/2020 13:59

I'm thinking of returning to work. The shifts available are 10pm - 8am Tuesday & Friday one week and Tuesday & Saturday the next. I have 2 children aged 12 & 17. My DH currently works from home but that could change.

How do people manage working nights? Sleep before and after? I'd like to hear your experiences. I'm trying to weigh everything up to see if it's worth it and the level of disruption.

OP posts:
XXX5 · 03/09/2020 14:11

What is your concern? I would be worried about trying to sleep on a weekend of you have DH and DC there making noise but if they can either keep sound to a minimum or go out for a few hours that is most ideal.

I worked nights (on maternity) and due back to them shortly. I would sleep normally the first night before the night shift (so Monday) then Tuesday afternoon try and have some sleep before starting work so maybe about 5-8 pm. Get up at 8 have dinner and go to work. Take healthy snacks and a peanut butter sandwich or similar for 4/5 am as that seems to be the worst time of the night shift where you just feel exhausted. Avoid caffeine to help sleep in the day. Get black out blinds or an eye mask and wear warm PJ's to bed. I always found I was so cold I'd sleep in a dressing gown. Sometimes music helps to distract the brain to get back to sleep.

As you're not working back to back night shifts I'd only sleep from when you get in (maybe have some cereal to help sleep) until about 1 pm latest so you're tired enough to go to bed that night.

Hope that makes sense. Night shifts sound awful but honestly they are ok. Also take vit.D Grin

Damnloginpopup · 03/09/2020 14:36

I work 9pm-8am, 4 nights a week usually unless i take a few extras. I get home by 830, set my alarm for 1030 and get up for a few hours. I then crash out again about 4 and set my alarm for 8pm. Basically, I get up for work and power nap after. Have been doing this for 8 years and it works okay for me. Others on my team go home, eat, then sleep as long as they can. I used to stay up and crash by 3 but feel like a zombie all day like that. The important thing is to make it a routine. Cardboard taped on the windows and black out curtains are vital as is the house being as quiet as possible. Turn your phone on silent too. A tassimo next to the bed is a great luxury too Grin

bunned · 03/09/2020 14:53

One of my concerns is feeling tired all the time. Will it affect to much of my life before and after a shift? Family time is precious and I thought by working nights and sleeping whilst they are at school I wouldn't miss out. But am I going to feel drained for days?

OP posts:
XXX5 · 03/09/2020 15:54

@bunned I never felt drained for days. That's why you need to sleep just for a short while when you get back so the first night you go to bed earlier and then back to normal.

WickedEmoji · 03/09/2020 19:01

I work 9pm to 7am 5 nights a week. Sleep when they are at school. For the days they aren't then a power nap straight after and then a couple.ofnhours before shift works well. The night before I start my run of shifts I have a quick nap beforehand.

WickedEmoji · 03/09/2020 19:02

Your split shifts would be an issue tho. I prefer a run.

1FootInTheRave · 03/09/2020 19:05

I like nights but sounds like you'll be working every weekend?

Wouldn't work for me.

1FootInTheRave · 03/09/2020 19:05

Amd split nights aren't ideal imo.

Darkestseasonofall · 03/09/2020 19:09

I personally hate nights, I feel sick during and for the day after.
The only way I ever managed them was to sleep 12 hours between, and do a long run rather than splits.
Working every weekend will be a bit shit.

Lunaballoon · 03/09/2020 19:37

I worked nights when my kids were roughly your age. It worked well as long as I got a solid block of sleep (minimum 6 hours, ideally up to 8.

Your hours are roughly the same as mine were. My kids were quite self sufficient at that age, so I’d come home, see them off to school, go to bed and get up around the time they came home from school and all have dinner together etc.

My DH was also quite good at making sure the house was quiet in the daytime if I was working weekends.

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