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I have done night shift for years. Its all about the magic 5….as in 5 hours. If I can get 5 consecutive hours of good sleep, You can function. I work at an 8 hour facility, so its 11-7:30, but i’ve been ok working double shifts on 5-6 hours sleep….

I usually sleep from 8am-2pm{more or less} and do my stuff after and before work….or I stay up after work and do errands until noon or 1pm and then crash until 8/9pm. Sometimes it gets broken up into several naps, those nap days are the worst sleep and worst days for getting things done.

Truthfully, you are always tired working night shift. Unless you have a freak biological clock, your body and life have spent over 20 years sleeping mostly at night, including your developmental years….it takes years and years of sleeping during sun-light hours to get your body and brain use to that kind of sleep change. I don’t know if I will ever get use to it, physically.

I do drink coffee & tea at work, I eat a full meal a few hours before work in the evenings, and I try to hit the gym after work in the A.M. I try to get outside every day and stay active, but it gets tough on this schedule. There are plenty of days I only work & sleep, especially if I work late.


the benefits of working night shifts greatly outweigh the cost of a tough sleep schedule.

Night shift people are. THE. BEST. They are a certain kind of breed, flexible by nature, and accommodating to others. The types of nurses, doctors, tech’s that work nights are fast paced, high energy, adaptable folks that don’t take any b.s from anyone. The word, Fierce, comes to mind. Night shift crews are tight knit, and highly safety conscious. We have to be, there is less staffing, more high risk behaviors and therefore a higher security risk…that applies to almost any department.

We also see Less kids, more drunks {-NJ, ER}…We have no or less administration in our faces/business then day shifts do, which gives us independence to work and opportunity to congeal/work together with collective genius of our team{coworkers}.
In my facility, as all of the local hospitals. we also get added shift differential of $2/hour for night shift….I make almost 4K/year more then the day shift nurses…..which means my time & a half pay is always worth it.
Once in a while, just once in a blue moon, the city spares us on night shift and we are actually slow!
I’ve literally had 2 days this calendar year so far, with an empty emergency room. Who has ever heard of such a thing?! It was a fun shift for deep cleaning, bonding with coworkers, and listening to the radio, lol.

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