Today Was My First Graveyard Shift

I don't think I am going to like it very much.

The job is incredibly easy, I just bring food to poker players who are too lazy to get it themselves, and they tip me like crazy. But the hours are going to kill me because not only is it late, but the work is slow paced so time crawls even slower.

I did make the mistake of drinking a Red Bull about 2 hours before I got off of work, so now I am wired and can't seem to fall asleep. And the sun, I hate it. I never thought I could hate the sun, but I do. Passionately.

How do you sleep normally when working the graveyard shift? Block out the light and force yourself to sleep, even if you don't feel tired?

dev0cean dev0cean
22-25, F
2 Responses Mar 11, 2010

You can get used to it, but to do so requires you to keep the same schedule 7 days/wk. It'll take about a week if you don't also try and stay up during the day.

I used to work the night shift 10 PM - 6:30 AM at Wal-Mart, and I'm about to start another graveyard shift at another store next week. You need really heavy curtains, called blackout curtains, and taping aluminum foil over the windows helps a lot, too.

What are your hours?

Some tips:
* #1 Sleep is king! Tell people you need to sleep during the day and to try not to disturb you between such and such hours (8-10 hours when you're sleeping, say 8 AM-6 PM)
*wear sunglasses as you go home from work. Sun exposure in the morning will really mess with your sleep.
*Don't eat very much after work if you can help it, eat a light meal and go to bed as soon as you reasonably can. Schedule the things you need to do outside of work, and do them in the late afternoon/evening before work rather than in the morning after work.
* blackout curtains, and/or Al foil over the windows.
* don't adjust your schedule too much (ideally not at all, but it will be unavoidable sometimes) on your nights off.
* get a good hobby you can do by yourself on your nights off.
* Don't lose contact with your family and current friends. Make sure to still spend time with them, so schedule some evenings to hang out but not the morning (or for godssake not the early afternoon if you can at all avoid it :) ). A 6 or 7 AM breakfast is okay if they're willing, but not much later than that if you get off around, say 6 or 7. Don't forget the sunglasses if you do that.
* Turn off your phone when you're sleeping. If you have a smart phone you can download an app that will send all calls to voicemail except for specific numbers if you need to answer it for specific people. I'm going to try one called "Nights Keeper" when I start work next week.
* You should probably take a Vitamin D supplement since you won't be getting much sun. If you want sun, get it after you wake up before it sets rather than in the morning.
* Avoid caffeine after your lunch (which I'm guessing is around 2 AM?) If you get super sleepy, try drinking water instead. You may be surprised just how effective plain water is to perk you up.
* Keep eating right. Most food available at 2 AM is crap, so you might need to pack your lunches to keep from eating junk food all the time. This will also help a lot with energy levels.

Best of luck to you! I hope you enjoy working nights. It's usually MUCH quiter than the days, and if you do it right and always get enough sleep, it can be a rewarding experience.

Oh crap, I just realized this thread is nearly 4 years old. I won't delete the comment just in case anyone else stumbles on it, but now I feel silly.

You W I L L get used to it!!