Working nights / shifts

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  • Working nights / shifts
  • Premier Icon woody2000

    Any tips on how to not end up like a walking zombie

    Given that this is a one off, I don’t think you’ll be able to do anything about tiredness TBH. Though looking at the pattern, it’s not too bad really, week 2 & 3 are fine. For the night shifts, just write the weeks off and sleep as much as you can.

    I did 3 on/3 off nights for 6 years or so, I don’t think you ever really get used to it. Took me 2 years to get sleep patterns back to anything like normal.

    Premier Icon GrahamS

    Just met the Mrs for my breakfast / her dinner this morning as she finished her night shift.

    (Proper NHS night shifts: a week of 9pm till 10:30am)

    She tackles it by basically treating it as a different time zone. You still need the same amount of sleep and the same calories, so just shift “timezone” to match the shift (i.e. if you usually start work 2 hours after you wake up then try to do the same on nights).


    as it’s only week ‘1s’ that’ll knacker you, the other are near enough normal times, I’d make sure I did normal sleep when I can and the best you can during week 1s (*IMHO sleeping patterns are had to break)

    do make sure you have blackout curtains and are in a quiet hotel room, I found that the further into the week I was I slept longer as I was more tired, however I could just about do first two with only catnaps

    don’t plan anything other than sleeping for the nightish period after your shift week 1 finishes….

    oh, edit, alcohol induced sleep is generally of very little use.

    Premier Icon domino

    I am temporarily (4 weeks) going to be working shifts with work in the next 4 weeks, have never done this before.
    Shifts will be
    Week 1 – 0000 – 0800
    Week 2 – 0800 – 1700
    Week 3 – 1600 – 0000
    Week 4 – 0000 – 0800

    Will only have a day off each week to prepare for my next shift pattern. Any tips on how to not end up like a walking zombie for a month, would quite like to use it as an oppotunity to ride my road bike as I’ll be away from home and staying in a hotel (luckily in a nice part of the country!).


    I’ve worked shifts for over 20 years. I find, if you can wangle a system, that commuting is easier, and week days off are great for vacant trails. It’s all about finding a routine that suits. IMHO.


    I used to find when I was on nights it was best not go out in bright sunlight as it would reset my body clock.

    And make sure the hotel know when you’re on nights so no cleaners disturb you.


    Week 3 – Come home, go to bed, get up in time for breakfast and ride your bike all day.
    DO NOT – come home, have a beer to relax, turn on a movie to chill out, get another beer from the fridge, turn on the games console, go to bed at 4am, sleep in, miss breakfast and not have time to ride before you start again!

    Premier Icon domino

    @trb – precisely my plan for week 3.

    Some good tips – definately need to let the hotel know I am working nights, a friend told me about a colleague who was staying in a hotel and working nights, the hotel packed her bags and asked her to leave as they suspected her nocturnal activities were not her normal line of IT work 😛

    Once I’m done at the Dyfi Enduro I shall try to adjust my bedtime to be later on Monday, Tuesday night til I start nights on Wednesday.


    I used to really hate a shift pattern like week 3 – we did 3-11 and called it back shift – seemed to spend all day waiting to go to work

    Premier Icon Flaperon

    Take ear plugs, hotel corridors are noisy places during the day. Cleaners might leave you alone but it won’t stop them vacuuming outside your door. Ask for a quiet room on the top floor in the corner.


    After 30 years of shift work I still can’t stand having to work Monday to Friday. I’m currently doing a couple of weeks on days 07:30 to 15:30 and I can’t wait to get back on shift.

    Jota180 are you talking about 1500-2300? if so that’s the best shift there is out there! Get all morning to do stuff, go to work, home bed, up normally time all day LOVE IT! it’s hard to recommend verything as everyone is different with shifts, I presume you finish at 0800 going into a RD (rest day)? I go to bed, get up at 1200 and struggle through, others I know try to fight it all day going to bed slightly early I can’t do taht. If it’s only for 4 weeks you’re worrying too much 😉


    Jota180 are you talking about 1500-2300?

    yup – really hated it


    An eight hour night should be an absolute doddle. In fact 8hr anything would be. I find night shift is really tough when doing 10 or 12hr shifts, but with 8 you should get plenty of rest and still have free time. Blackout blinds and noise free environment are vital for good sleep though. Turn that phone to silent!


    +1 earplugs and getting a room in a quiet corner

    I would also maybe take a DVD or media player that can hopefully be plugged into the room telly to make sure you have something good to watch rather than daytime tv.

    Also take some teabags/coffee and some snacks that can be made using hot water from the kettle. I like the Quaker Oat So Simple pots.



    I hate nights.

    Top tips; the half life of caffeine is about 4 hours; don’t drink any caffeine containing drinks less than 6 hours before you will sleep.

    Use ear plugs.

    Use the darkest black out curtains you can find.

    Use sunglasses to drive home with.

    Be bloody careful driving home; the closest I’ve come to proper full speed crashes in the car have been on the way home from nights.

    Eat little and often, but don’t have take aways or big stodgy meals.

    When you wake up, stay in bed and try to sleep more.

    After nights, expect at least 3 days of feeling like rubbish.


    Piece of cake for 4 weeks, you’ll be a bit tired but you’ll cope.

    I did 8 yrs of 12hr nights, i didn’t realise how f@cked up i was till i finished 3 yrs ago, never again..

    EDIT: I used to sleep with ear plugs, dirt cheap off EBAY


    Night shifts suck, I’ve done 10 years and have another 15 to go, really fook with your circadian rhythms, I need to find a day job. Shift work not involving nights has its appeal though.


    Been doing shifts for 16 years now.

    I have found it has got harder not easier.

    14.30 – 22.30 is best for morning rides/ tinkering (and catching up on some sleep )but for wife and family it is the worse; My wife has to do everything and I spend pretty much all week without seeing them


    Different people have prefer different sleep patterns with nights. I like to come home and go straight to sleep and have some time before going back, but my dad likes to come home have a few hours up and then go to bed. The way I do it allows for extra sleep time if disturbed during the day.
    I wouldn’t want to work nights relying on getting sleep in a hotel.

    I’ve worked shifts for over 20 years. I find, if you can wangle a system, that commuting is easier, and week days off are great for vacant trails. It’s all about finding a routine that suits. IMHO

    Yip, shifts are great. I’ve been on this shift pattern for 14 years now, and I get loads of riding time in. I work a week of nights, sun-thurs, a week of backs, mon-fri, a week of earlies, mon-sun, and then get a full week off til the next sunday night shift.

    So I only work one weekend extra every four weeks and get a week off every four. It’s great. Only time I hanker for a dayshift job is a sunday nightshift, or a friday backshift, but it soon passes!.


    Week 1 – 0000 – 0800
    Week 2 – 0800 – 1700
    Week 3 – 1600 – 0000
    Week 4 – 0000 – 0800

    Of those the only set I’d hate would be week 2! Going from week 1 to week 2 will be grim but the rest are ok.

    OP you’ll find what’s best for you when sleeping after nights. I like to sleep twice – yesterday I slept nine ’til two and then half three ’til half six. I always wake up starving at roughly lunchtime so that’s when I have breakfast…

    Love shifts 8)

    I do 10 day shifts and 4 night shifts a month (12 hours) 7-7
    would never go back to monday friday…

    sat here now on nights catching up on the IPLAYER. Just me on my own monitoring 7000 cisco routers all over the world ➡


    I work shifts, I do 2 days then 2 nights, all 12.25 hrs from 0645-0700 & 1845-1900

    This suits me fine yes I work some weekends as its a rolling shift pattern but the time off is great


    Just done 2 months of nights. 14 hour shifts. Hate them.

    Got over it by a couple of weeks in Thailand with the missus.

    Working 19.30 – 07.30 tonight.

    I’ve been doing regular bursts of night shifts for the past 4 years. It’s bizarre how quickly your body becomes accustomed to it. My biggest tip would be try not to eat any hot food during the night shift, that used to give me horrendous indigestion.

    fortunately not had to work nights since i was 21 in the local shipyard some 20+ years ago.As been mentioned its the hanging round to go in that made them awful.Always more laid back than day shift. Unbelievable thing from those days was that one bloke did 7 weeks of 12 hour nights without a day off and was even chuffed to bits that the clocks went back and he got a 13 hour shift one night!! There were guys there that had worked 45 weekends in the year, firm introduced 2 weekends on run maximum, some of the guys were devastated!!! Talk about not having a life outside work.

    Work permanent night 2000 – 0800 in a Nursing Home, really wouldn’t go back to days ever. I do three 12 hour shifts for two weeks and four the other two weeks.

    Its fine really although i do feel run down and demotivated for rides some days. One thing that does piss me off is having one night in and one night off and then back in.

    Premier Icon seadog101

    @Crikey – Agreed, it’s the caff’ that will kill you.

    I work offshore rigs
    3 weeks on 0600-1800,
    3 weeks home
    3 weeks on 1800-0600
    3 weeks home….. ad infinitum.

    Any caffiene during the last six hour of the shift means NO sleep. And the first couple of days at home always see me sleep on the sofa at 1800, not matter what shift I’ve just come off!

    Premier Icon althepal

    I do a seven on/seven off on constant nights. Half seven till seven am. I have blackout curtains and the wife’s good at going out with my young son during the day when I’m sleeping..
    I use a sleep mask but no ear plugs, I find I can get to sleep pretty easily as long as I haven’t had tea or coffee in the last couple hours of the shift. Just sleep much better with the mask on, got used to wearing it pretty quickly.
    On my last day I sleep for a few hours and force myself to get up. Zombied all day after but means I can go to bed at a normal time and sleep ok that night.


    I used to work nights random days thru out the week 9.45pm – 7.30am I was told my shifts 2 weeks in advance could prepare. My advice would be wk1 try get a couple 2-3 hrs sleep before first shift 6pm till 9pm then do work, DO NOT have coffee, energy drink, pro plus after 3.30am it will screw you up adding to the zombie syndrome. When home, again no tea or coffee, eat light, shower and get your bedroom as dark as you can try and sleep your 8 hrs. Wk 2 and 3 normal weeks enjoy a lie in on wk 3 then wk for as above.

    TBH as you have never done this before I think you prob won’t be able to avoid zombie syndrome.

    On a side note I used to love working them some weeks I could do sun mon tues then not go back till the week after and do thurs fri and sat, brilliant week off.

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