How long does it take to get used to third-shift?

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    I just started working third-shift as a CNA this week, and I was just wondering about how long it takes to adjust to working third-shift? Does anyone have any suggestions or helpful tips to make this transition a little easier? Thanks!

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  2. 13 Comments...

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    It is very un-natural for humans to work that shift. I dont think anyone ever gets used to it and I am pretty sure it always takes its toll....
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    give it a little time for the die-hard night-shifters to check in. i could never adapt, but i know a lot of folks who love it; there are also some good tips on when to eat, how to mask sound and light so you can sleep days, etc.
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    Die-hard-night-shifter checking in...

    There was no adjustment for me, because I have always been a night owl. When I have to work days (training classes, usually) it feels like a beating - especially because these are days that usually involve sitting all day in a classroom.

    I will say this - I JEALOUSLY GUARD MY SLEEP. Room darkening blinds, ear plugs, turn off your phone, etc.
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    The best part of overnight shift = no managers in sight, no families in sight lol
    Julie19 likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from mindlor
    The best part of overnight shift = no managers in sight, no families in sight lol
    You forgot the very best part - you know, how all the patients sleep all night...
  8. 1
    Quote from heidster
    I just started working third-shift as a CNA this week, and I was just wondering about how long it takes to adjust to working third-shift? Does anyone have any suggestions or helpful tips to make this transition a little easier? Thanks!
    I am a hard core nightshifter. Oh, it takes less time the younger you are, and if you are a natural "night person". I have always been a night person and have hated early mornings as long as I can remember.

    I would not advise flip-flopping your schedule on your days off unless you are in your 20s. Try to stay up as late as possible on your nights off - that is the key to success. I like to eat something light in the morning before bed, (like an English muffin), so I don't wake up because I am hungry while sleeping in the day. Try to eat something before going to work and snack as possible during your shift if lunch is impossible.

    Make it completely dark in your bedroom. Use aluminum foil if necessary. You want it as dark as a Las Vegas hotel room during the day! I sleep the best if the temp is around 70 and use a portable A/C vented through my window screen during hot weather. Where I live, I can't afford to make my whole house 70 degrees.

    Schedule sleep time for yourself on your work days. You have to care of yourself; put yourself first as top priority on your work days. Do not schedule anything other than sleep and work on work days, (or should I say nights?) Turn off landline and cell phone, turn off doorbell.

    If you are a natural night person it will take about a week to get used to. If you are a morning person...........this will take some work and could take a very long time. Some people just plain can't do it. I wish you good luck and cheerful nights at work with fun-loving coworkers.
    student forever likes this.
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    Quote from Do-over
    You forgot the very best part - you know, how all the patients sleep all night...
    HAHA well at least until 3am when its time for lab draws lol
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    The biggest thing is to keep your sleep schedule consistent! Don't try to sleep normal hours on your days off, or you'll always feel terrible.
  11. 0
    One night lol.
    If you keep yourself busy then it's not hard to adjust and stay awake. I sleep normal hours during the week and during weekends I sleep in the morning/early afternoon (when I'm working). I think part of it is that I'm a young college student and I sleep whenever and wherever I can.
    I personally love the third shift. It may be the easiest of all three shift but the biggest reason why I work the night shift is because no one bothers me. I do my own thing and I have my own routine. I even volunteer to take the hardest assignments (I'm on my feet the entire night!). Keep yourself busy!
    Good luck!


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