I don't hold any type of schedule really-need based. I am married- but my wife already works a different shift than me. So to spend time with her, I just have to wait on a weekend. I agree on doing the 3 shifts together, that's what I would do.
Just tips that helped me.
-Tin Foil for widows, help "Black-Out" your room for that "night" feeling.
-I actually "Lost" weight after I went to nights, varies person-to-person, I only wanted 1 meal a day (more on weekends).
-Dim lights about 1 hour before you get ready for bed (you will be sooooo sleepy after end of shift at work, but when you get home after drive home this time of the year, your eyes pop "WIDE OPEN." That helps me alot to start dimming, and creating a serene mood.
-I have to turn off home phone, and if they have an EMERGENCY, they can call my cell.
-If you have indigestion, It will be worse now.
-I started Pepcid OTC for that
-I used "Herbal" med for circadian rhythm help at first, but it did make me sleepy at work first few days.
-Naps just make me feel worse, if I have been up, and I only have time for a 3 hour or less nap, I don't sleep. I will feel terrible and "foggy" all night long.
Good Luck, Once I became Nocturnal, I wouldn't trade it for days for anything. Less traffic, Less people at grocery store, love the AM (its so quiet, and refreshing), less stress, and less Administrative Tension during your shift!