Quote from stretch thin
Need advise. I'm having trouble turning my nights and days around. Translation I work nights. Usually 3 in a row and we work 12 hour shifts. My problem is that I have teenagers and a husband that are day people.(NORMAL PEOPLE) When I get off my third shift, I'm dead. I work in the ER and many times you don't sit down for the whole shift. I want to beable to see my family, but I'm so use to my day sleeping and night working that I can't seem to switch. I can't afford to go to days and don't want to. So whats the answer? Any advise I would appreciate it. Thanks.
I've working nights on a busy cardiac care unit, since 2001. I started off doing 12 hour shifts, but hated them. Fortunately my Nurse Manager allowed me to return to 8 hour shifts, and gave me a wonderful schedule. (work Sunday - Thursday). Having two nights off in a row has helped a great deal. I usually stay awake all day on Friday, enjoy my family, work around the house, etc. then go to bed that evening around 11pm. (sometimes I take a brief nap Friday morning when I get home, depending on what I have to do that day).
As far as sleeping, working, and trying to balance the family life, well there is no easy answer. You have to find what works for you. Your spouse and children have to adjust themselves to the fact that you, for 3 days out of the week, are just "unavailable" for most things.(they can cook the meals, and make other arrangements for rides, etc).
My sleepiing pattern has taken me some time to develop, but works well for me. My shift ends at 0730. I come home, eat B'fast(very important), then run errands, do yard work, and hit the gym. (I think that excersise is important too, helps reduce the stress levels). After all of this, I usually go to bed around 1230 -1300, and sleep until 2000. The trick that worked for me, to avoid that perpetual "tired feeling" that us night workers have, is to get uninterupted sleep. Good luck...