I worked about 25 years of night shift before I switched to my current job (school nurse.) I totally sympathize. I had to be very diligent about my sleep hygiene.
*JOB ONE-- Protect your sleep! Do not do housework when you get home. Keep the TV off and don't check email. Nothing that stimulates your mind. Get a boring book to read if you need to. This is not the time to read an exciting mystery!
* Disconnect your door bell and cut off your phones. Friends, family, and telemarketers have no mercy on a night shifter--they simply don't get it.
* Hang room-darkening shades, turn down the heat/AC, wear a sleep mask and ear plugs.
*Turn on a fan.
*If you wake up to use the bathroom keep your eyes closed and go back to bed immediately. Even if you don't feel sleepy, force yourself to lay back down with eyes closed.
*As a last resort, consider Tylenol PM, benedryl or melatonin. I have a child with autism that absolutely benefits from melatonin. Otherwise he doesn't go to sleep until nearly morning. Melatonin doesn't usually make you hungover like Benedryl might. On days off, try to sleep in and do your errands in the late afternoon.
You really have to train your body to accept this night shift schedule. I was like you, so sleepy by the time I got home I HAD to go straight to bed. I never scheduled appointments in the morning or early afternoon. If you have kids, get yourself a cheap cell phone
and give the number ONLY to school, so they can get in touch with you. Or have someone else be in charge of that. My DH was the first person to call and he dealt with many minor calls.