Quote from NatalieGRN
I will be switching to 12 hr nights 3x/week (don't think I would be a ble to do 3 in a row. Possibly 2 on, 2 off, 1 on). I have 2 year old and a 7 year old. The reason I decided to go to nights was to be able to pick them up from school, do homework, attend activities. But I'm afraid I will be sleeping through it all. How do you do it? What is your work schedule and sleep schedule like? Any input will be greatly appreciated.
The first thing you need to do is make a sleep schedule for yourself. If you try to cut corners on your sleep, you automatically make yourself less efficient and more error prone. Everyone around you will suffer from your depression and bad temper. Also, people with a sleep deficit have a tendency toward excess snacking and that's practically guaranteed to pile on the extra weight.
Get an answering machine for your telephone, and let it pick up ALL calls for you. Nobody needs to think they can call you at any time of the day whenever it's convenient for them and ignore the fact that you might be asleep.
Decide on how many hours per week you can work, and learn to say, "NO," in a firm, no-nonsense tone of voice when asked to work more. You don't have to give any reasons. What part of "NO" is so difficult to understand if you don't give any clues that it might be translated as "Well, maybe..."?
Remember that you have to take care of yourself because nobody else will. It's YOUR life, YOUR health, and YOUR professional license that you are risking if you refuse to get enough sleep. Sleeping pills are NOT an answer for long-term use. If you simply can't adjust to working nights, switch back to days and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about your decision. The night shift is not for everyone, and you are the best judge of what you can safely handle.
Best wishes! Nights are a wonderful shift for those of us who thrive on it.