I agree with what the others said above. I am a new graduate working two months of nights and then coming back on days (I started as a CNA on days). If darn night shift didn't mess with my body/rhythm so much, I would stay on nights. My experience so far, is that you truly get time to spend with patients if they can't sleep, etc. I also would stay busy (updating report sheets, reading the patient's plans per the doctor), but it is not the dayshift busy, this made time go by too.
For sleeping rhythms- say I work Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. On Sunday I stay up a little later than usual (I usually go to bed with the chickens), sleep in-probably till 9 or so. Then I will take a two hour nap around 1 or so. And of course on Monday, I slept all day.