3 - 11 shift

Nurses General Nursing


Would really like to hear from those who work the 3 - 11 with regard to how you plan your days prior to going to work -

do you sleep until late morning?

do you do your errands?

do you get the kids off to school and are home for their lunch?

And, after work, do you find you can't get into bed and fall asleep until 2 in the morning, or do you crash as soon as you get home?

I just want to know how other people handle this schedule . . . I find it quite difficult and somewhat disorienting, and just wanted some tips on how others handle it.



14 Posts

Hello! Well, I'm single and don't have kids so my situation's easy. But I work a 4-12am shift (although they don't let us leave our unit until 12:30am) so I don't get home till 1am. I don't usually get to sleep till 3am and I usually sleep in (why the heck not!) Usually run my errands during the day before heading off to work. I love this shift because I am NOT a morning person (tend to run late for early morning activities), and no matter how early I get up, I am never quite ready to go to bed so I end up doing other stuff to kill time and don't usually get to bed till 1am earliest. I would prefer your 3-11pm over the 4pm-12:30am though!

I don't have any kids either, so that makes my schedule a little more flexible. I usually go to bed around 1am- I need to unwind for a bit after I get home from work. Sometimes I'll sleep in but if I need to run errands I'll just set my alarm to get up around 8 or 9... gives me plenty of time to run errands, go to the gym and then it's off to work. It just takes a little bit more prioritizing to get everything done when you work straight pm's.


206 Posts

I don't have little ones, mine are teenagers and my oldest is already out of the house, so that makes my job a little easier. I usually go to bed between 0230-0300. I wake up around 1000-1030. If I have an appt. I usually schedule it for around 1000 and get up a little early. My day is not scheduled, it just flows with whatever I need done.

It's not an easy shift, but I love it. I would be up those hours anyway and I don't have to get up early (which I hate). I hate alarm clocks.

Good luck with your work schedule. I hope you re-arrange it to suit you. :) There's nothing harder than going into work and not feeling like you've had enough rest.


126 Posts

well im a confirmed 3-11 shift person

i hate working any other shift,

I am not a morning person,

I will usually go to bed at about three or four in the am ...after coming home from work at 11....cleaning ...cooking for the family and checking email/doing business stuff on the puter....then up around tenish...run morning errands....come home fix llunch prepare for work


75 Posts

Another confirmed 3-11. Would not have it any other way.

Bed at six, up in time to get ready and off to work. Until six, eat,television, computer.

The early bird gets the worm, but I have never really cared for worms!

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Sleep whats that


4,516 Posts

3-11 was a decent shift when I was single. And after the kiddo came I worked it some and slept while he was in school, and had after school care for him til his Daddy came home.

When I was single, we would tend to go party after work...get home late..sleep in til whenever....it's a good party shift when you're young..LOL! It was tough on family life, though, so I moved to deep nights to have evenings with spouse and kiddos.

If you're having trouble getting to sleep, a warm bath, glass of red wine helped. And sometimes a Benedryl IF I can get 8-9 hrs of good sleep...otherwise I'm groggy when I wake. :)

Good luck...shift work can be a difficult adjustment.


5 Posts

i love 3-11 shift. i usually get out of work around 12 or so, then drive the hour home, and am up until about 2 am most nights.

i have an 11 month old and a 2 year old so i don't deal with school yet, but they have me up around 6 am or so. i usually run errands on my day off, unless it's grocery shopping, which i do after work. i shop for everything online, and once i get home, i am usually up on the computer checking email, etc.

sleep? what's sleep? i also am in school part time for my bsn, so my days are pretty packed!

Specializes in Telemetry, Case Management.

I work both shifts, my hubby doesn't like for me to work 2nds, but I love it! I also work days, can't do nights, no sleep for me if I do.

BUT..... seconds I work til eleven fifteen. Leave work, drive an hour home, I live in a different time zone, so get home at eleven fifteen (isn't that confusing!). Stay up for an hour or so, eat some taco bell, cruise the computer, take a shower.

Get up at seven with hubby, crash back out after he leaves, sleep til ten, do a few around the house errands, plan my out of the house errands to be done on the way through town. Eat a leisurely lunch, leave at twelve forty five and drive an hour getting there at two forty five =remember the time zone thing- and do it all over again.

My kids are all big and so if they need me they page me.


113 Posts

i think i am weird.....by first grade my kids were able to get themselves up (cool alarm clocks). eat (cereal and milk, no cooking or knives allowed), and out without me .....of course we carpooled.....so, i get home about 12, have a set routine, hot shower, warm milk, read in bed, when drowsy sleep....1 or so. i even grocery shop on the way to work, use a cooler with ice, but no frozen food on these trips. only work this shift if it is YOUR cicadia rhythm.......it is mine. being to work by 7 am makes me feel urpy, no kidding. best of luck finding a shift that works for you, i wish i could work noon to eight pm, can't.....


131 Posts

3-11 is great if you have no kids and dont participate in groups thst meet in the evenings. My husband worked 2-10 and I worked 3-11 for the first 4 years we were married. Once I got pregnant, I looked for a Lamaze group in the AM....I was shocked that there werent any!!! ALL met in the eves. Couldnt possibly switch shifts for that many weeks of class, so I kept searching till I found a Sat AM class a good bit out of the way for me, but at least we could go to all the classes.

Once theres kids, 3-11 is tricky. Theres no evening child care centers, so you gotta decide who switches jobs to cover for the kid. All school events like open house are scheduled for evenings, and so are sports events, generally. I switched to part time so I can actually participate in my kids school stuff.

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