OT: Graveyard shift tips?

I am starting a job at a hotel tonight, working the front desk, a bit of cleaning, and answering the phone. It’s 3 nights a week, 11pm to 7am.

I was wanting to get some tips for the transitioning from folks who have done it before. I’m really looking forward to it, as it will pay off student loans alot faster and I will have knitting time, too.

Any ideas?

I work nights, and the most important thing is getting sleep during the day. I get at least six to eight hours every day, and I don’t have a problem, but it’s important to make sure that you have a good environment for sleep. Take the phone out of the bedroom, have dark curtains, have a bedtime routine that you follow, have a white-noise creator like a fan or some music to drown out any ambient noises from the outside (traffic, pedestrians, etc). Taking a mild sleep aid like benadryl or simply sleep is okay once in a while, but you don’t want to make a habit out of it. Also, sleeping with drugs isn’t as restful as regular sleep.

During your shift, don’t overdo it on the caffeine, and I’d stop the caffeine after about 5am or so (that’s usually when I switch to decaf) to make sure that you don’t have caffeine keeping you awake. If you want to knit, have a non-hypnotic project to work on, ie not just stockinette, to keep you awake. Also have other things to do that require the use of your mind, just in case you find yourself with time on your hands and nothing to do.

But don’t expect to just be doing nothing, Night Shifts can be busier than Day shifts in some places (like in hospitals, where I work). Welcome to the dark side! I love working nights and I hope you do too!


I just came back to days after a year of midnights. I slept with a eye mask to help because my blinds aren’t the dark ones. I bought Melatonin supplements at GNC, which helps relax you and isn’t habit forming.

I would come home at 7AM, then usually stay up no later than 9. I would aim to wake up no later than 5. I usually went down for a nap around 8 or 9 and slept another hour or so.

At work, I drank coffee as soon as I got there. I usually didn’t drink anymore after the first cup. I usually ate my lunch around 3 or 4 to keep me going.

I really liked midnights, but I was very ready to get off of them. My DH works normal hours, so it’s better for us.

Good luck!! :cheering:

I have worked nights a few times. I could never sleep well during the day as my body simply refuses to believe it’s time for sleep.

I used to have to do a couple of shots of JD in order to relax enough to sleep. Probably not the greatest advice in the world, but it worked for me. :shrug:

Definately get dark curtians. When I worked at night I had a black sheet that I would put over my curtians (I basically tacked it to the wall). Be sure that light isn’t peeking around the sides or bottom.

Stay out of bed unless it is to sleep. Don’t lay in bed and knit :teehee: or watch t.v., bed=sleep.

If you don’t like sleep aids, or have problems with them try drinking warm milk about 30 minutes before you lay down. I have “restless leg syndrome” and if I take a sleep aid, I will literally scissor kick all night long, and I stay at the edge of sleep.

Don’t take a shower right before going to bed.

Eat a lot of turkey :rofl: Tryptophan will make you sleep…Don’t know how much you need though.

I worked graveyards as a waitress and loved it way back when (it frightens me that i could have possibly been old enough to work that long ago!) and one of my morning customers gave me very good advice about one thing…Be very careful driving home, especially your first few nights. Our bodies aren’t conditioned to be awake all night so until you get used to it driving home can be a bit precarious.

Melatonin in pill form gives me wacky dreams!

I read that getting sunglasses as dark as possible that don’t impeed your vision is a good idea for the drive home too. Helps your body start producing melatonin so you can sleep.

That’s the best I have anymore…it has been a long time since I have been on that schedule. I do know that it has permanently messed with my body clock. I am a night owl to the Nth degree and have a very hard time getting to sleep before 1am anymore even though the alarm starts going off at 6am. :wall:

:teehee: I liked having a beer or two before I went to bed!


:teehee: I liked having a beer or two before I went to bed![/quote]
A glass or two of cabernet does it for me. The stuff is just like a xanax, except it doesn’t last as long.

You guys are the best! Thanks so much for all the advice. I’m hoping the hotel isn’t too busy, but not completely dead either. I am a night owl by nature, and can sleep anywhere, anytime, so i’m not too worried about that. I know the couple weeks is going to be tough.

I already order some little portable speakers for my mp3 player, so I can listen to books on tape or my music without my earbuds being in since I have to answer the phone.

I’m excited! It’s been a while since i’ve had a “real” job!

I used to work midnights. I had a hard time adjusting. I couldn’t sleep during the day, and I couldn’t eat at night (what should have been my breakfast and lunch), so I was wickedly skinny. :slight_smile: Maybe I should get another night job… :??

Good tips from everyone though. Congrats on the new job. I hope you really enjoy it!

I used to work graveyard shift at an assisted living facility and for me I would have to call someone and talk the whole way home. I guess one time of sleeping behind the wheel at a stoplight will do it for me. (Fortunatly there wasn’t a soul on the road.) I don’t know if it would help you but a nursing web site might have some other helpful tips the site is www.allnurses.com just do a search on night shift.

When I would call someone I would just leave the cell phone on speaker and leave it on the center console so I could concentrate on driving home.

also make sure you tell your family and friends that your sleep is vital to your health. I would always be suckered into only getting a couple of hours and then be woken up with someone saying they wanted me to go shopping with them. :hmm: when I really was still
:passedout: :sleepy: from my night at work. And as the others have said it will definatly mess with your clock. to this day (night) I still can’t go to sleep till at least midnight.

Hope this helps to transform you to the dark side.

I am currently working the grave yard. Just got home actually.
I cannot sleep right after work. I grab a snack and log on. Drink Jim Beam, sometimes knit.

I have yet to find anything that actually works for me to get enough sleep. I average 5 hours a night. Good luck to you though.

Well, it’s really laid back here. It’s mostly railroad workers, and you transfer their wake-up calls in, clean the rooms when they leave, and other than that you just hang out. I finished a sock, and have done about 4 inches on a mesh sweater I am working on.

I only live 8 blocks away, so I didn’t even bother driving. Everything here in BFE Montana is 8 blocks away. lol.

The first night is always the worst. It’s definitely hitting me now, so I plan on just surfing the web instead of watching tv and knitting. :sleepy:

I’m not quite graveyard, but I do work late. I’ve got the problem that family calls… and solicitors… and who knows who else. After 4 years of working until midnight, mom still doesn’t understand not to call before noon. I’m lucky if I wind down enough to sleep by 3am. Last night it was 5am. Mom still keeps telling me I’m lazy if I sleep past 9. Well, for someone who is always asleep by 10pm, maybe that’s right. But if I’m up that early, I barely get any sleep. I’ve given up and realized she’ll never get it.

OMG, I have missed a lot of happenings in your life lately! :teehee: I just read your blog. Congrats on the move, DHs job, your new job, and the neat new house! :hug:

Did you finish the apron? Suddenly I want some for myself… :thinking: