I have been working since I was 16. And in those last almost-40 years of working, I have never worked shifts. Sure I’ve worked late nights in those long years of restaurant and bar service, but I have never worked actual rotating, days/afternoons/nights shifts. Until now.
Demand is such that Brunswick moved to 12-hour shifts last week. The two-week pattern goes 2 on, 2 off, 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off. I know it’s early days yet, but so far my feelings can be summed up in three words:
Not a fan.
I’m good working until about hour 10, and then it’s a hard slog to overcome tiredness. And if I don’t get enough sleep during the day, then it’s brutal. Saturday I only got 3 hours of sleep, thanks to the cats and my anxiety. I was so tired on Saturday night, I felt like I was walking underwater. It’s obvious that sleeping during the day needs more preparation than just falling into bed tired.
This is the post-work ritual that seems to work. So far.
- Shower: I’m usually sweaty during work, and hate going to sleep sticky. Loving this Bath and Body Works Lavender Chamomile body wash right now to help relax. I sometimes include a shower beer like Lug Tread or Absent Landlord; it depends on how the night shift went.
- Eye mask: I got the kind that’s contoured over the eyes so I can open my eyes and fool my brain into thinking it’s night.
- Ear plugs: because of course they are working on the elevators next to our unit during the day.
- Melatonin: works well to stop my brain from being an asshole and keeping me awake by worrying about 100 things that will never happen. Finding the peppermint flavour a bit weird for an under-the-tongue dissolving pill.
- Something relaxing to drink: I’ve found the Mother’s Little Helper tea from David’s works well, as does the Mellow Mood drinks.
- Oatmeal: because waking up with a growling stomach after sleeping for only 3 hours is less than optimal.
Most sleep achieved thus far: 6 hours.