I’ve been working nights for just over 6 months. In fact, 4 days ago, I can officially say that I have worked six LONG months on nights. I still don’t like it. It’s not something I would recommend to most people. When I can finally stop working nights, I will never do it again unless absolutely necessary. Never. It has way more cons than pros for me. Still, for now, I have to do it. So, here’s how I make it through my night shifts.
1. Sleep Way Too Much During The Day
If I don’t get enough sleep, I feel sick to my stomach. So I have to sleep a lot.
I feel like all I do is sleep. I sleep when I get home between 6:30-7:30 in the morning (depending on my shift) until about 9. Then I let the dog go out to go pee. Then I sleep until 12 pm. Then I take the dog for an hour-long walk. Then I spend a few hours awake trying to clean or doing something online, and then I go to sleep from 3 pm to 10 pm. I start work at 11 pm.
I cannot get enough sleep.
I’m always tired during the day. No expectations.
Usually, I’m pretty awake during the night shift because I have gotten so much sleep during the day.
But if I don’t get enough sleep during the day, then I’m tired at work too and I sleep on my breaks in my van.
2. Try To Talk Myself Into Going And Staying
There are not a lot of positives to working a night shift for me, but I find what I can and use them to talk myself into it.
“I need to make the extra money.”
“At least I’ll get some serious exercise tonight.”
And my usual go-to statement, “I got to do what I got to do.”
I focus on my husband and my dog and how my shift will help pay the bills so they can be happy.
I focus on the fact that it’s not a permanent job and one day I will get out of there.
You can find all the affirmations I use for working a night shift in this article.
3. Listen To My Courses Or Audiobooks
One thing that doesn’t suck about the night shift is not having to deal with a lot of people. While there are some co-workers or managers who talk to me during the night, I don’t need to really hear what’s going on around me to do my job. If someone wants something, they usually come up to me and ask for it.
Therefore, I can listen to audiobooks from HayHouse or a course from Humanity Stream. I love being able to do this at work.
A lot of co-workers working the night shift listen to music, which helps them. But, if you’ve read anything on this site, you know I like personal growth, and the night shift gives me about 4-6 free hours of being able to listen to a course or book that I wouldn’t be able to listen to during the day, even if I wasn’t sleeping all day.
The only problem is that I can’t take notes, which is something I like to do, so a lot of aha moments or interesting facts are lost because I have no way to retain them.
4. Have A Special Night-Shift-Only Treat
I was drinking coffee and water during the night shift for months. Then one day I noticed a co-worker drinking Zevia.
My pop of choice is Zevia grape during the day. I love that stuff. But, I don’t want to drink it at work. It’s something I like to do only at home when I’m feeling happy and good. I don’t want to associate it with work.
One day I was working down the pop aisle and noticed that Zevia has its own energy drinks. So I bought the Raspberry and Lime drink and was hooked. I actually felt good, like I was getting a treat at work.
I haven’t tried the Kola Zevia energy drink because I don’t think I would like it, but the ‘Raspberry and Lime’ and ‘Mango and Ginger’ drinks are great.
I’ve been buying them individually from our store, but I got a subscription for a 12-pack from Amazon that I’m waiting for.
It sounds so simple and small, but I remind myself that after the first break, I’m going to get to drink my special Zevia energy drink and it helps motivate me to go to work and stay there.
5. Look At The Stars
I love looking at the stars.
I love meteor showers.
One nice thing about working nights is that I can quickly drive out and look at the stars for a few minutes during my breaks.
I’ve been able to see the night sky during the meteor showers this year so far. In past years, it was hard to get up at 1 am or 4 am to watch, but now I’m up anyways.
Not that I’ve seen that many meteors this year, but the fact that I can at least attempt it on my breaks is nice, and I do go for at least one break during my shift to stare at the night sky.
The only thing about doing this is that you can get tired really fast because everything is dark and you are relaxed as you watch the sky.
Find Your Reasons, Treats, And Positives For Working Night Shift
If you are going to be working the night shift, my best advice is to find your reasons, treats, and positives for working the shift.
There has to be something to counteract the strong desire not to work a night shift or you will literally be miserable as you drag yourself out of bed to go to work during hours that you want to desperately be sleeping.