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What are some good ways to get used to night shifts?


Chi Sun Jacksonville, FL

I currently work third shift from 10 pm to 7 am. I have been drinking around 1-3 cans of red bulls or energy drinks a night to try to stay awake. I do not get good sleep during the day but can still function okay... Are there any long term side effects of night shifts? I am in Outgoing Quality Control and sometimes have to work on documenting quality issues in Excel from Product and Process Audits. I need to be able to focus and not get distracted easily too. Sometimes I have a hard time staying focused and have had similar attention issues in the past, regardless of being on night shift or not.

7 February 2018 3 replies General



Justin Moodley Columbus, OH


Thank you for your service.

Like Jonathan, I'm a fan of LifeHacker and would also recommend reading this article:

I'd also read this article from Wisebread, that helped me to "reset" after a few weeks in a row of really bad sleep:

Hope that's helpful.



Christopher Beaman San Marcos, CA

Good morning Micah,

I also worked the night shift (for ~12 years), both in the Military and then after with my new civilian job.

I suppose everyone has their own devices in regards to staying alert at night, but I found from beginning to end that exercise was the key.

I would sleep for as long as my body needed into the day (but no longer than 8-9 hours) since being awake and alert at night is not natural, and changed my full workout or cardio to just before work...that always seemed to help get the body going so to speak.

Then while at work, if I started feeling the affects of the quiet and dark, an occasional jog in place or some push-ups, etc., always seemed to help.

I suppose the most difficult for you shall be if your current employment is a stationary position. Sitting at a desk or work station for the majority of a shift I think is hard for everyone, day or night...."a rolling stone gathers no moss".

If you're not into exercise, then what Jon stated above about energetic music might help?




Rob Gasperetti Locust Valley, NY

Good morning LT. I worked midnight to 8 with NYPD for a couple of years and loved them. The main drawback that I found is that on your days off, everybody expects you to conform to their schedule. That was fine when going out with friends for a late night. They'd be yawning and I would be ready for a lunch break.
The best advice I could give you is to try to make your work shift into your life shift. Try to find things to do in the overnight hours. I know it's hard, but if your work shift is 10 to 7, then try to get used to bedtime at 3/4am on the days off. Before working the midnights, I used to laugh seeing the "vampires" shielding their eyes from the sun in the morning. Then I learned to love working those hours.
Good luck and thanks for the service,

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