Ugh. Night shifts are going to ruin me.
After 3 shifts in a row, I always have one of these sleep patterns:
1. I take a short nap after my shift, go to bed at night, and I adjust to a semi-normal sleep cycle. This is most common, thankfully.
2. When I take my nap, I end up sleeping longer than I wanted and stay up half the night even though I am exhausted. For example, I am writing this at 4am after 3 night shifts because I overslept during my nap. ("my nap!" I sound like a child)
3. I get the nap and fall asleep at a normal hour, but then I wake up somewhere between 2 and 4 am suffering from hunger pains. This is because during my shifts that is the time when I normally get a break and eat.
It's easier for my sleep to adjust just after 1 or 2 shifts, but 3 makes it extra hard. I love night shifts but they do terror on my sleeping and social life. I think all my friends assume I'm always working or sleeping (sorta true). I usually look like death when I am awake and I act weirder than normal. I don't want to complain too much but I am pretty sure my body hates me.
But I got to tough it out. I need the experience and I am blessed to have such a great job.