I've often wondered why the night shift is called the graveyard shift. Walking around like a zombie because I didn't get enough sleep. Or was it because the lack of a "normal" routine where I could get a regular sleep at night meant that I could nod off at any time making it dangerous for me (and others) - kind of like staying awake with one foot in the grave.
The best advice I can give you if you're working the night shift is to try to get on any other shift as soon as possible, even if it means quitting. Now that might seem drastic but your body and your health will thank you later.
Now some people may have good jobs on "midnights". Firemen and paramedics come to mind. Lots of these positions require that you work the "off" shift for long stretches. People who have just started working at union jobs may be stuck on the night shift because their seniority doesn't allow them to work on the day shift. These are pretty good paying jobs so making this sacrifice for a little while is a decision you have to make for yourself.
I used to work the night shift because I couldn't hold a day shift job with my seniority. I found out later how much better working the afternoon shift was. Being able to take care of the kids while mom is away at work is a definite advantage when raising children. Saves money on the day care expenses too!
The first thing I noticed when I started on the afternoon shift was I had a little more color in my face. Friends even told me so. But, my love affair with the afternoon shift was short lived.
I found myself not being able to go to sleep at night when I came home from work. Most people didn't go to bed straight away after work so I used that as an excuse to watch TV until 3 or 4 in the morning. And later when I got my first computer! Whoa! I don't want to go there!
So what does this have to do with you?
It's been over 20 years since I've been on the "graveyard shift" and I know a little about it that could help you cope. I also know what could happen to you if you abuse your "system" if you continue down this road without knowing what you should do to minimize the risks of health problems down the road.
Until next time!