I really struggled with the concept of shift work especially night shift! Hospitals don’t ever close as well as many other facilities! The world needs to keep functioning when the sun goes down or we would not have many things. You can tap yourself on the back now because we are the workers who keep the world moving when the sun goes down. Although if you are in the medical field I always had this thought – you know the “sundowners” aka people over 85 who think its time to yell and climb out of bed to pole dance like Miley Cyrus from midnight to 6am then sleep all day? What if they were shift workers doing the crazy hours that we currently do and its just instilled into there brains?! Ouch harsh thoughts I know.
Working a night shift for me has been 7pm- 7:30am and 9:45pm-8:00am – Crazy right! Night shifts will always be abnormal to me as it is not natural for humans BUT as my dad would always say someones gotta do it!
My nightshifts are usually 2 – 4 in a row but I convert back to day shift with only a day or 2 in-between before having to front up . back to work at 7:30am. To try and get my circadian rhythm back to daytime functioning is REALLY bloody hard on my body but I have slowly managed to make it easier.
Nightshift literally puts everything out of wack – my sleep, my eating habits, my bowel habits and just communicating with non shift workers trying to make life happen such as getting to the bank, the doctor for that script, the beautician or the groceries. I do the grocery shopping at the weirdest times and sometimes half asleep.
That brings me to all the crazy weird things I have done when recovering from night shift. Yikes I’ve certainly scared my partner a few times! I once woke up at about 3am thinking it was 6:00am and time to get ready for work – I literally got out of bed had a shower put my work uniform on and went to grab my phone from bedside table when my partner woke up from the noise and said “J what are you doing, its 3:00am?” In that moment I must have ‘woken up’ because I then realised and broke down thinking OH MY GOD what on earth AM I DOING??
Another occasion I had finished work at 7:30am and in bed by 8:30am. When I get home every morning after a night shift I always black out the house so it is pitch black to give me that night time feeling. I always have to get up to pee in the middle of the night (day) but on this one occasion I woke up and my bedroom sliding door was wide OPEN and roller blinds wide OPEN!!!!!! I was literally freaking out and checked the entire house for any strangers or missing items – nothing – everything was in place and no intruders (thankgod). This made me really scared because of my last weird episode – did I forget to close the door or close the blinds? Surely not? Did I wake up in my sleep again and open the door and the blinds? But what would I have been on a mission to do?
This still scares me a lot what else am I capable of doing? What happens if I got in my car one day? Well I’d rather not think about that.