Graveyard Shift - How do YOU stay awake?

I’ve been working the grave shift now for a little over a year - I’ve found the best way to keep myself awake is drinking lots of water… amazing how bladder pressure can keep you alert. What do others do?

I had a midnight-to-eight a.m. shift as a security guard (Burns International). It was four days a week–Saturday through Tuesday. When I got home I’d go straight to bed and sleep until the early afternoon, then I’d be up and around until shortly after dinner. I’d go to bed, and get up at 11 p.m., get dressed and groomed and drive to work. The rest of the week I returned to daytime-active-nighttime-asleep. At least one doctor couldn’t imagine how I did that (I had that shift for one year).

While I’m at work, I drink lots of water which works because I only get one bathroom break per night! I also depend on outside influences for entertainment–e-mails, SDMB, phone calls, etc.

I read the SDMB and do homework, generally. I find that playing computer games that don’t require a lot of brainpower (Snood, Bejewled, The Sims) helps as well. As long as my mouse fingers are moving, I’m not asleep!

I do things kind of the way dougie_monty does when I’m on midnights. I also do a lot of SDMB, drink water, snack, email, chat, whatever it takes. Oh, yeah, and I work, too, when I have to. :smiley: 'Course there’s not usually as much to do on midnights as the other shifts.

I stay awake by visiting my favorite websites, coffee, smoke breaks, and if I really have to, some actual work.

good god, am I the only freak here?? for three years I spent my live upside-down, as far as sleep patterns and basically everything else goes. used to work 6pm-6am, and then usually then some. doing the fuck what I hear you ask? managing a convenience store was my game, and I got to do this 4 nights out of 7, long weekend every weekend, which helped as far as the stockpile of sleep goes.

as far as the 12hr+ shift goes, I soon found Jolt, in fact one of my workers and I would go on a caffiene overdose about once a month, just for the hell of it. imagine monkeys swinging from the rafters, that was basically it. then we found Columbian Cola, and God damn, that be the funky shit. this was before all those hi-tech, packed full of gurana, ging-sing, electrolytes, vitimin B and whatever the hell else we can stuff into a can kinda drinks hit the market in Oz, so I’m a traditionalist you could say, a caffiene man.

ahhh, but then it all changed again when we found a drug called pseudoephedrine, which is a sinus clearer, with the side effect of being what is known as “non-drowsy”, isn’t that how they put it?

one of the guys I worked with swore by gurana, found out another swore by amphetamines, he didn’t last long, not at work thx. heard a lot of crazy ass story’s about sleep patterns, but that be all behind me these days

thank crap is all I have to say

Well I work midnight-4am on top of 15hrs a week of class. So basically I only get to sleep on the weekends. I keep myself up with the wonderful power of NoDoz.

I’m on a 12 hour shift too. I just figured it went without saying that my sleep petterns were upside down.

I sleep 9 full hours during the day? Apparantly, I’m the only graver here who sleeps though. I spend a lot of the overnight shifts here, reading until my eyes bleed.

Mine’s not complete graveyard shift, but close enough. 5 days a week I spend 7 pm-4 am or so at McDonalds. Sometimes I think I might as well stick around for a few more hours and open the store too!
Lots, and lots of caffeine. I swear by coca cola. If that doesn’t work, I usually go stand in the freezer for awhile. Wakes me right up.

Commander, I, too, used to sleep through, when I was single. Came home from work at about 8:00 am and stayed up till noon or so, went to bed and slept until time to go to work. Can’t do that now, though, 'cause I’m married and if I did that, I’d never see my hubby. So I sacrifice the “straight through” sleep for a few hours a day with my hubby.

I work the 11:00pm to 7:30 am shift at the new hospital here in Fargo. (Innovis Health. We all hate that name. sounds like a long-distance phone company.) I volunteered for the shift, because it pretty much corrisponds with my normal sleep patterns anyway. I get home about 8:00am and stay up till about 1:00pm. I sleep till 9:00 pm and off to work I go. I have been a lot less tired at work in THIS shift than I have been trying to deal with mornings.

Of course Mt. Dew helps a lot too…

When I was working 3pm to 3am I was working around all sorts of stuff that could kill you if you fell asleep. And with all the noise from the machines I couldn’t imagine anyone could sleep in there any way.
But, some people did, and now they have cameras up all over the place watching to make sure nobody sleeps.

I don’t remember ever being able to sleep when I got home either.
Home at 3pm, throw in a load of laundry, start dinner, do dinner dishes, bathe all five kids and then myself, send them off to bed, and then try to sleep while my husband yells at the kids for not staying in bed, has the tv up so loud, and is on the computer. I would finally fall asleep around 10p just to get up at 1:30am or so to start getting ready for work.

I never had any problem staying awake on the midnight shift, and I never did anything special to do it. For some reason, I can work any shift and not have any difficulty staying up. I don’t know why.

Maybe I like my job too much.

lotsa espresso, lotsa Dew, and eating sunflower seeds…

the process of shelling them with your teeth keeps you awake nicely

I worked 10p-7a for quite a while. It could get pretty boring, so we used to play cards. I can honestly say I never played so much gin rummy in my life as when I worked graveyard. I also cross stitched. We even had some pretty strange stuff in the department like a giant blow up Godzilla, and an “invisible dog” on a leash. I had a friend who constantly waltzed around with Godzilla and walked the dog around the building whenever he got tired. It is very hard to sleep when that sort of stuff is going on. :slight_smile:

I’m a volunteer counsellor with a suicide prevention phone service, and every so often I do the 2am-8am shift. They’ve got a TV in there, and so in between calls I just sit and watch whatever is on. Usually it’s televangelists or infomercials, but occasionally there’s a late night movie that’s almost worth watching. I’d drink coffee, but it’s hard to be understanding when you’re bouncing off the walls :wink:

Then there’s the stack of magazines they’ve got there. Every Woman’s Weekly going back to 1995 :rolleyes:

I would be awake at this time of day anyway, generally, and if I drink two 20 oz. bottles of pop then i am very alert.

Right now on my unit we have Shouting Guy, Ms. Death-Grip On The Call-Light, 2 Wanderers, and Damned If I am Going to Bed For Y’All.

Shouting Guy-- Currently here for rehab after two knee surgeries, tried to tell him nicely that he must use the call light if he needs anything. That failed, then i read him the riot act twice, now i just shut his door.

2 Wanderers–a man and a woman, the man has Alzheimers, and just walks the hall all night, tries to get into the hospice unit at the end of the hall. The woman will walk the hall and during the day will pilfer items from other residents’ rooms.

Ms. Death Grip On the Call-Light-- will use the call light and not let you do your job, may suffer from dementia.
The other resident of this type is demanding, with nothing ever being good enough, and may want the nurse frequently.

Damned If I Am Going To Bed for Any of Y’All— the resident who may want to see what we do up at the nurses station duriing the night, sometimes just being contrary.
May not want to be bothered, can be observed at least once a week.

I work 6PM to 8AM (14 hours). I stay awake by WORKING. There is always something to do when you work animal ER.