Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

ScoopKW

Working graveyard -- any tips?

Recommended Posts

Bit the bullet and took my first kitchen job. Major career change #2.

I'm working at a big resort, kitchen relief, graveyard shift.

How the [censored] do people adjust? I get out of work, unwind for half an hour and go to bed. Then wake up a few hours later because my body says, "[Censored] me, it's NOON. Get UP!"

Then I shuffle around the house like an imbecile for a six hours, try to catch a few ZZZZs, and wake up at 9 pm so I can be at work 15 minutes early.

My coworkers tell me they haven't gotten used to it, either. Some of them have been at it for 15 years.

Short of illegal stimulants and sleeping pills -- got any ideas how to make this work for several months while I move up the ladder to at least swing shift?


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had a job where you got off at 6 pm, you wouldn't go to bed at 7:30 would ya? Unwind a bit longer, read, relax, have a couple of drinks and THEN take a nice warm shower and go to bed, with all the drapes pulled tight. Don't forget "dinner", either.


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's just a matter of time before you get used to it. What I did is that I make sure to sleep at least in the morning and wake up until I finally feel that I have another energy to work for the entire ship. Try walking around when you feel sleepy during shift or get some coffee. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely suggest winding down a bit longer - i need at least an hour or 2 if not more before i can even contemplate sleeping - a glass or 2 of wine also helps! Don''t set an alarm, get used to waking up naturally and even if you do this too early, force yourself to stay in bed longer, dozing, realxing etc. Then when you do need to wake up, a good shower finished with a blast of freezing water and a cup of coffee should do teh trick. I find my body needs a week or 2 to slip into routines, try to do teh same on your day off too - go out, have fun and go to bed as late as possible and then sleep in again before work. I function fine on 4 hours sleep - any less then that and im sleepy..


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black out shades, eye shades, ear plugs. I worked one summer in a hotel/casino in A.C. during college. It's obviously easier to adapt when you're 19-20 years old, but if you don't have a dark room to sleep in, your body will fight it. You have to re-set your circadian rhythms, you might have to turn your routine around a little. I found that I did better eating my "dinner" (heavier meal) before I started my shift.

It never stopped feeling strange to be going to work in the dark and getting out in bright daylight, though...


"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked a swing shift back in the day. It changed every seven to nine days.

Get home relax a little, watch TV or read a bit, eat, shower and then get to sleep. It will get better.


Dwight

If at first you succeed, try not to act surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A hot rum toddy or brandy nightcap will also work wonders if you've done the unwinding thing suggested above. One or the other of those will knock you flat on your butt for a goodly while without any ugly side-effects.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because you're having trouble staying asleep -- rather than falling asleep -- you may actually want to pass on the nightcap (er, morningcap). The government says:

Alcoholic beverages are often consumed in the late afternoon (e.g., at "happy hour" or with dinner) without further consumption before bedtime. Studies show that a moderate dose of alcohol consumed as much as 6 hours before bedtime can increase wakefulness during the second half of sleep. By the time this effect occurs, the dose of alcohol consumed earlier has already been eliminated from the body, suggesting a relatively long-lasting change in the body's mechanisms of sleep regulation.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From "ambiensideeffect.net"

COMMON side effects: Drowsiness, headache, dizziness, worsening of insomnia, amnesia anterograde (do not remember what happened while you were awake after taking medicine.) The amnesia may be associated with inappropriate behavior. Hallucinations, agitation, nightmares. Fatigue. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain.

No thanks. I said I wanted to do this without resorting to drugs. Anything stronger than Tylenol PM is a dealbreaker for me.

Some other thoughts:

1) I hate the damned lone-ranger sleep mask. It's like trying to fall asleep with a maxi-pad attached to my face (uh, I surmise, at least). The drapes aren't dark enough for me. I need DARK to sleep, it seems.

2) I'm so wiped out after my shift it's a scary thing just driving home. Half an hour of down time is all I can manage before I crash completely and fall asleep. I just can't STAY asleep.

3) No need to worry about food -- I work at a union-shop Vegas resort. I am fed WELL. (And they do my laundry, take care of my health, etc. It's very nice work. I must say I am very happy with the wage and benefits.)

So, because of #3, I really want this to work. Keep the ideas coming, please. Something might work for me.


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on my current sleep patterns, this sounds like a dream job for me. Since arriving in the US, I don't think I've been able to sleep before 4am once yet. Damn time change.


James.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2) I'm so wiped out after my shift it's a scary thing just driving home. Half an hour of down time is all I can manage before I crash completely and fall asleep. I just can't STAY asleep.

Would you be able to take a 20-30 min. nap in the car before driving home? That is just long enough to be refreshed and alert for the drive, and not disturb any "normal" sleep pattern.

While I haven't done the midnight shift, I have worked lots of evenings 'till 2 or 3 am, and doubles. The short nap has always helped. Besides, then maybe you will be able to stay up for a couple of hours after work. I wonder whether there is a regularly occurring "event" in your environment which wakes you up at about the same time each day.


Karen Dar Woon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. Sleeping pills, prescribed by your doctor, are really the way to go here. I mean, caffiene is a drug. Alcohol is a drug. Prescription drugs are, well, drugs. Think of it as better sleeping through chemistry. My son's roommate is an employee of NOAA and is also an insomniac. He takes prescription sleep medication because it is important to be rested at his job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schedule your meals so the pattern fits around your work the same way it would on dayshift - breakfast before work, lunch halfway through, dinner soon after, then several hours of not eating, before you sleep. Your body clock'll do the rest.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy some blackout cloth from a fabric store. Put some of that over the windows, and you won't be waking up until you're good and ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really want to go there you can prolly qualify for Shift Work Sleep Disorder. See your doctor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do chocolates really work? A friend of mine told me that when she feels sleepy, she just eat chocolates. Tried it but it never worked. Maybe some dosage issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blackout shades/drapes are key. It's not enough to get ones you think are thick enough; they have to be blackout shades. Especially if you're like me, and your body naturally wakes up when the sun comes up (took me a week to figure out why I wasn't waking up in time to get to yoga at 6:30am, then I realized the sun wasn't rising till 6:00 so it wasn't around to wake me up).

You can get reasonably priced ones at places like Sears, but make sure they're installed properly. No point in having them if you don't install them properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melatonin pills can trick your circadian cycle. Block out every inch of sunlight in your bedroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...