I honestly believe my body was assembled to run on it's own clock. I am WIDE AWAKE at 4am, which is when even the most seasoned 3rd shift workers start to hit a wall. I try to keep to myself and chatter as little as possible so that I don't overload anyone's already sensitive senses at that time of the morning. I just can't sit still, though! I'm constantly pacing around the office looking for new things to do. During the day, it's a struggle to peel my self away from the couch - it literally feels like it's the middle of the night for me.
All of the doctor appointments I've had to schedule lately have been killing any type of schedule I'd managed to get myself on. I've had to try to shift back and forth between sleeping in the morning and the afternoon. Oh, and don't forget my nights off when I sleep at nighttime to try to make up for missing my husband all week! I literally don't have a specific time of day that I can absolutely say I can go to bed.
I always feel terrible when I have to orient someone new to the overnight shift. They're all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the first half of the shift! They have so much confidence about it being easy to make it through the night and blah, blah, blah....then at 3:30 on the nose, they start to look a little pale and sickly. By 4-4:30 they look like they want to abandon ship. I try to keep up with the words of encouragement - "Don't worry - it only took me 6 months to get used to this routine!" (Probably not helpful.) And, "At least now you can go to the liquor store at 9am and not look like a serious boozer - just tell them you worked all night!" (That one usually helps a tad.)
I also try to enforce the whole "we need to be veerrrryyyyy quiet on this shift. If you start a party at 3am by closing the doors too loudly, you'd better be prepared to host it!" I really, truly love my staff I work with. They put up with my shenanigans, and we all work together as a solid team. No matter how the night looks like it's going to turn out, I know we'll make it through it as long as we keep each other motivated.
OOH-RAH! GET SOME!
*Insert obligatory fist pump here*