How to Survive the Overnight Shift Like A Pro & Why I Carry an ER Phone

I hope you all had a blessed & wonderful Thanksgiving! In 2014, the greatest change in my life was my overnight work  shift schedule.  I AM OVERWHELMED WITH THANKS for the adjustments that have taken place in my life because of it.

So, if you were wondering why I’ve been absent from my blogging schedule this year, it’s because I was adjusting to the day shift. It has honestly taken me a good 6 months to do so and be able to fathom blogging again! So there you have it, welcome me back! 

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing my survival method for those that are currently starting or struggling with working the overnight shift!

How to Survive the Overnight Shift Like A Pro - Rx Fitness Lady

Do you currently work the overnight shift or swing shift? If so, you know that it can be brutal sometimes!

My pharmacy BFF and I researched this thing in the beginning. We didn’t want to put too much wear and tear on the body! Well, we concluded that 7 years was the stopping point.


I started this in September 2006 🙂 ! She left me almost 3 years prior to me finally deciding earlier this year to join her!


Here’s the breakdown of my former schedule for those that were unaware…


I would go to work on a Monday night and work for 7 nights straight! Then the next Monday morning, I’d shoot the deuces for 7 nights!

Rx Fitness Lady


Pretty sweet, right? Well kinda! Alternating sleep patterns is rough on the body and I’ve kinda gained a reputation for falling asleep in inappropriate places, lol!




I go go go, but if you are boring me, I mean seriously…it could be mid conversation, I’m outta there! That goes for movies, TV shows, friends, preachers….SMH! It’s slightly embarrasing but whatever! It is what it is!


How did I get by? Firstly, let me say I’m grateful for the 7 on 7 off rotation. I think it’s a little bit more difficult for people to get good sleep and enjoy life when they work M-F overnight, or at least that’s what I hear.


I mentioned some tips in Beat Insomnia with 15 Lifestyle Changes, but here is the official overnight tribute 😉


exerted from one of my first post with some additions….  

  • Try to have as normal a day as possible. Schedule breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, & exercise as part of your regular routine
  • Black out the windows in the sleeping room with special light darkening shades &/or use a sleep eye mask (if you live alone and are Type A/control freak like me, this will not work, stick to the shades on the windows)
  • Set firm guidelines for spouses and children for not interrupting your designated sleep time .
  • Try to avoid sleeping in the early morning (7:00-10:00 a.m.); your body’s natural circadian rhythm will be fighting extremely hard on this one. Research shows and I will co-sign that your body will find it easier to go to sleep and stay asleep if you operate just as if you worked a 9 to 5 traditional job.
  • Set an alarm to remind you to PREPARE to go to sleep/(wind down) at the same time and stick to it.  It’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of people working traditional hours.


  • Set up lunch dates to stay in touch with family, friends, reality,  & eat lunch at the school with the kids once a week (little kids that is 🙂 )
  • Once it starts to effect the quality of your life, do what you can to start to transition off the shift even if it means sacrificing finances.


Emergency Phone

One final tip I’d recommend for people on the night shift is to get a second prepaid cell phone.  They are very inexpensive.

When you work the night shift, no matter how many times you tell people, they will not remember your schedule.  Keep and emergency phone for your loved ones (THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO NEED YOU IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY).  They will know when you are sleeping and will truly only use the number if you need to be awakened.

The other benefit of the prepaid phone is that it last forever! I keep mine with me and I’m only charged on days that I actually use it.  With all that we do on our smart phones, they can loose charge in the most inopportune times.  Your little prepaid won’t die on your for like 2 days! All you do is talk on it! Do you remember those days?


Hope this helps ya’ll out there in overnight land!

Now, don’t I look a lot happier at work and on the way to work?

How To Survie The Overnight Shift Like A Pro


Yours in Healthy, Active, & Prosperous Lifestyles,


Rx Fitness Lady wants to know…

  • What is the hardest thing about working your shift, whatever it may be?
  • Would you be offended if I fell asleep while you were talking to me?
  • How many phones do you have?
  • Do you send selfies to bae from work?

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Rx Fitness Lady

Greetings, I'm Joi, a Pharmacist with a passion for fitness & a community leader. I teach BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, Tabata Boot Camp, & serve as a mentor to young girls. My goal is to inspire people to live healthy, active, & prosperous lifestyles through practical blog posts deliveries. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. You can view more post and subscribe to stay tuned to latest updates at Rx Fitness Lady.

12 thoughts on “How to Survive the Overnight Shift Like A Pro & Why I Carry an ER Phone

  1. I use to work swing shift at publix when I was younger. Hated it. I was so off schedule and tired. I would close one night then have to back at 8 the next morning. It was torture to my soul. I would never work at night…although nights are my best time I think I would fall asleep. Glad to have you back.
    Kita recently posted…Louie’s KidsMy Profile

  2. Girl. As a former night-shift worker I agree with EVERYTHING. 7 years was IT for me. I just couldn’t function anymore after that. It was kind of a half life. I would stay awake to get stuff done and just loose out on sleep. I was ALWAYS tired! I still suffer from a bit of insomnia because of it, but i am getting better!
    Welcome to the world of the living!
    Great to have you back blogging
    LaShawn recently posted…Easy Gluten Free Meal for the WeeknightMy Profile

  3. I’m pretty sure that I would be a mess if I worked the night shift. I have enough problems sleeping as it is!!
    I carry 2 phones all the time now – my personal phone and our business phone.
    Kim recently posted…Happiness Is…..My Profile

  4. Welcome back! You were missed.
    I don’t think I could cope with the night shift, but you have to remember that I have very young kids. So it wouldn’t be feasible. I used to work a 5:00pm – midnight shift and that was rather fun.
    I also used to fall asleep at concerts.. and at a Broadway play once.
    Tamara recently posted…Snowvember: The Holiday Movie.My Profile

  5. This would NOT BE ME. Just saying. I love sleep like nobody’s business. I sleep in the day at night…whenever. Girl. Me and sleep are BESTIES! anywho, I don’t send selfies to bae, maybe I should. I have two phones, one for work and one for personal use. I can’t combine the two because I’d ALWAYS be working!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…How to See Santa at Macy’s Herald Square in Under 10 MinutesMy Profile

  6. I always try to exercise during the day. Boxing, weightlifting, or plyometric training helps. With having a child I always try to take a nap before work for no longer than an hour. While I’m at work I do get a few chances to walk around during the night just to keep my blood going. I avoid coffee at night as well as candy. Those are just a few tips for working overnight.

  7. I am a MORNING/DAY person! I have NO CLUE if I could ever work a night shift. I think I would die initially but I would soon enough get into a routine that worked for me. It would still kind of stink in my mind because mostly everyone I know is on a DAY schedule and then gets dinner at night and stuff. I would never be able to hang out! 🙁 I give you so much credit! Welcome to the day shift!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Calorie-Free PunishmentMy Profile

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