One of the big differences between working nights and days is sleep pattern. I don't know what other night shifters did, but I would get out of work at 7 a.m., go home, eat, and go right to bed. This allows me to get up whenever I want, and rarely do I ever set my alarm, nor sacrifice sleep. I just kind of get up when I get up.
Working days is quite the opposite. After I work a day I get out of work at 7 p.m. and when I get home my kids are up to greet me. So I spend the evening playing with them, and then prepare them for bed. So obviously I'm not going to sleep right away. This kind of forces me to have to set the alarm clock, and perhaps get up before I'm ready. Which can make for a long day.
However, at least when I'm allowed to sleep during the night, when the sun is down and it's cooler outside (especially in the summer months), I sleep better. When I worked nights, it was often hard to sleep well during the day. So I'd often be extra tired at night.
Now that I work days I like to get up really early. I'm not the kind of person who likes to let the alarm wake him up, hit snooze 30 times, and then rush to work barely making it there. That's not me at all.
I like to get up at least an hour and a half before I have to go in, have a cup of coffee, eat breakfast, smoke a cigarette or two (just kidding), prepare food for the day, and play on the Internet for a while. It's kind of an easy pace morning, and then I go to work early enough so I have time to sort of ease into it.
Today I got up at 4:00 a.m., which some may consider a bit early since I don't need to be to work until 7 a.m., yet it was nice to be able to spend time doing this, and not have to rush. Yes I'm tired, yet slept pretty well. I sacrificed an hour of sleep, yet to me it was worth it.
How do you guys prepare for your long shifts?