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Monday, September 11, 2023

Do I need to stay on days?

I've penned several articles discussing the pros and cons of working the night shift versus the day shift. Among my writings, there's a particular article that stands out (though I regrettably can't locate it at the moment). In that piece, I compiled a list of 20 advantages associated with staying on the night shift, countered by just one advantage of switching to the day shift – the benefit of being alert and less fatigued during daytime hours. This equilibrium played a pivotal role in my decision to transition to the day shift back in 2010. It's worth noting that prior to that shift change, I had dedicated 14 years to my role as a night shift therapist, and I genuinely relished the experience.

To be completely candid, the decision to transition to the day shift was a tough one for me. I had a deep appreciation for the solitude of the RT Cave during its quieter moments. It was during these peaceful lulls that I blossomed as a prolific blogger, crafting many of my blog posts. Naturally, I fretted that the switch to day shift might stifle my creativity and put a halt to my writing, possibly rendering my blog obsolete. Fortunately, I've managed to continue writing while on day shift, although perhaps not at the same prolific pace I enjoyed during the night shift.

Another motivating factor for the shift change was my two children. With my older children, early mornings became a constant even on my days off, forcing me out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. This disrupted my preferred 7-9 hours of sleep, leaving me perpetually fatigued. I thought that moving to the day shift might afford me a chance to feel more like a "normal" person on a daily basis.

However, while these considerations played a role in my decision, I believe the primary reason for my shift to days was my boss's preference. She often sought my input and wanted me on day shift to facilitate this interaction. One day, after a coworker's retirement, my boss informed me that I was being placed on the swing shift schedule. This schedule entailed working one night shift and two day shifts each week.This was a nice schedule at first, as it means no weekends. This made it so I never missed any of my older children's sports activities on weekends. 

Around 2015, approximately five years after the shift change, I began to find the single night shift per week increasingly challenging. The shift was particularly demanding because, during my years as an exclusively night-shift worker, I had strived to maintain a somewhat balanced sleep schedule. Even on my days off, I'd sleep in until around noon or 1 PM. However, this equilibrium became unattainable while on the swing shift, where working nights often meant staying awake for 12 to 24 consecutive hours. Consequently, in 2014, I made the decision to fully transition to the day shift. Now, after all these years, I'm contemplating whether to remain on the day shift or consider returning to nights.

So I am thinking a new list of advantages and disadvantages of working days versus nights is in order. 

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