I think I must have a slight infection or something – all I want to do is sleep, and I've lost all motivation to do anything other than sleep and lay around doing nothing. This is Not Good, and something I'll regret when I'm back at work
Shift work is a bastard.
I really do mean that, it's bad for your health, your social life, and your ability to interact with the world around you.
So how do I deal with working shifts?
Firstly, no matter when I'm awake, there is a timezone somewhere in the world where it is daylight. So by having friends spread around the globe, there is always someone to talk to no matter the time.
But there does comes a time when you need to reset your bodies timezone with the timezone that you are physically in. If your shift is a 'one off', then you can reset gradually, by going to bed an hour later every night until you catch up with the rest of local time.
The problem that many of us shiftworkers have to deal with is that while I'm getting up at 4pm right now, in three days time I need to be getting up at 5am. So for me, it's time for some pain.
Going from night shift to a day shift is really painful. I finish work at 06:30, I go home, I stay awake until 21:00.
I'll have been awake for 21 to 23 hours, but despite the pain (and trust me, spending almost all your life in a state of perpetual jetlag is no fun), you can then set your alarm clock for 7am where you wake feeling as fresh as a daisy.
(Or rather in my case, feeling like a nearly-dead thing, that wishes to be completely-dead).
Turning a dayshift into a nightshift is easier for me because I'm naturally a nightowl. What I do is on the day before my nightshift, I'll snooze until midday, then stay awake until about 5am. I'll set my alarm for 8 hours sleep, so I'll wake up at 1pm, but will be ready to do my nightshift without feeling too awful.
Of course, the real trick of this trade is making sure you don't work rotating shifts.