Big Decisions While Working Nights: Yes or No?

I hadn’t given much thought to making big life decisions while working nights until recently. I listened as one nurse asked another nurse if she’d decided on a new vehicle. The second nurse replied,

“Oh no, I won’t decide that while I’m working my nights! I’ll finish my nights, have a good sleep, and then decide.”

Leave it to a seasoned trauma nurse to be so pragmatic.

When I paused to think about it, I realized this nurse had just taught me an important lesson: do not make big life decisions in the middle of a string of nights!

I already knew from a little life experience that good decisions are rarely made after midnight. Online shopping in the wee hours had never ended too well for me. And what is it about the middle of the night that makes problems loom larger? Or makes sweeping life changes seem sensible? No, no โ€“ I had already learned not to go job hunting online after midnight, send important e-mails, or make expensive purchases.

After thinking over what this nurse said about making decisions during her stretch of night shifts, I realized that I could easily postpone most major life choices for at least a day or twoโ€“ apartment hunting, vacation destination, financial decisions, etc. It can all afford to wait another day or two, when I back in the “land of the living” and feeling more rested and clear-headed.

What about you? How do you navigate big decisions while working nights?