FAQs for PMG

National Third Shift Day is celebrated every year on the second Wednesday of May. This year, it’s observed on May 12, 2021. The observation of this day began in the early part of this century to recognize the men and women that work overnights to keep our communities safe and our businesses operational.

In today’s era of an ever-widening skills gap, the day is important not just for showing appreciation to those who fill these shifts but to increase awareness of how vital these roles are to society.

To honor such workers, we will answer one of the most common questions we get in this month’s PMG FAQ.

Why would anyone work third shift and how do they survive it if they do?

We get this question a lot. We’re not surprised when we do either because most of us love our habits including sleep! However, shift work is nothing new. It’s been around as long as people. Even early humans had a night shift to guard their food sources and themselves. While most of us left hunting and gathering behind generations ago, night shift work still remains. Why does anyone choose to work it and how do they make it work for them?

Similar to our previous FAQ regarding travel work, here are three benefits and three tips to help understand why and how third shift works.

The Benefits are Real


Traffic is a real thing, and a real headache, for most of us. However, night shift workers have a different experience. If you want to reduce your time and frustration, while commuting, then a third shift might be your first option. There’s no surer way to beat traffic than by avoiding it entirely!


We all have errands and appointments. Most of us struggle trying to fit them around our business hours when those are the same hours for other businesses too. But not third shifters! One of the best benefits to working overnights is having your pick of the most available hours to complete your non-work tasks. The lack of a crowd when you get where you’re going is a big cherry on top!


Put plainly, night shift pays better! Since an overnight schedule isn’t for everybody, employers generally have to pay a premium to entice enough employees to work it. This means working night shift can make you more for doing the same work as your daytime colleagues. At some companies, in certain industries, the difference can be close to double!

Night (Life) Hacks


No matter what you do, starting on third shift is hard and your body will need to adapt to it. There are ways you can help it do just that! When beginning a new shift, schedule as few non-work activities as possible in the first month. This will give you more opportunity to get extra sleep to help your body catch up. Avoiding alarms, except to get ready for work, is very helpful too.


Most of us had to learn how to fall asleep in the dark. That wasn’t easy as kids but it’s a hard habit to break once ingrained. Having the right tools can make it easier. Sleep masks, blackout shades, ear plugs, and even noise machines are all great aides for making daylight sleeping easier and better.


Getting your work schedule and sleep schedule aligned is only part of it. If you’re going to work third shift for any amount of time, you need to commit completely. Trying to switch between shifts from one day to the next will only make things worse. This means, you’ll need to bring your sleep schedule to your off-days too. If you can’t go to bed and get up at roughly the same time for most days, you will regret it eventually. A good day planner or scheduling app helps with this hack as much as a clock can.

Additional Resources

We hope this answer helps you live the night shift life. If you’d like to learn more about ways PMG can help your company find folks to fill out your third shift needs, contact our Client Solutions Team. If this answered your question, you can always get other answers from us too. Just send your questions to our Writing Team and keep an eye out for future FAQ’s. We can’t wait to share our next answer with you