Last reply 12 months ago
Anyone work night shifts?

Hi all,

Brief background- I was diagnosed in November with RRMS. Been on Tecfidera since the start of Jan.

I’m a doctor (hospital medicine), currently on a phased return to work. Occupational health have advised I don’t do any long days or night shifts until august. I’m trying at the moment to think through what my future career might look like- I realise this is a fairly impossible task as I have no idea how things will progress!

Just wondering if anyone here works night shifts? How do you find it affects your MS? Do you get an increase in symptoms? How do you manage your fatigue?

Thank you!

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1 year ago

Hi Clare

I hope you are taking care of yourself and getting lots of support.
I was diagnosed in May 2016, therefore I’m still getting used to things and trying not to let MS define me. As you will know, MS is very different for all of us. I hope my story, will help a little.
I am a Registered Nurse working for the NHS. When I was diagnosed, I was working shifts including night shifts on ITU. I was incredibly passionate about my role however against all the advice from friends, colleagues and occupational health I made a rash decision to leave. I went back to work too soon and wasn’t fully recovered from my relapse. Not being fully recovered, left me constantly worrying I wasn’t pulling my weight or coping with shifts. I left my amazing job and went out into a community role with no long days, no night shifts and no weekends. This job was interesting and I learnt loads however the driving was exhausting and I really missed the team environment and the clinical nursing side of the role. I’ve now returned to NHS Nursing and I love my role. I personally find the long shifts very exhausting and I do struggle with the fatigue. I have not worked any night shifts since being diagnosed. Occupational Health and my line manager are supporting me with tweaking hours.
Everyone is different, please listen to your body and occupational health. You are still you and your role will be there waiting for you when you are fully recovered from this relapse. I have found my colleagues to be incredibly supportive and I still feel valued. I still have a lot to give.
I ve been told by my MS Nurse there are lots of Doctors, Nurses and other Healthcare Professionals working shifts with MS. They just tweak things to make it work for them.
This forum is great for advice and support.

1 year ago

Hi Clare

Sorry just to add; Occupational Health have always been 100% supportive and are guided by me.
Sorry, I realise you are now back to work. Make sure you are feeling the best you can, before taking on long days and night shifts.
Sorry, I couldn’t advise on night shifts.
Kind regards

1 year ago

I work evening/nights until 2, 3, in the am. I am tired all day usually sleep until 2:30pm. Get ready for my girls to come home.
Have two daughters they go to school. I am awake until they leave for school. Newly diagnosed and just starting Copaxone

1 year ago

Thank you both for your lovely replies.

Lisa, work have been wonderful which I’m so grateful for, can’t imagine going through all this and having to battle with work too. Things are going well at the moment and I’m trying my best to just takes things easy. I’m a paeds reg and I think my ultimate worry is that if I can’t do nights then they won’t let my training progress. Do realise that I need to follow everyone’s advice of just seeing how the phased return goes and not thinking too far ahead 🙂 Thank you also for the advice about making no rash decisions and sharing your story.

Thank you Liza, hope you get things sorted as you tread this unknown path of newly diagnosed xx

1 year ago


I was diagnosed with RRMS August last year and take copaxone 3 times a week . I have had 2 relapses since diagnosis. I work within police force and after speaking with consultant about shift work he advised that I do not work nights or lates as I found I was constantly exhausted and also i found it difficult to concentrate on any work not productive at all and it exasperated my symptoms which appear permanent from previous relapses- numbness down left side which also affects mobility nausea dizziness for example. Through my consultant and occupational health I now work fixed day shifts to help me manage my fatigue and symptoms. I work 8 hours shifts only as previously my 10 hours plus would make it worse and different patterns I couldn’t recover in between shifts let alone full night shifts as it would make me worse.

Remember you will be covered under equality and disability with work place though I know it’s hard in NHS.

1 year ago

Hello @claref. I was diagnosed 18 months ago and work in education management full time, so no night shifts! But, in this time since I have learnt the importance of balance so, although I work full day shifts I am looking at shortening the length of those days to maintain working five days a week. My concentration seems to lapse after a full days. I really agree with what others have said about not rushing decisions. It’s our instinct to fret and project to longer term, when what we really need is to invest in today, tomorrow and maybe the next few months. For recently diagnosed you seem way on top of everything so stay strong, and lots of love to you as a new MS warrior x

12 months ago

Thank you @kt-smith and @vixen. Sorry for the delay in replying- I’ve been on Aunty duty this weekend, looking after three children under 10! I certainly slept well last night 🙂

I’ll have a chat to my consultant next time I see him. Will be interesting to hear what he says. And in the meantime I’ll focus on working back up to normal hours and see how that goes.

I’m certainly not prepared to sacrifice my health for work.

And thank you Vixen for the kind words about seeming on top of everything. It doesn’t feel like that everyday, but I’m trying my best.


12 months ago

Hello, I hope my comments may help.
I am a nurse, recently diagnosed..Dec 2017. I used to work night shifts..permenently. However, even before I was diagnosed, I found that these night shifts were making me feel ill. I was always exhausted and unable to do my best for the job. (I think it is safe to say that night shifts are not very good even for healthy folk!!) Also, having my shifts dictated was not helping. So I had to make changes – I went to agency nursing. I can choose when and where to work, that does make a huge difference. When it started to look likely that I would have a diagnosis of MS I then just stipulated I would only do days. I have so much more energy and can focus much better. So my answer is, if you can manage to get days only arrangements you will quite possibly find you can give more/ your best to the job. ….and to the other aspects of your life. 😙😉😉

12 months ago

Thanks @pikilily


I agree that even pre-MS, night shifts were never particularly fun!

12 months ago

I too work nightshift with NHS. I am finding the long hours more tiring though than I used to and find my legs weak by end of shift at times. I do prefer working nights though, have done them for 10 yrs now. I will consider reducing nights however if and when I feel it’s affecting my health too much

12 months ago

Hi @claref

Agree with the others, don’t be rash. I can’t help with shifts, but there was this nejm article, written by someone who was diagnosed whilst a paeds reg:

I have remembered it since it was so beautifully written and found the link on my twitter feed from 2 years back. Hope it helps.


12 months ago

Thank you @maureena and @littlebopeep.

Thank you for sharing that article, I agree it’s really nicely written.

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