I think there are pros and cons to both.
When I was working in hospitality, I always got lumbered with the closing shifts.
By the time I had cashed up, filled all the paperwork, made sure the place was clean and tidy, and locked up - it'd often be around 1-2am.
When I was working in a late night bar, I often didn't get home till 6am!
This wasn't ideal because it meant I didn't have much of a social life (I also worked most Fridays and Saturdays). I tried to make up for that by having a social life at work (which was actually quite easy considering some of the bars and restaurants I've worked in).
I think working those hours was tough because it meant I had little time to spend with my girlfriend (she generally worked 8am-4pm most days). I also had to catch the night-bus home every night which, if you're travelling into central London, can be an "interesting" experience.
On the other hand, working those hours meant my daytimes were free. I found I had more time to go to the bank, watch daytime TV, go shopping, call up utility companies and other businesses that are only open 9-5.
It also meant not waking up till the early afternoon.
Switching to a 9-5 job
I found the switch to a 9-5 job fairly smooth actually, and the bonuses of this set up is I have a lot more time for my family. This has been especially important since the birth of my daughter (she's one year old now).
I can't imagine what it'd be like trying to raise a family when working shifts - although, on second thoughts, considering how sleep-deprived new parents are, maybe it'd actually make more sense!
I think the main inconvenience of a 9-5 job is that you're stuck doing all your routine tasks at the same time that the majority of other people do them.
I never had to worry about being stuck in rush hour traffic or queuing up for lunch at a busy restaurant previously.
I also didn't have to worry about going out on a Saturday night and being crammed into busy nightclub or paying crazy prices for a vodka and coke - mainly because I was on the other side of the bar!