How long does it take to get used to third-shift? How long does it take to get used to third-shift? | allnurses

How long does it take to get used to third-shift?

  1. 0 I just started working third-shift as a CNA this week, and I was just wondering about how long it takes to adjust to working third-shift? Does anyone have any suggestions or helpful tips to make this transition a little easier? Thanks!
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  mindlor profile page
    0
    It is very un-natural for humans to work that shift. I dont think anyone ever gets used to it and I am pretty sure it always takes its toll....
  4. Visit  nurseprnRN profile page
    0
    give it a little time for the die-hard night-shifters to check in. i could never adapt, but i know a lot of folks who love it; there are also some good tips on when to eat, how to mask sound and light so you can sleep days, etc.
  5. Visit  Do-over profile page
    0
    Die-hard-night-shifter checking in...

    There was no adjustment for me, because I have always been a night owl. When I have to work days (training classes, usually) it feels like a beating - especially because these are days that usually involve sitting all day in a classroom.

    I will say this - I JEALOUSLY GUARD MY SLEEP. Room darkening blinds, ear plugs, turn off your phone, etc.
  6. Visit  mindlor profile page
    1
    The best part of overnight shift = no managers in sight, no families in sight lol
    Julie19 likes this.
  7. Visit  Do-over profile page
    0
    Quote from mindlor
    The best part of overnight shift = no managers in sight, no families in sight lol
    You forgot the very best part - you know, how all the patients sleep all night...
  8. Visit  Hoozdo profile page
    1
    Quote from heidster
    I just started working third-shift as a CNA this week, and I was just wondering about how long it takes to adjust to working third-shift? Does anyone have any suggestions or helpful tips to make this transition a little easier? Thanks!
    I am a hard core nightshifter. Oh, it takes less time the younger you are, and if you are a natural "night person". I have always been a night person and have hated early mornings as long as I can remember.

    I would not advise flip-flopping your schedule on your days off unless you are in your 20s. Try to stay up as late as possible on your nights off - that is the key to success. I like to eat something light in the morning before bed, (like an English muffin), so I don't wake up because I am hungry while sleeping in the day. Try to eat something before going to work and snack as possible during your shift if lunch is impossible.

    Make it completely dark in your bedroom. Use aluminum foil if necessary. You want it as dark as a Las Vegas hotel room during the day! I sleep the best if the temp is around 70 and use a portable A/C vented through my window screen during hot weather. Where I live, I can't afford to make my whole house 70 degrees.

    Schedule sleep time for yourself on your work days. You have to care of yourself; put yourself first as top priority on your work days. Do not schedule anything other than sleep and work on work days, (or should I say nights?) Turn off landline and cell phone, turn off doorbell.

    If you are a natural night person it will take about a week to get used to. If you are a morning person...........this will take some work and could take a very long time. Some people just plain can't do it. I wish you good luck and cheerful nights at work with fun-loving coworkers.
    student forever likes this.
  9. Visit  mindlor profile page
    0
    Quote from Do-over
    You forgot the very best part - you know, how all the patients sleep all night...
    HAHA well at least until 3am when its time for lab draws lol
  10. Visit  yousoldtheworld profile page
    0
    The biggest thing is to keep your sleep schedule consistent! Don't try to sleep normal hours on your days off, or you'll always feel terrible.
  11. Visit  AJ_427 profile page
    0
    One night lol.
    If you keep yourself busy then it's not hard to adjust and stay awake. I sleep normal hours during the week and during weekends I sleep in the morning/early afternoon (when I'm working). I think part of it is that I'm a young college student and I sleep whenever and wherever I can.
    I personally love the third shift. It may be the easiest of all three shift but the biggest reason why I work the night shift is because no one bothers me. I do my own thing and I have my own routine. I even volunteer to take the hardest assignments (I'm on my feet the entire night!). Keep yourself busy!
    Good luck!
  12. Visit  DreamyEyes profile page
    0
    At first I loved night shift, but now I really don't like it - probably because I'm more of a day person. I still do like some aspects of it - no management or family members, more laid back, etc. When I did it full time, I would go to sleep around 8 and wake up around 3 or 4. Even though I was getting almost 8 hours, I still felt exhausted. I seem to do better sleeping in the evening, even if it's only 4 hours, and then waking up to go to work- it just feels more natural and I get less tired during the shift.

    I agree with others that it's best to keep a schedule- I just never did it, because I would get depressed if on my day off, I was sleeping all day and staying up all night with nothing to do.
  13. Visit  IEDave profile page
    0
    Night-owl here...

    To some extent, you're just sort of "stuck" with what your body "wants" to do - if you're just not a night person by nature, ultimately it'll catch up to you. That said, all of what the previous posters have said will work - for awhile. Couple of other things that may help:
    • Try going to bed around noon instead of right after you get home - think about it; when you're working an 8 to 5 job, you don't go to bed at 6, do you? Nope - most people hit the sack around 9 to midnight. That, and the homo sap's tendency to take afternoon naps can be worked into this as well.
    • Should go without saying, but avoid chemical stimulants before bedtime! Nope - no coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc. Maybe 1 immediately after you get off of work, but that's it.
    Other than that, you've got some solid advice here - but ultimately, if you just can't make the adjustment the final solution is a shift change. Best of luck to you!

    ----- Dave
  14. Visit  mar12011 profile page
    1
    Uh-oh! From reading all the replies, I guess I have been doing it wrong the past 5 months. I work nights, 3-12's, I usually do one night then have a day off, then do 2 nights back-to-back, and when I am done with the 2 back-to-back I will stay up the next day (just like I am doing right now) all day and go to sleep at night. I always feel zonked.................................... I have no trouble at all staying awake in the overnight when running down call lights, but I cannot get used to sleeping during the day.
    Jessica5792 likes this.

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