Families and The Night Shift

  1. I have 2 Children under the age of 3 and after graduation, I will be working 7pm-7am. Any ideas on how to get the sleep I need during those days? Also, on my days off, should i try to stay awake during my "working hours" or just re-adjust when I am on.
    P.S. I have a very understanding wife.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   debbyed
    When my children were young I slept during "School Hours" as I had them in Day care. For my own health I slept that way every day. My family became used to the schedule without difficulty. I continue the same schedule today even though I'm now a Grandmother.

    My extended family became used to my hours as well. Family gatherings were usually always scheduled for after 4pm. Other family members didn't mind as it left time for them to do "their thing" during the day.

    I do have several co-workers who switch sleeping from days to nights according to their schedule, but when I tried that I always felt tired and worn-out. You'll just have to do a little experimenting to see what works best.

    As to sleeping during the day...Use darkened shades (or as I do put Foil on the windows) and keep white noise going (I use a fan year round.)

    Good luck to you
  4. by   JillyT
    I'm a CNA and a nursing student now and don't have a family, but I used to babysit "babysleep" for a L&D nurse and her husband, who also had a night job. Their ideal was to have a "normal family" during the day. 3 or 4 nights a week, I would come over at about 9pm, Mom left for work @ 7pm and Dad left soonafter I arrived. Baby was 19 months and I stayed with them till she was 3. I could do my homework with the baby monitor downstairs and then go to sleep with it in their office, where they had a bed for me. Mom came home around 7am and I'd get up, walk down the street to my house and get ready for school. Dad came home around 9 or 10am so Mom could get some rest. Was great supplemental income and nice to grow with their family.
  5. by   renerian
    I worked nights six weeks one time. No one let me sleep. The kids would bang on my door and the hubby seemed to not be able to handle them. Good luck.

    renerian
  6. by   Elenaster
    Big Red,

    I'm new to nights (been on about 6 weeks now) and it's not easy. I only work the three 12-hour shifts and I try to do them back to back, however I NEVER get enough sleep. I usually sleep from 8am-2pm after working (it's my bedtime now), get up, go get junior from school, then come back and get ready for work. I basically lose the whole day the day after my last shift due to the fact that I come home and sleep for some amount of time, but then go to bed with my hubby that night. I prefer to live like a normal person on my days off, but you have to find what works best for you.

    Best of luck to you!
  7. by   USA987
    Keep the thoughts coming guys! I too took a 7p-7a position after graduation and I have 2 elementary school aged children.

    Thanks!
  8. by   nursedawn67
    Originally posted by Elenaster
    Big Red,

    I'm new to nights (been on about 6 weeks now) and it's not easy. I only work the three 12-hour shifts and I try to do them back to back, however I NEVER get enough sleep. I usually sleep from 8am-2pm after working (it's my bedtime now), get up, go get junior from school, then come back and get ready for work. I basically lose the whole day the day after my last shift due to the fact that I come home and sleep for some amount of time, but then go to bed with my hubby that night. I prefer to live like a normal person on my days off, but you have to find what works best for you.

    Best of luck to you!
    I agree with you, each night shift person has to find what works for them. I pretty much have the same sleep schedule....I work 6p to 6a. I stay up with the kids when I get in at 6:30 until about 7:30 when they all get on the bus (or catch a ride), then I sleep until about 2. Once up I get ready for work, get dinner going and leave again. On my nights off I try to sleep like regular people, and not like a vampire!
  9. by   GPatty
    I work 7p-7a.
    When I get home at 7a, I stay awake till 11:30 or 12 (grandson gets on the bus at that time), then I lay down till 5p.
    On my days off, I stay awake till about 8p, then go to bed with hubby. I don't like sleeping on my first day off, cause then it doesn't even seem like a day off!
    Hang in there~ you'll find something that works for you.
  10. by   Shae
    I work 7p-7a. My kids are now 7 and 12 so it is some what easier than it use to be. To add the fact it is now little league season...LOL. I try to stay up during the day when I am not scheduled to work to make things a little on the "normal" side. When the boys were smaller, I would always have to pay a sitter to watch them during the day for me to sleep due to my hubby working day shift. It was really hard during the time I was a single parent with a 1 and 6 year old. I paid a sitter for both boys through the night and for the youngest during the day for me to sleep. It is not easy but can be done. I look at it this way with the boys being older now; atleast I don't have to pay a sitter during the summer time and other school breaks. These days, you pay a sitter almost your entire pay check each pay day for a full time sitter.
  11. by   NurseChick
    I have been working night shift for 3 years now. I just graduated from nursing school last August, 2002. I worked every weekend while in school. I have 4 kids and a hubby. My kids are usually pretty good about letting me sleep, but there are times when I have to tell them to be quiet! I try to keep some noise on in the bedroom such as a tv turned very low, or the radio. It helps drown out some of the noise from the kids. On school days I get them off to school then go to bed around 8:30. I love night shift and wouldn't trade it for anything. I can go to any event during the day if the kids want me too. Sometimes there are days when you don't end up with much sleep, but so far I've lived through it!
  12. by   H ynnoD
    I've work the night shift for 3 years as a mechanic,then to days for 4 years,now I've been back on nights for a year so I can go to school during the day to become an RN.When the Kids are out of school its alittle hard,but when their in school its a piece of cake.You devolpe a routine that will work for you.I love nights because it gives me the time I need alone to study or sleep.
  13. by   KaroSnowQueen
    When I worked nights, I would sleep all day and work all night. Then would try to have a reversed "normal" schedule on my days off. It was rough.
    My son works nights and keeps the same schedule on his days off, which works better for him. I think in retrospect I should have done the same. ]
    The above suggestions about covering bedroom windows with aluminun foil to keep out light and sleeping with a fan on are excellent. If you do not have central air, get a window a/c for your bedroom - we just had two huge in wall units for the whole house, and had to keep my bedroom door open in the summer at first - TERRIBLE.
    Does your wife work or is she at home? If she works days, then it would be great for your sleep with the litte ones at the sitter. However, if she's at home, the above suggestions should help. If you're not used to nights, I imagine you will sleep through a tornado especially at first.

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