Going home from night shift

  1. Hi guys, I work night shift and I just wanted to ask for tips on how to stay awake when driving home from working nights? Anything would be helpful...
    Thanks!
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    I don't work nights anymore, but I used to fall asleep at the wheel rather frequently. Once the horn from an 18-wheeler woke me up. I was heading straight at him. I went to days then.

    I did see a device the attaches to your ear. If your head nods down to a certain level it makes a noise to wake you up. I think I saw it in a Herrington's catalog.
  4. by   Bontemps6
    How about rolling down your window, turning radio up full blast, singing along at top of voice, slapping leg, car door, dashboard drum-style with non-steering hand, coffee/coke/caffeine source in lap....

    Kept me awake on long commutes I used to make but likely didn't do much for the other drivers...

    Sometimes it's hard now just getting across town! Good luck, stay awake, stay safe....
  5. by   joyflnoyz
    MUNCH! I'd take some crunchy veggies and munch on the way home. This began after I found myself going off the road one morning..
  6. by   MamaTheNurse
    windows wide open and loud music kept me alive................

    one thing I didn't do was set the cruise control - one of my co-workers did that once, fell asleep and found herself upside down in a ditch with her car just revving away..................
  7. by   TreetopAngel_RN
    Quote from MamaTheNurse
    windows wide open and loud music kept me alive................

    one thing I didn't do was set the cruise control - one of my co-workers did that once, fell asleep and found herself upside down in a ditch with her car just revving away..................
    That's the one I use! Nothing like waking up the whole parking lot with AC/DC blaring out the window!

    The younger folks at work are surprised this Granny listens to AC/DC!

    Little do they realize...
  8. by   pricklypear
    When I first started nights, I had a 30 mile (each way) commute. I did everything everybody else mentioned. I also listened to NPR sometimes. Strange as it sounds, I had to focus on listening to the news and stories - which kept my interest up and kept me awake. Also, listening to some of the funny morning shows (like Bob and Tom) kept me laughing too much to fall asleep. It got better with time for me. But the first year was a nightmare. Good luck!
  9. by   student4ever
    I am usually so revved up after night shift that I don't have trouble staying awake! Not to mention that bright bright sunlight that hurts my poor vampire eyes.... No tips here I'm sorry to say, but I do sympathize! Good luck to you!
  10. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I don't pee before I go home. A full baldder is guarunteed to wake me up. Of course, I have a short commute. If your ride home is really long you may be setting yourself up for a UTI.

    I often wind up having the opposite problem. By the time 6am rolls around, I've hit my second wind. When I get home around 8:30, I'm lucky if I can sleep until noon. Often, I can't sleep at all.
  11. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from pricklypear
    When I first started nights, I had a 30 mile (each way) commute. I did everything everybody else mentioned. I also listened to NPR sometimes. Strange as it sounds, I had to focus on listening to the news and stories - which kept my interest up and kept me awake. Also, listening to some of the funny morning shows (like Bob and Tom) kept me laughing too much to fall asleep. It got better with time for me. But the first year was a nightmare. Good luck!

    I had one assignment thru agency that was like 30 minutes away. What I ended up doing is waking up one morning mere SECONDS from hitting the car in front of me! This was with AC on full blast, radio too -

    So for a couple weeks I would pull over about 2 miles from the hospital, lock up the car, and go to sleep for half an hour. It worked...

    except for the time I pulled into a church parking lot and a few people were concerned for my welfare. I had JUST fallen asleep when KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK - someone was knocking on my window! I woke up fast and I could drive just fine with a pulse around 180 - they scared me sooo bad! Too bad they couldn't do that to me EVERY day!
  12. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Quote from zoeboboey
    I had one assignment thru agency that was like 30 minutes away. What I ended up doing is waking up one morning mere SECONDS from hitting the car in front of me! This was with AC on full blast, radio too -

    So for a couple weeks I would pull over about 2 miles from the hospital, lock up the car, and go to sleep for half an hour. It worked...

    except for the time I pulled into a church parking lot and a few people were concerned for my welfare. I had JUST fallen asleep when KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK - someone was knocking on my window! I woke up fast and I could drive just fine with a pulse around 180 - they scared me sooo bad! Too bad they couldn't do that to me EVERY day!
    LOL! I do that too--if I'm woken up suddenly my heart starts racing and am fully alert. I have also had to pull over and sleep before. I used to work for agency and I had an hour and a half drive home, and I would find myself unable to keep my eyes open. I had to pull into a gas station with lots of lights( this was at 6 am) and sleep for about thirty minutes. Then I'd start out again. I also used to work 8am-5 pm and then 9pm - 5 pm when I was 19and I can't tell you how many times I'd catch myself waking up suddenly and seeing that I was veering into the shoulder. I think they should let night nurses have a half hour sleep break plus their lunch. Actually, you could eat lunch during your down time. They have sleep rooms for doctors so why not nurses?
  13. by   achot chavi
    I worked nights and can tell you that if you are so tired at the end of the shift either find somewhere to sleep a bit before attempting to drive or take a bus/taxi. NEVER,I repeat ,NEVER drive if you feel too tired. you are a danger to yourself and others and a car accident is too high of a price to pay!!!!
    After having said that I used to give a ride to a coworker so that we would chat and that would keep me awake.
    Also I keep very strong menthol (mint) candies (suger free) in my ashtray to suck on and the strong flavor wakes me up.
    In an emergency, slap yourself and move your knees quicky together and apart ao stimulate circulation and that usually helps keep me awake
    Lots of Luck
  14. by   promises
    Thank you very much for all your responses!

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