How do I prep for night shift - page 2

Hi there, I'm soon to graduate, and will be going to work for a Med-surg floor during the night shift. I've worked nights before, years ago, but now I tend to be an early morning person. Does... Read More

  1. by   youngatheart
    I have been working night shift since September, 7p-7a. (three 12 hour shifts per week) My first night back I try to take a nap from 12:30-3:30 then stay up until I leave for work, Get home at 8 am go right to bed and sleep until 2:30-3:00 pm. Get up and get ready again for work. On my last day at work I try to sleep only 4.5 hours and go on a regular schedule on my days off. Feel tired most of the time thou.
  2. by   jamonit
    i need tips too! i've always been a night owl, so i guess that'll work in my favor...but i'm worried about screwing up my whole system--you know, cortisol levels, blah blah blah. did any of you find that you gained weight after beginning the zombie shift? what about if a person is taking, say, an antidepressant, do you have to switch to taking it a night versus during the day to make sure it's working during the worst of it?

    bahhhh...i'm nervous. i start my new grad job in the picu mid-february and it seems like everything is giving me buckets of stress.

    anyway, thanks for your help. this thread is full of great suggestions.
  3. by   all4schwa
    i work 12's so i'm off in groups of days (if all comes out right). so, on the day i go back to work it is imperitive that i:
    get up early and clean
    cook so i don't have to eat cafeteria food
    long nap 3-4hrs, depending on what time i got up
    take shower after nap, even if i took on earlier
    eat high fiber cereal, check out allnurses
    get big diet coke, lasts me awhile....
    finally, on the way i must....turn the tunes up way loud while i cruise!
  4. by   amy0123
    Here is how I prepare for nights:

    #1 take a 4-5 hr nap during the day, even if you had a full night of sleep already. Too much sleeping balances out with being awake all night.

    #2 Be happy, talk only about things that make you feel good, to the docs, your staff, your team... For some reason, this increases the energy of those around you and that energy comes back to you ten-fold. That'll keep you bright-eyed bushy tailed all night.

    #3 Someone told me that they brush there teeth at night, this makes them more awake.

    #4 Find a patient who can't sleep and have some good talks with them. Some conversations can get your mind off the time.

    #5 Tell yourself that it is really day shift. Say "good morning!" to your staff as you start the night. Sometimes you just have to play pretend!!

    #6 Drink a coke or something fizzy. It feels great to burp (not infront of others). I don't prefer hot drinks such as coffee because it irritates my belly at the wrong hour(s).
  5. by   amy0123
    Quote from jamonit
    i need tips too! i've always been a night owl, so i guess that'll work in my favor...but i'm worried about screwing up my whole system--you know, cortisol levels, blah blah blah. did any of you find that you gained weight after beginning the zombie shift? what about if a person is taking, say, an antidepressant, do you have to switch to taking it a night versus during the day to make sure it's working during the worst of it?

    bahhhh...i'm nervous. i start my new grad job in the picu mid-february and it seems like everything is giving me buckets of stress.
    Dude, stress/nervousness is natural, might as well make good friends with it, not enemies! You remind me of that movie I rented the other night... "Elizabeth Town" (Spiderman's girlfriend plays a flight attendent and then there's Orlando Bloom) See this movie because it adds a light to the world of stress.

    You'll get use to it, cortisol levels and zombie land. I know some coworkers who take antidepressants, they just take them the same time every day.

    You would just get use to it. After the first month, you're body just goes with the flow, even if you work some nights and some days.
  6. by   angel of grace
    Hey! I like you are a new graduate about to start on night shift. I will be working from 7p-7a. I am required to work 3 shifts per week. Looking forward to that but am not quite sure how I will handle the sleep pattern. I am a night person. I stay awake until about 2 am every night. My husband works rotating shifts every 7 days so I am not sure how this shedule is going to jive with his. Thanks for all the advice about handling night shift.
  7. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from angel of grace
    Hey! I like you are a new graduate about to start on night shift. I will be working from 7p-7a. I am required to work 3 shifts per week. Looking forward to that but am not quite sure how I will handle the sleep pattern. I am a night person. I stay awake until about 2 am every night. My husband works rotating shifts every 7 days so I am not sure how this shedule is going to jive with his. Thanks for all the advice about handling night shift.
    I started working 7P - 7A a couple of months ago. My natural schedule was also like yours.....I like staying up till 2 AM. The only adjustments I have made is to stay up even LATER on my nights off till maybe 5 or 6 AM. It has worked great for me. I can not flip flop back on forth on my days off, (but then again I am 51!)

    My biggest problem is to convince my family that I NEED TO SLEEP IN THE DAYTIME

    :trout:
  8. by   angel of grace
    Thanks I'll have to try that.

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