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- Oct 17, '10 by RiniBeenie151I just started my first job and it's night shift too. It actually is not as bad as I thought it would be... I have been working 3 nights in a row so the night before I stay up until 3ish and then sleep in until 12. The try to nap before work and have a cup of coffee.
When I get home from the first night I'll eat a little something and go to bed around 830am. Then I sleep until about 3. Same goes for the next day. Then my last night I'll go to bed when I get home and wake up around 1 to reset my sleep schedule. I also nap during the day usually. I don't have a problem going to bed at night then and might take a benadryl to help.
During work I rarely have caffeine. I'll have a can of pop if anything and it helps. Also I try to eat small snacks through out the night if I have time such as fruit, yogurt, granola bar.
Hope it works out for you!
- Oct 19, '10 by TinaL29Thanks for the info! I've finished my first night shift, and it was okay. 4am was rough, but I got through it! I definitely need to nap before, but I'm still trying to figure out what works best for me. I will definitely be bringing more healthy snacks with me...eating small snacks through the night is a great idea!
- Oct 20, '10 by LadyAscheRNI've been working nights for almost 4 years now, and I can say that the big difference for me was NOT switching back to days when I had time off. I stay as a "night owl" every day, no matter if I'm working or not. As a type 2 diabetic, this became a crucial step towards helping my body not shut down on me... I'm pretty sure my CNAs wouldn't want to find me passed out on the floor somewhere! lol
And another thing, whatever you do DON'T take melatonin...it reinforces your circadian rhythm, which means you'll be even MORE tired at work and more awake when you need to be sleeping...doh!
Good luck to you
- Oct 24, '10 by SonorityGeniusThe above is not true. Melatonin is a great sleep-aid and have been taking it for the past 4 years working 5 days a night!
- Oct 24, '10 by brittRNI'm a new grad and have been recently doing nights, too. I treid going to bed normally the night before my 3 12's, and trying to take a nap before work, but that didn't really work for me. I couldn't fall asleep, and was so tired around 4am. There are lots of great suggestions here. One thing that I have found, and I don't know if others feel the same, but is to eat a nice meal before work and just bring snacks for the night. I was packing a "lunch" with a sandwich, fruit, chips, etc. and within an hour of eating, I felt like I could climb into an empty bed! I started bringing fruit and granolas bars to just snack on, as I noticed th other nurses doing, and that seems to work better.
- Oct 24, '10 by janfrnbrittRN, I too only snack on nights. Part of my mind rebels at the thought of eating a full meal at 1 am. I usually have fruit and nuts or fruit and yogurt on my night breaks then eat a light breakfast before I go to bed. Preparing and eating a typical supper meal when I get up for work took a bit of getting used to but that's what works best for me.
- Oct 24, '10 by KarmaWiseRavenNight shift loved it worked 6:30p to 7:00a 3 on 3 off rotation. Your body will need time to adjust to eating and sleep habits. You will either love it or hate it. People seemed to be more layed back on nights. I really had a lot of fun on nights not to many important people around. My sleeping habits would be 10:00am or so and wake about 4:00pm sometimes earlier. Like anything else you will just have to adjust and balance your working night life to your social life. Remember one important thing if you start to grow fangs your co-workers are not a food source so best bring snacks and things lol ( I had to Halloween and all fangs food source i kill myself at times ) these are my thoughts use them as you wish