Night Shift and Health - page 3

Hi All, Wasn't sure where to put this topic, but since I'm still in my 1st year, thought I'd ask everyone here. I switched from 12 hour days to 12 hour nights 4 months ago. I'm not a morning... Read More

  1. by   doingourbest
    You have my sympathy. If at all possible, get off of night shift. I shortens your lifespan and makes what life you have miserable.
  2. by   kurlyy1
    Wow...I am really scared now. I am a morning person. I am healthy, need to fit a workout schedule in to keep endorphins up or I get depressed. Need to get good rest or I am irrationally depressed and then become isolative due to the depression. I am the single mother of a 5 year old and a 3 mo. old...and they NEED me to be with it and alert and Happy! I am wondering if I can do this! Right now I work 5 9a-6p or 7ish days, am off every weekend and holiday...and make a salary comparable or only slightly less to nursing. This will be my first nursing job...I am wondering if I should stay where I'm at! I love what I do right now too! ( I counsel people who are on a weight loss program ) But I now have my RN and I feel I need to use it....

    I am really seriously thinking I don't think I can do this night shift with the kids...Are there any other single mothers out there who work the night shift??? IF so HOW do you do it?
  3. by   gelshore2
    I have worked night shift most of my 20 years in nursing. I have had a heartattrack,TIA's, multible migrains and very little sleep, but I love this shift. I personally cant phantom ever having to be on another shift, I think the stress of day shift would drive me over the edge.:uhoh21:I dont wake up until after 12pm and I can stay up till all hours of the night, this is just the best shift for me. I understand not everyone can do it but thats why we never have enough help.
  4. by   danissa
    I generally have 2 weeks nights a month just now. (work 7.15-7.45 days or nights) Not my fav shift, but if I treat it like a day shift then it makes a difference. When I come in, I take the kiddos to school, come home and load the washing and the dishes, walk the dog..then have an extra big glass of aussie chardonnay.., read the paper, maybe look on the computer..Hey..this IS my night-time! Then I go to bed and sleep great for at least five hours..I feel so much better for it!
    Everyone finds their own way of catching that daytime sleep, I also keep the bedroom tv runnin on low volume for a soothing noise.
    Oh, the aussie chardonnay thing was not an option when my kiddos were wee though...different story having to be able to get up and go at a moments notice during your sleep when they were 5 & 7 yrs!Ten yrs on...different story.
  5. by   marilynmom
    I work nights. I am a night owl and I love nights, but when I get home in the am after a 12 hour shift I CAN NOT sleep whatsoever! I literally go 48+hrs with no sleep. Somehow I make it through but I totally feel my brain slowing down at the end of my second 12 hr shift.

    Especially this summer, my kids are home all the time while I am trying to sleep (they are 5 and 9) and though they can entertain themselves for a few hours, my 5 year old has to "check" on me every so often So there is no sleep for this mom.

    2 nights in a row is all I can take. I don't think I would mind 3 at all but 72 hours with no sleep would kill me I'm sure.

    I used to work nights all the time though when I was younger and had no problems whatsoever with sleeping during the day. I think it is just knowing the kids are at home bothers me. And this summer I don't have any place for them to go (too broke right now) to get some uninterrupted sleep.

    My husband doesn't "get it"--- that even if I do sleep for 2 hours (if he is home in the weekend for example and keep the kids away), it is like I didn't sleep at all because it's never that deep sleep our bodies need.

    But whatever, I still really like nights and don't plan to change! LOL Sometimes I get so tired I just want to cry.
  6. by   marilynmom
    I work nights. I am a night owl and I love nights, but when I get home in the am after a 12 hour shift I CAN NOT sleep whatsoever! I literally go 48+hrs with no sleep. Somehow I make it through but I totally feel my brain slowing down at the end of my second 12 hr shift. I think it is because when I leave work it is light out and THAT is what messes me up. On the special nights I get to leave early (say 4 or 5am) when it's still dark out, I can go to bed and sleep till 1-2pm or so. Any ideas for that???

    Especially this summer, my kids are home all the time while I am trying to sleep (they are 5 and 9) and though they can entertain themselves for a few hours, my 5 year old has to "check" on me every so often So there is no sleep for this mom.

    2 nights in a row is all I can take. I don't think I would mind 3 at all but 72 hours with no sleep would kill me I'm sure.

    I used to work nights all the time though when I was younger and had no problems whatsoever with sleeping during the day. I think it is just knowing the kids are at home bothers me. And this summer I don't have any place for them to go (too broke right now) to get some uninterrupted sleep.

    My husband doesn't "get it"--- that even if I do sleep for 2 hours (if he is home in the weekend for example and keep the kids away), it is like I didn't sleep at all because it's never that deep sleep our bodies need.

    But whatever, I still really like nights and don't plan to change! LOL Sometimes I get so tired I just want to cry.
  7. by   youknowho
    Quote from marilynmom
    I CAN NOT sleep whatsoever! I literally go 48+hrs with no sleep.
    Thats crazy. I feel for you. I have twin 9year olds and I made sure I signed them up for summer school and summer camp.
    They are gone 8am-4pm daily for 3 weeks.
    Besides that I can easily sleep during the day- I love sleep and can sleep anywhere, anytime. I always have my fan on, shades down and I am out until about 2ish. I usually then get up, pick the kids up, do homework, cook and if I can take another nap before my 7p-7a shift. Another good thing is I schedule my nights in a row. I can play with my schedule and it goes something like 3 nights on 2 nights off 3 nights on and then 6 nights off. Thats the beurty of working 3 days a week.

    I made sure my manager knew that I wanted the first available day position. It worked cause I start days in 2 weeks...only 6 more night shifts to go.I am very very very happy about that, although I will miss the extra $$$
  8. by   GeminiTwinRN
    Well, I last posted in this thread after working night shift for a month. I had lost 15 pounds in that time, and felt terrible all the time. Nausea and vomiting was a common occurance each morning after work, sometimes I even had to pull to the side of the road to throw up!


    So now I've been on nights approx 6 months, and it's not gotten any better. I ended up getting cellulitis on the right side of my face, just an opportunistic infection that one gets when she's run down all the way to empty.

    Now I'm getting ready to switch to a day shift job that just opened up! I'm so excited! I hope working days will help my health, and my sleep, and will slow my weighloss. I'm now down approx 27 pounds in all, and although I'd still like to lose another 20 pounds, I don't want/need to lose it by not eating.

    My son who is 9 has been suffering as well. He just doesn't deserve to have mommy sleeping all day while he's off. He needs more supervision that this, and I am finally going to be able to be there for him.

    I'm not crazy.. I realize I will still be tired, I know the work will be more frenzied. I work in a level 1 trauma center, and it's a teaching hospital, so we'll have anywhere from 25-30 NS and other docs, OT/PT, etc, etc. there during the shift during the day. Finding a computer to chart on will be a new hassle. No more "assigned seating" for me, which was common on night shift.

    I will also miss the $$, but I'm hoping to be able to pick up a shift here or there to make up for the missed differentials.

    Thank god a day job opened. I don't think I could've lasted much longer.

    God bless all of you who can work your night shift schedule and be "normal". I just couldn't do it.
  9. by   Indy
    Good grief, Leslasic. See your doctor about the chronic vomiting! You probably actually DO need some form of proton pump inhibitor, along with some idea of what's causing all the nausea so you can fix it!

    I've never seen anyone have chronic nausea as a result of shift work. I'll cross my fingers that it's the cause of yours, as it will be fixable quickly.

    My tips for surviving nightshift:
    1. Don't expect to be doing housework on your workdays. Get laundry done prior to your run of shifts, have food made and in the fridge (or frozen dinners bought, whatnot), etc.

    2. Try sleep things: fan, curtains, sleep mask, scents, etc. My sleep scent is vicks vaporub which drives my hubby nuts. /shrug. I don't know why but it works. Body pillows are also nice. I noticed my LOL's sleep better when tucked in on their side with the pillow to back and between legs, so I tried it with a body pillow... it doesn't last long but can help me get to sleep sometimes.

    3. Develop a routine for bedtime when you get home. Eat whatever makes you sleepy when done with work, if you have indigestion maybe stay up an hour or so then off to bed. Make the routine and use props (see no. 2 above) before you get all happy to try medicines for sleep, maybe you'll stumble on something that works well enough.

    4. Just don't have a phone in the bedroom. There's no reason to, I'd just mistake it for a tele alarm and wake up poking at the wall. I realize that there are people without a backup who need their kids school or whatever to be able to reach them. If you're one of these people make sure others know that 9am to like, 4pm is NOT a time to call you except for emergencies and that you'll respond in kind with phone calls at two AM.

    5. Buy an alarm that doesn't sound like any of your electronic equipment at work so you might actually wake up. Stretch when you do get up, that couple of minutes may save your back later.

    6. Try not to oversleep on your days off. Conversely, resist the urge to stay up 12 more hours after the last night shift in a row. If you keep breaking the routine, it won't work anymore.

    I used to never flip my sleep schedule on off days, now I've gotten to where I can but it is limited. I can sleep 3-11pm and give my family some of the daytime, or they can just not see me till 5 pm. It's tempting after a horrible week to go to bed at dawn and get up at midnight, too.

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