NOC shift-how do you arrange your sleep?

  1. I'm thinking about switching to 12 hour nights from 7p-7a. My question is how do you sleep when you work nights?---I've never worked a night shift before ever.

    1. How/when do you sleep when you work nights?
    2. How much sleep should I get to stay awake all night?
    3. Do you stay up all night on your days off? I've heard not to flip flop back and forth on sleeping schedules. I was thinking about scheduling three nights in a row then four days off--I don't want to stay awake at night the four days in a row I am off. Is it hard to switch gears?
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   NurseyTee
    I've been working this schedule for 10 months now. 7p-7:30am. It's a little difficult to flip back to night sleeping after working this shift for a few days, but it's not impossible. I end up sleeping for a few hours and waking up about 1am, so I end up sleeping again during the day for a few hours. I don't have any trouble staying awake during my shifts whatsoever. I did the first week, but after that it was no problem.

    Best wishes to you.
  4. by   stillpinay
    I've heard that to induce sleep during the day (ideally 9a-5p): 1) cover the windows with dark shades making the room as dark as possible (this helps increase the level of melatonin to induce sleep) 2) turn the ringer off and let the answering machine pick up calls. If you have kids, tell them to wake you up only if : a) it's a matter of life or death situation b) something in the house is on fire or flooding c) or any other true emergencies you can think of; 3) have a small fan to provide white noise that helps induce sleep.


    Good luck!
  5. by   JentheRN05
    Okay - I have a really stupid question. I've even worked nights and I don't know the answer.

    What does NOC stand for?

    I NEVER was able to adjust to nights. I tried everything from those cute little eye covers to melatonin and everything in between. Some of us are just meant to be day people.
  6. by   Gompers
    Quote from JentheRN05
    Okay - I have a really stupid question. I've even worked nights and I don't know the answer.

    What does NOC stand for?

    I NEVER was able to adjust to nights. I tried everything from those cute little eye covers to melatonin and everything in between. Some of us are just meant to be day people.
    NOC means night, as in nocturnal.
  7. by   JentheRN05
    Thank you - I appreciate FINALLY knowing what it stands for - I was feeling stupid for so long not being able to figure it out lol
  8. by   youngatheart
    I have been on nights for 4 weeks now 7p-7a. I truly am a day person and have been one for 46 years. Nighs do take time to get use to. I am a new grad (May 2006) and this was the only position open. I oriented on days for 12 weeks and then went to nights. What a big difference during the days it was very hectic with patients going down for tests, doctors coming in, orders to be processed, etc. At nights it is a different pace but the hours, I have tried working 3 nights in a row but it is very exhausting, then I tried switching working 1 night on then off 2 days then on 2 days, I didn't like this to much because if felt like you were always back at work, I started taking melatonin before I go to sleep, this has helped that feeling of a hangover type, (I read this in several other posts) After working a 12 hour shift I go to bed at 8:30AM and sleep until about 1:30-2 pm. Then get up, But it always feels like I am tired all the time. I will work nights for about 6 months until I get my organization skills down pat and then will probably switch to days, but I do like the shift differential. I will make that decision in three months from now. Good luck with nights
  9. by   navynurse06
    I think I'm really odd b/c I sleep more and better when I work night shift. I work 1900 to 0700. I get home about 0800 go to sleep around 0830. If I work that day I get up around 1600. IF I don't work then I just wake up whenever. I have my windows covered with tint so very little light comes through, and all phones are turned off. And I don't have any problem at all sleep through the night when I'm off.
  10. by   crb613
    Quote from JentheRN05
    Okay - I have a really stupid question. I've even worked nights and I don't know the answer.

    What does NOC stand for?

    I NEVER was able to adjust to nights. I tried everything from those cute little eye covers to melatonin and everything in between. Some of us are just meant to be day people.
    Amen! I am one of those day people stuck on nights...hate it! Lord willing something will open up on days & the sooner the better.
  11. by   all4schwa
    Quote from supernova004
    1. how/when do you sleep when you work nights? i do 7p-7a. i sleep from 9a-5p if i'm between 12's. otherwise, i just go according to whatever i've got going on.
    2. how much sleep should i get to stay awake all night? you must have as much sleep during the day as you would have during your normal night. i try to get 8 hours whether i'm working days or nights because i know i function optimally with 8 hours sleep.
    3. do you stay up all night on your days off? is it hard to switch gears?
    once you get used to night shift you just get into the swing of it. i stay up later, but not till dawn. and if i do sleep all night, i get myself up early and go back to bed from 1-5, so i'm not up for 24 hrs straight.

    i think the people who never can get used to nights, or the ones that get sick are depriving themselves of sleep.
  12. by   youngatheart
    It is very hard and gets time to get use to night shift, after 46 years of being a day person, getting through nights is tough, I have been at nights for over a month now and I am really tired. I try to go to sleep at 8:30 am and usually get up by 1:30-2pm. I try to go back to sleep for about 2 more hours but it is difficult work trying to get back to sleep once you get up. I am feel sleep deprived and a little isolated as most of my friends and family work days. I will try to stick it out for 6 months but if I can't do it I will try to get on days. Not everyone can work nights,.
  13. by   Gompers
    Part of the problem, and I'm seeing it here with quite a few people, is that many night shifters wake up way too early. They don't give themselves time to have a real "good nights' sleep" like they should. If you go to bed at 9am, you should aim to sleep until 5pm - a full 8 hours. (Of course, if there are childcare issues, etc. that is different.)

    If you went to bed at 9pm before working day shift, there is no way you'd wake up at 1 or 2am! You'd sleep until at least 4am, probably 5 or so. Those extra few hours make a huge difference. Many of my coworkers who work full-time nights say they feel "bad" about sleeping all day - but they shouldn't!!! If you're working back-to-back 12 hour shifts, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sleeping all day. Day shifters never feel bad about going to bed early and sleeping all night!

    You just need to plan for it, is all. Do all your grocery shopping and errands on days you are off or only work 8 hours. Cook double meals so on the days that you work 12's, there are leftovers that just need to be heated up and your family still gets a home-cooked dinner. Like I said, if there are kids involved that is obviously different, but if you don't HAVE to wake up early and take care of anybody, why not just sleep all day?

    Maybe I'm just a true night owl at heart.
    Last edit by Gompers on Oct 12, '06
  14. by   RNsRWe
    I've always been a night owl, in that if left to my own devices (without work or school or children, lol) I'd go to bed every night at about 2-3am and wake up about 9-10 am. I had taken time off from work with health issues (before children) and this was the schedule I followed, and was the happiest ever regarding sleep.

    However, it's not reality for now, is it?

    I can never get enough sleep now that I'm on night shift. I have to get sleep in blocks of two, three and (WOWWEE!!) four hours at a shot (that's a lucky one). I never dreamed a 7p-7a shift would be a problem for me, but it's a real struggle. The needs of the kids are such that sleeping all day is simply not an option.

    At this point, I find that I go into a headachy, eyes-hurt, sleep-deprived state after several days of shift-sleeping, and I sleep for a deathlike 8 hours in a row on a day where I can have hubby take the kids. I have off a few days at a time, and that's when I try to make up all the sleep I've lost in the last four! Not pretty.

    Am really REALLY hoping that this all works out, and my body adapts to less sleep overall, because the money is much better on nights and it screws up my family's schedule far less. And, of course, my NM isn't expecting to put me on days when the night shift is ridiculously understaffed as it is :uhoh21:

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