Can't sleep anymore!

  1. 1
    I'm extremely frustrated right now. I have been working night shift (11-7) for almost a year now, and I've never had problems sleeping during the day, until now. I generally go to bed around 8 am, and I was able to sleep until at least 3 pm, most of the time I would sleep until 4ish.

    Well for the past couple of nights I've worked, I come home in the morning and go to bed at the same time I always do, and I pass right out... but the problem is, I can't stay asleep! I keep waking up around 11am. I try to fall back asleep and I can't. I can't figure out why all of the sudden I can't sleep during the day. I haven't changed anything.. I don't drink caffeine at night, I sleep with an eye mask and a fan in the background. I should mention that this past week I had 4 nights off in a row, in which I reverted back to sleeping at night, but I'm not sure that would be the reason I can't sleep much now.

    I worked last night, fell asleep around 8 this morning, woke up at 11 and now I can't go back to sleep I'm really at a loss of what to do. Any advice would be appreciated!
    Sehille4774 likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 0
    The exact same thing happened to me after 15 years working nights. How old are you? I was about 45. I hated it. I used to be the best sleeper, I LOVED to sleep!!!!

    For me it was the sudden start of what has turned out to be chronic insomnia. I switched to days, no effect, still slept 2 - 4 hours. I tried every sleeping pill, none worked, or gave me a horrible groggy feeling the next day.

    After many years of suffering, I finally, gradually, realized I often felt just fine after maybe 4 hours of sleep. And conversely if I sometimes slept 6 - 8 hours it was not unusual for me to feel lousy sleepy "yucky" that day!

    I learned to stop looking at the clock, stopped counting the hours. I just go by how I feel the next day.

    However, even saying that, I can and do still get really annoyed, cranky, when I have 3 - 4 nights in a row of really bad sleep.
  4. 2
    I think your 4 nights off, when you slept at night, reset your sleep-clock, and it's likely you'll get back to your normal sleep-habit sooner rather than later.

    Working night shift, and especially working night along with other shifts at times, is notorious for messing with a person's sleep cycle...
    xtxrn and Poi Dog like this.
  5. 2
    My mom gave me some great advice regarding insomnia. Even if you can't sleep, stay in bed and keep your eyes closed. She read a study that stated even though you aren't asleep, the act of resting can be nearly as beneficial. I used this a lot while I was working and pregnant. Since I was having a very hard time sleeping it helped make me feel functional in the morning.
    Sehille4774 and Poi Dog like this.
  6. 1
    I slept fine on days while working nightshift until I hit perimenopause. The drastic hormonal changes really interfered with my ability to sleep soundly during the day. My solution was to quit working nightshift fulltime I still occasionally work a nightshift here and there and still cannot sleep much during the day. Like you, I fall asleep without any difficulty around 8 AM, but wake up ~ 11 AM.
    hoopschick likes this.
  7. 0
    I have been a nightshifter for 20 years, I never had a problem sleeping. Ever. I slipped easily back and forth between a dayshifter schedule on my days off and sleeping all days when I worked. Until several weeks ago. I, like you, fall asleep easily, but 3 hours later, I am up, end of story. It is so frustrating. I have a 75 minute commute one way, and I have recently had to start pulling over and taking power naps just to get home safely in the morning. Once a large, dirty, toothless man beat on my window and asked me if I was dead. End of nap. I have noticed that the less I sleep, the more anxious I get about not sleeping, the less sleep I get...it's a vicious circle. Afew things have helped, like cutting out caffiene and really making myself stay in bed when I wake up at noon. I have heard that melatonin would help, anyone have experience with melatonin?
  8. 0
    I am also a chronic insomniac! No caffeine..I have a usual bedtime, but I still wake up after about 3 or 4 hours. I do take a sleep aide IF I have had less than 3 hours sleep AND I have at least 4 hours before I have to get back up. I take it as only last resort, but even though it may only give me another 2 or 3 hours, it seems to be very restful sleep. I went many years without the medication and the sleep deprivation was very toxic to my body after time. Even though I still have sleepless nights, the nights that I do get good rest kind of even out with the bad & I feel so much better overall! Good luck
  9. 0
    I know exactly how you feel. So glad to see this post. I have been having the same problem. I cannot sleep long at all when I am working. On my nights off, I try to switch back to "normal" sleep schedule, and I cannot get a good night's sleep. Day or night does not matter=not enough good sleep. I feel irritable, tired, stressed, just not good at all. I have been on nights for years with no difficulty, but now I think it is time to maybe go back to day shift. I like nights when at work, and my night shift crew I work with is great, but feeling like this is not worth it any longer. I have the black out curtains, fan to cut out noise, relax before bed, hot shower then bath, no caffeine after about 2am when working...nothing works. I do not want to resort to medication to sleep if at all possible. It is frustrating to feel so tired, but cannot sleep...and I have always been a great sleeper....could sleep day or night for hours and hours....and hours.

    Wishing you the best! Hope it gets better, and you can find a way to get your sleep.
  10. 0
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has been through this. I worked night shift for 10 years - LOVED IT. Then, one day, it was like someone flipped a switch. I would get in bed by about 8 am and would wake up about 11 am and could not get back to sleep. I tried everything - cool, dark room, white noise, no caffeine, not eating too late in the shift - nothing worked. That was 5 years ago. I was never able to turn my body back around to be able to make it through night shift again. I continued on day shift for a while and then finally left the NICU to become an FNP.
  11. 1
    Quote from kessadawn
    . I have heard that melatonin would help, anyone have experience with melatonin?
    I take melatonin after a night shift, prescribed by my doctor. I works wonderfully, though I take half the recommended dose.
    kessadawn likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top