Combating drowsiness

  1. What do you do to ward of drowsiness on long shifts?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Some ideas from a night nurse that may or may not work for you:

    Keep up a good diet.
    Limit caffeine consumption (yea I know laugh), but excessive caffeine use can lead to sleep problems and rebound drowsiness.
    Get good sleep when not on duty.
    Maintain a consistent exercise program.
    Keep moving while on shift----if it is that slow, restock, clean, do paperwork, take a walk around the unit, or even the hospital if you need to. and can get a coworker to cover for you.
    Stay hydrated all day long.
    Pray.

    These are all things I have tried. I like busy nights really, cause I never have a drowsiness problem when I am busy.
  4. by   purplemania
    We paced off a long hall so we would know how many trips up and down the hall would equal a mile. Keep moving! If you are completly exhausted ask a coworker to wake you in 15 minutes (obviously assuming you HAVE 15 min to spare). Then go to a break room and sleep for 10-15 min. Another trick is not to eat a huge meal while on duty. Better to pace yourself, then eat a nice breakfast and go to bed. And lastly, don't pretend you have a day job. Make sure family and friends know NOT to wake you. Don't get obligated for events during the day just because you feel guilty about not being there for someone. You need your rest.
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Keep moving while on shift----if it is that slow, restock, clean, do paperwork, take a walk around the unit, or even the hospital if you need to. and can get a coworker to cover for you.
    YES!

    On the now-rare night shift I work, Inever stop moving once I'm finished my paperwork. Co-workers laugh but I'm just as perky at the end of the shift as at the beginning. And our unit is spotless after a "slow" night .

    As soon as I hit the pillow, tho - out like a light .
  6. by   Salus
    Thanks for the replies.

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