Days to Nights

  1. Has anyone voluntarily switched from days to nights out of desire to do so? What was the transition like? I work days in a level one trauma center in the Medical/Cardiac ICU. I'm thinking about approaching my manager about switching to nights. I am naturally a night owl and am not a morning person.

    I've been doing days since day one of being a nurse and have only picked up a few nights for overtime. Although I did feel sleepy, I did enjoy those nights more so than days. My shift change differenntial is also 6 dollars more!

    My biggest worries are health related. Particularly weight gain.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   saskrn
    Quote from CardiacDork
    Has anyone voluntarily switched from days to nights out of desire to do so? What was the transition like? I work days in a level one trauma center in the Medical/Cardiac ICU. I'm thinking about approaching my manager about switching to nights. I am naturally a night owl and am not a morning person.

    I've been doing days since day one of being a nurse and have only picked up a few nights for overtime. Although I did feel sleepy, I did enjoy those nights more so than days. My shift change differenntial is also 6 dollars more!

    My biggest worries are health related. Particularly weight gain.
    Voluntarily? Believe it or not, not everyone wants to work days. I've seen a lot of night nurses refuse to be moved to the day shift, for a variety of reasons.

    My husband used to work a rotating schedule in the ER, CCU/CSU and the SICU, and he never really noticed a transition between the two shifts. One thing we both do as night nurses, though, is get our full 7-8 hours right before our shift. Then we wake up, shower, have something to eat and go to work, just like a day person would. I've know people who break their sleep into 2 naps, and they're generally exhausted all of the time.

    Also, our windows have blackout curtains, a fan is always running, we have a note so people don't ring the doorbell, and phone ringers are off.

    As far as weight gain goes, we've never had a problem. I think, for the most part, if you don't want to gain weight, then just watch what you're eating.

    Enjoy the nights!
  4. by   NurseCard
    Yep, I'd much rather do nights. I'm totally not a morning/day person at
    all. The rays of the sun just make me want to either sleep or just veg out
    somewhere.

    I think that's why ultimately, my career as a home health nurse didn't
    pan out. I guess I could have done evenings and nighttime call only....
  5. by   CardiacDork
    I don't enjoy the sun if I'm going to locked indoors. I'm not really a day person anyway but if I'm gonna be awake during the day, I much rather be A) asleep or B) walking outside and or sleeping outside - lol.

    I just naturally am more alert during the night time.
  6. by   LovingLife123
    I didn't think I was a morning person either, until I went to night shift. It taught me I could be a morning person. And now that I've been back on days, I have not had one issue getting up in the morning. Not one. I think maybe part of it was my body got used to being awake at 5am from night shift. I literally used to get nauseous when I would have to get up early. Now, I don't.

    Days is better for me now after I did time on nights. It's weird. I thought I would do great on night shift, but I felt like crap all the time on my days off. Plus, I missed my family. That was the hardest part. I do miss my night shift pay. Especially my night shift, weekend diff pay!! Lol.
  7. by   kp2016
    I loved working nights. I did not have an issue with weight gain and honestly the massive reduction in stress was probably good for my health.
    If you currently go to the gym decide when you will go and stick to it until it becomes a new habit. Decide when you will have your "meals" and stick to it.
    I had breakfast when I got home as I can't sleep when i'm hungry and then went to bed. I went to the gym in the afternoon as soon as I woke up, lunch in the evening before I went to work and dinner in the middle of my shift.
  8. by   EllaBella1
    I also prefer working nights. I actually picked up a day shift this week because my unit was so short, and let me tell you, I am NOT a morning person. It took some getting used to, but I sleep well during the day, and over time my body has become more adaptable to being awake whenever I need it to be. I follow a similar routine that those above mentioned (breakfast when i get home, sleep during the day, lunch at the start of my shift, dinner at 2 am or so) , with the only difference being that I do flip back to normal daytime hours when I have more than a day or two off. I did gain weight when I went to nights- about 20 lbs over two years. BUT I will admit that I was eating a lot less healthy and basically stopped working out. I was asked to switch to days a few months ago, and honestly I'm glad that I said no. A lot of the nurses I work with are career-long nightshifters, and they all feel the same way.
  9. by   peachypurple
    I was hired for nights as a new grad, but did 6 months orientation on day shift. I thought I was a day person until I finally got to nights. I could never get myself in bed early when I was on days. I would stay up until 12-1am and have to be awake by 5am. On nights, I always get atleast 7 hours of sleep between shifts. I eat healither for the most part on nights-our cafeteria is closed at night, so most of the time I cook my own food to take with me. You really get to know your coworkers and they are your best resource on nights. My night shift coworkers all work together and as a team, together I feel like we can handle anything lol. The one bad thing for me is that when working nights, your first "day off" isn't even really a day off. You sleep most of the day away, and if you don't and make yourself get up after only a couple hours of sleep you feel like garbage. I find it easier to block my nights together,
    Last edit by peachypurple on Jul 5 : Reason: clarify
  10. by   CardiacDork
    Ugh well guys I emailed my supervisor....! :nervously waits:
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from CardiacDork
    Has anyone voluntarily switched from days to nights out of desire to do so? What was the transition like? I work days in a level one trauma center in the Medical/Cardiac ICU. I'm thinking about approaching my manager about switching to nights. I am naturally a night owl and am not a morning person.

    I've been doing days since day one of being a nurse and have only picked up a few nights for overtime. Although I did feel sleepy, I did enjoy those nights more so than days. My shift change differenntial is also 6 dollars more!

    My biggest worries are health related. Particularly weight gain.
    In 40 or so years of nursing, I have voluntarily switched from days to nights at least three times. If you're a night owl, if you're getting burned out with families and specialty consults and road trips and management, if you need a bit more cash in your wallet or if your family life works better with nights, I highly recommend it. In my case, a SO on permanent night shift prompted one switch from days to nights. Burn out prompted another, and the third was because my knees were ready for replacement and I just couldn't hack the day shift.

    If you're worried about weight gain on nights, don't gain weight. Eat reasonable meals midway through your shift (leftovers work great), and make sure you get your sleep and exercise. Not getting enough sleep WILL cause you to gain weight, so don't make the mistake of not sleeping during the day. I actually lost weight on the night shift due to those 3am stair climb challenges (15 story building) -- but that probably hastened the knee issues.

    Yes, night shift workers have health issues: Type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer are the trifecta for those who have worked night shift for 30 years. Day shift workers have health issues. Anyone who has worked in nursing for 30 years is in their fifties at least, and people in their fifties have usually developed some health issues. Eat reasonably, get plenty of sleep and exercise to prevent that. It was much easier for me to get up an hour early and go to the gym or go for a swim or a long walk when I was working night shift. The creek at 5 am probably wasn't a safe place for a swim but at 5PM, it was wonderful!

    Go for it! Nights also seems to have better teamwork!
  12. by   CardiacDork
    Can't wait looks like I'm gonna part of nights ! I'm thrilled. 24 years old. I have NO kids. No husband. NO commitments. I'm studying for my BSN and I can actually get some studying done for my CCRN and BSN during nights. I got so much studying done during my OT. I'm sure I'll have busy nights but I'm also certain I'll have time for so' stidying.
  13. by   jaderook01
    I actually lost weight on night shift (and flipped my meals- dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner). Night shift actually isn't bad at all. My only complaint is that my first day off always felt wasted because I had to sleep. It worked out better for me when I worked my three in a row.
  14. by   CardiacDork
    Well it's in the works, management is going to make it happen.

    I've also been approached by an overwhelming amount of day shift co workers, asking why and saying they'll miss me on days... and we do get a long pretty great. I love to be bubbly and joke with my day shift co workers amongst the stress of the ICU.

    I am a little nervous about nights in that regard. I hope my outgoing, sassy, sarcastic personality finds a good spot... and doesn't rub anyone terribly wrong.

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