How do YOU fall asleep (ATTN! Night Shifters!!)



  1. I need some suggestions!! I am starting a COMPLETE full-time position in OB night-shift 6 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. I have worked a few 11p-7a shifts here and there, but not enough to really "bother" me.

    Besides a fan (for noise) and a dark room (as dark as I can get it) do you have another helpful hints??

    When I get home, I have two kids to take to school and won't be going to bed until about 9a.m. This is going to be hard in the sum-sum-summertime!!! PLUS! I am THE lightest sleeper in the world. I go from asleep to WIDE AWAKE in less than a second.

    So, any ideas?? Anything from meds to mental....I'm open to suggestions!!! Thanks!
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   BadBird
    After working 12 hour shifts I am just exhausted. I bet after you settle into a routine your sleep will come naturally. A dark room and a fan on help too.
  4. by   passing thru
    You can go to the store and buy black poster board paper and cover the windows with it. This will be a must, that the room is pitch black. Do not drink beverages, especially caffeinated ones the last 3-4 hours before bedtime, set the alarm, turn the phone off in your room, unplug it, turn the other phones down, and take a tylenol PM. Turn on the fan. You will sleep if you do all these things..and close the bedroom door.
  5. by   Genista
    I'm working pm shift now, but a few short months ago I had to do 3 weeks of mandatory night shift (after having been on day shift for over 3 years). You know what, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Though, I worked 11pm- 7:30 am. I arrived home about 8:15-8:30 and was in bed by 9-10 am at the latest.

    I had a dark room, white noise, and a "sleeping mask" (the ones that you put over your eyes). I bought "black out draperies" to place under my curtains in my room. I really made sure not a crack of light was getting into my room! I am really light sensitive, so that helped a lot. I know you mentioned kids, so I don't know if this is possible, but I also unplugged my phone while I slept. The first few times I didn't unplug my phone, and I kept hearing the darn phone ring- it was usually some telemarketer or a well meaning friend or family member who "forgot" I was sleeping during the day.

    Usually sleep came easy, but on occasion I would take a tylenol pm with a cup of decaf herbal tea before turning in. I'd sleep pretty sound till 4pm.

    It also really helps if your room is cool/dark. A cool room seems to be slumber inducing.

    Good luck with the night shift! ;-)
    Last edit by Genista on Feb 6, '03
  6. by   altomga
    I don't have any problems myself falling asleep after my twelve hours of work. I have 3 children of my own. Two in school and one 2 1/2yo. Once I go to bed though I hear nothing!! I have black curtains at my window and I actually sleep with the T.V. on. Anyway, I don't usually get to bed until @ 1000. (I live 40min away from where I work) I stay up for a little bit playing with my little one before going to bed. A nice hot shower helps me relax before bed to. I do know some co-workers who take tylenol pm or benadryl to help them sleep though that have a problem falling asleep.
    During the summer my oldest one watches the youngest one for me. (she is almost 13) and my middle one is 10. So I don't have to worry so much about what they are doing.
    Good luck and Good night
  7. by   Rustyhammer
    Do all of the above plus put the Golf Channel on TV with the timer set to turn it off in 30 mins.
    -Russell
  8. by   Flynurse
    When I had to work mandatory overtime, I used a few tricks of my own. Of course, the dark room and the fan are the basic I used a couple other things to help. At first, I started using ear plugs to block out the morning traffic untill I got exhausted enough that I would fall asleep without them (I did alot of overnights). I also used a shower gel and lotion by The Healing Gardens ( http://www.healinggarden.com/home.html ) called zzztherapy Satin Dreams. You can find that at any Walgreen's store. I also used a couple products from Earth Thereaputics....Anti-Stress Eye Pillow and the Anti-Stress Comfort Wrap. http://www.earththerapeutics.com/

    Yes, I am an aromatherapy FREAK!!!

    Sweet Dreams :zzzzz
    Last edit by Flynurse on Feb 6, '03
  9. by   Tweety
    I worked with a nurse that drank a glass of wine and took a benadryl when getting home.

    I don't advocate chemicals. But seriously by 9:00 you will probably fall right to sleep. That's what time I go to bed and I fall right asleep without any trouble. But I'm like you, staying asleep is an issue. I noticed when I got a blackout blind (an expensive one that lets zero light in) I slept better through the afternoons.

    I can't add anything that's already been said. Good luck.
  10. by   hapeewendy
    I dont have anything to add, the dark blinds/curtains etc works for me , mind you , I think I could sleep thru an earthquake , tornado, end of the world etc you get the point
    I'm being ROBBED of my permanent nights starting next week and will mourn the loss of coming home by 8am and sleeping til 3pm or so ....
    good luck, make sure you get sleep, its hard with kiddos to take care of , also , limit the caffeine intake, that had a MAJOR effect on me....
  11. by   angelbear
    Have worked nights for 3 yrs. Dark cool room et fan. Also I take only my cell phone to bed with me and only my hubby and sons school has the #. I have to stay on nights scheduel even on my nocs off or I am screwed.
  12. by   newbornnurse
    well i'm a night person always have been, i think there are night people and day people, the thought of getting up before 5 am appauls me, 4pm is more like it i believe i'm one of the few people that caffeine doesn't keep awake, the only thing i do to get to sleep in the morning when i come home is lay my head down..... i do feel for ya though i worked 7a-7p for 3 years and was a bear until about noon and fighting to stay awake at work. good luck to ya the others advice posts are very good though.
  13. by   Chiaramonte
    I have always worked the night shift in all my years in the medical profession.
    I agree with the fan, dark room but would suggest
    adding MELATONIN .
    It is an OTC herbal remedy for regulating sleep patterns.
    It seems not to leave one with the benadryl-type hangover
    after-affects. Just a nice easy sleep.
    Good luck and welcome to MUSHROOM LAND!!!
  14. by   FullMoonMadness
    My fellow nightshifters and me frequently go to this little dive called Sams Corner for a beer at 730. Just kidding, although there have been a few mornings that we have done exactly that.
    I know this sounds crazy after running up and down a long hall all night, but I usually do 1-2 miles on the treadmill and then depending on my mood take the hottest bath or shower that I can stand. Then,cool dark room with either the fan or tv on low to filter out noise. I recommend not eating anything heavy right before going to bed. And turn off the ringer on the phone. Sweet Dreams

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