How long did it take to get use to working nights? - page 3

Hello, I am thinking about taking a 7p-7a job. Problem is I have only worked 7-3, 3-11, and 7a-7p. I want to know how long did it take you to adjust to being awake overnight? How do you stay up... Read More

  1. by   Mrs. SnowStormRN
    Quote from KangaKicker
    I worked nights for over a year and never got use to it. I'm a night person myself, but not a stay up ALL night type of person. My sleep pattern was always so jacked up and then I started feeling signs of depression. That's when I went days. I don't like getting up at 5am either, but to me it's better than dealing with depression. Just make sure you try to eat right, stay hydrated and exercise. I think my problem was not getting enough sun light. I've heard a few night nurses that I work with say that their vitamin D levels were very low.
    Funny you say that, as I suffer from a severe vit D deficiency and have to take 50,000U/week
  2. by   debi49
    I did nights in hospital for years. I did ok. I didnt sleep great in the day, but I have never slept great. Also, on the nights i was working, i could never enjoy the evenings cuz I knew I had to go to work. For the last 10 years my nursing jobs have been non-hospital m-f day jobs, which has been better for me.

    BUT if I ever had to go back to hospital work, it would be night shift. I am too introverted ( not shy, just get drained by lots of people/noise) to do well in the noisy environment hospitals are on 7-3/3-11. Families, doctors, phones ringing off the wall....
  3. by   blue heeler
    i think night shift either suits you or it doesn't. i have never been a morning person or an early riser. i hated getting up for early clinicals. now that i work nights, it works well for me but i do miss seeing my family as much.
  4. by   RNAM1965
    I have used room-darkening shades and consistent schedule. Seems to help.
  5. by   rikkitikki
    Yes! Dark curtains will save your life!
  6. by   anotherone
    Didn't take any time. I prefer nights. Most nights we are just as busy or busier than days since there is less ancillary staff. We have NO trouble staying awake!
  7. by   nurse.sandi
    My vitamin D was a third of what it should of been. In the winter I saw no light. It was dark when I went to work and dark when I went home. But, if I had to choose I would choose 7p-7a all over again. But this time like a previous poster recommended...I would get a special light and drink tons of water. I was always dehydrated per my Dr.
  8. by   nurse.sandi
    When I worked 3-11p I had no social life or did not see my child. You have to way the lesser of the evils. The thing about three twelves is that if you can..(we made our own schedules and the manager approved it) is that you can work 3 on 8 off 3 on. Get all your shifts in, get your weekend in and it seems like a vacation every time you do this. There are many ways to make your schedule. However, if someone else makes your schedule it may not be that pretty.
  9. by   CalidthreeN
    Quote from Bhavana
    Ugh. Great question. I am doing 12 hr shift clinicals right now as a student, and let me tell you, even if I manage to sleep half the day to prepare myself, it is BRUTAL!! By the time 3am rolls around, I want to cry. I am also on a very quiet floor, nothing going on, which I think makes it worse. The other seasoned nurses don't seem to handle it much better, they struggle at times to stay awake as well.

    To be honest, it isn't normal to be up all night. It goes against the natural law of the universe! Staying busy helps, but it probably takes a long time to not feel like it is torture. And even then, it is probably, for most people, not an easy shift. ESPECIALLY with the 12 hour shift. 11 to 7 is easier.
    I too as a student did my preceptorship during the night shift on a non busy med surg floor. It was terrible doing nights there simply because there was not much going on. I felt like it was a waste of time because there weren't many opportunities to learn at night. And at night the preceptors didn't seem energized to teach. If there is not much work to be done, it makes a 12 hour shift feel like 24 hours. I recently accepted a night shift job, but it's in the ER so I'm hoping that it will keep me busy at night.
  10. by   RNmilwife
    Never. Of course it all depends on the person. Everybody is different and I consider myself more of a day person so sleeping in the day sucks for me. I like my bed at night.
    Last edit by RNmilwife on Apr 29, '11 : Reason: adding
  11. by   neft
    Some people here mentioned caffeine. Caffeine is not recommended even three hours before your night shift is up as it works together with the circadian clock to keep you up and you don't get a proper restful sleep. It is recommended to sleep immediately after coming home as well a a nap or even a few hours before going to work if possible. Check out some good info at Jobs Working Nights