Need My Rest..Please!!!

  1. Any one have suggestions on time to sleep when working a 2145 to 0845 shift? Am starting soon on nocs and need some helpful ideas. Thanks All!
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   indynurse
    When I worked nocs, I was never able to go home and go right to bed. I did 8 hrs (2300-0730) not 12. I did my best sleeping in the evening, but my husbnd worked evenings and my daughter was only 6 at the time, so I couldn't really sleep then. My advice would be to get dark, dark curtains to block out as much of the sun as possible. Wear sunglasses as soon as you step outside the hospital to go home. I found that if it was a bright sunny morning, no matter how tired I was, the sunshine would wake me up and I would have even more trouble falling asleep.
    If you haven't already done so, invest in an answering machine or voice mail. It is amazing how friends, relatives or neighbors think you can be able to take their calls 24/7. And don't get me started on telemarketers....
    Now, I don't mean to paint a bleak picture. On the days my husband was of work and able to care for our daughter in the evenings so I could sleep, it was wonderful. I just have a hard time falling asleep when it is light outside. (you will come to love rainy or cloudy days when you need to sleep)
    I really liked working nocs. It is a whole different atmosphere and, at least at my hospital, it is a very cohesive group. You are sort of on your own at night and everyone pulls together, even between departments. When I worked med-surg, most nights there were just 2 RN's working the floor. If we had a patient who was becoming unstable, we could call post-partum and get a nurse or CNA to come up and help out for a little while until things were stabilized or we could get another med-surg nurse or our NM to come in. That rarely happens on days. Also, the phones aren't ringing as much and visitors aren't as much of an issue in the middle of the night as it is on days and evenings. I'm not saying you don't get phone calls or visitors at all, just less often. It is more patient care and less dealing with the outside world.
    When my daughter is a little older, I was thinking about going back to nights.
  4. by   indynurse
    Oh, I forgot to mention, I was watching Trauma: Life in the ER and one of the night shift docs they followed had a bed set up in a walk-in closet. He said it was pitch-black in there and he could sleep better.
  5. by   Genista
    I'm a day shifter who did work nocs a few years ago. I would get home at about 8 am (worked 23-07) and stay up a few hours, and sleep till 6 or 7 pm. For me it worked better that way. When I tried to sleep in the evening before work, often I would get "caught up" in daily activities and sometimes would look at the time and shriek,"Oh my gosh! It's 8 pm and I haven't slept and I have to be at work at 11 pm!" Yuck.

    My NOC shift coping tips were: I used a box fan on "low" to act as white noise and block out my neighbors (lawnmover, leafblower, etc) so I could sleep. I bought "backout" drapes to make my bedroom nice & dark. If you can, take the phone off the hook in the bedroom & let your machine pick up calls while you sleep. I agree with the post above, to wear sunglasses as you leave work and go home in the am (I am light sensitive, and any sunlight will keep me awake even if I am very tired).

    We are so short staffed lately where I work that I am now obligated to do my mandatory 3 week stint on NOCs coming up in a few weeks. I am not too happy about it. But we all have to do our part, and so my turn is coming. ;-)

    Good luck to you. Some people LOVE nights!
  6. by   911fltrn
    First pick the hours you want to sleep! Then sleep the same time every day. I do nights. Sleep 9 or 10 am till 1700 everyday. As long as you stick with a schedule youll be fine. My coworkers who constantly switch between night and day sleeping always seem to be tired. Good luck!
  7. by   RN-PA
    Kayzee, I did a search here after typing in "sleep" and came up with a few threads that I remember being helpful-- *AND* entertaining:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...ighlight=sleep

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...ighlight=sleep

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...ighlight=sleep
  8. by   BadBird
    Well for starters I work 7p-7a, when I get home I shower, eat a light snack like a bowl of cereal then off to bed. I have aluminum foil over my bedroom windows so it is like midnight in there. Works for me anyway. I have been doing this for years now. Another trick is to turn the ringer off on your phone so it doesn't wake you.
  9. by   nimbex
    I've been on and off nights for 7 years. Some mornings after working nights I go right to sleep, other mornings I get I second wind and stay up unti 11am, then wake up a 5pm.

    Most people I know nap before their first night shift back. I never do so I'm tired enough to sleep in the am.

    I guess I just listen to my body and sleep when tired... I did buy room darkening blinds for the bedroom and put on the answering machine,

    I told ALL my family, that anyone who called before 5pm needed to be on fire or would be the brunt of 2am call backs.

    Telemarketers... well I can tell you that the things I have said would be edited here... Some people I know take ambien once in awhile to keep them sleeping. Once you get sleep deprived it's hard to reverse.

    Take care of self... the benefits are an empty Wallmart at 2 & 3 am to do your shopping
  10. by   ER hippie
    I work alot of double shifts, and if I'm out at 2300 and have to be back at 0630, nothing works like tylenol PM!!!
  11. by   Sleepyeyes
    hmmmm...thanks badbird, i'll try the aluminum foil thing. For right now, i use a blindfold and earplugs, and if i'm really sore, a couple of advil help me get a good 6 hours.
  12. by   BBnurse34
    Benadryl helped me get on a day sleeping schedule.
    Also, I turn the ringer off on the phone and turn the volume on the answering machine way down. It never wakes me unless I hear alarming words like "accident, or kid's names" my children know to holler "mom! mom! mom!.." into the phone if they need to wake me.
    You might also call your phone company and ask about special plans that block telemarketers.
  13. by   adrienurse
    I find I sleep better if I hit the pillow soon after I get home. I put on a fan to mask some noise, unplug the phone, and double curtain the windows. I find I need "a little extra something" in that first sleep after my first night. If I take a sleeping pill only that once, it gets me in the right sleeping cycle and I sleep much better the next days. Also helps if you've slept alright before that next shift.
  14. by   mario_ragucci
    Just imagine yourself in a near-earth orbit, where you see the sun rise and set several times. Sleep quietly. You can purchase the sleep capsule at Costco and it makes sleeping a great event. You can program your perfect sleeping environment. There is one that comes with a planetarium program where you can correctly simulate the night sky. Imagination Inc.

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