Night Shift

  1. Hi, I am going to be interviewing for a night shift job and was wondering if those of you who have worked nights could tell me how you were able to adjust to it, and what time of day do you do your sleeping? Also, how can I prepare myself for working nights? Thanks.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    there is a wonderful thread regarding night shift and sleeping/coping, in the archives. I will try to help find it for you. There were NUMEROUS great suggestoins there. also, you can search the archives w/key words.....like night shift work.....I wish you well,friend. I work nights, too. It ain't easy, but necessary inmy case.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Ok it's "need my rest.....please" posted by kayzee. I am NOgood at cutting and pasting so all i can offer is for you to do a search under that thread name. Some good suggestions there. Good luck!
  5. by   LVNurse
    I have worked nights most of the time that I've worked (20+ yrs) and I like it. I think you either are someone who can adapt to it or aren't. I've known of some nurses that just cannot adjust, but I find it 'fits' my own clock. I work 7p-7a 4 days a week in ER. If you've never worked nights, give it a fair shot, at least 2 weeks. This will help you to realize whether it's just the switch that's hard, or whether it's not for you. I honestly don't think there's anything that can 'prepare' you for working nights, though I've heard of lots of strategies. The chief thing I have learned is NOT to try to schedule 'normal' activities in the daytime!!! DON'T try to do all your usual appointments and important tasks when you should be sleeping! You are ENTITLED to sleep for 8 hours per 24, though I think most of us get somewhat less than that (avg 6). Let everyone know that you are a night worker and that your sleep time is not 'just a nap'. Day ppl (dentists,schools, bill collectors, etc. ) do not understand this. You'll just have to turn the phone off. Some night folks stay up after work then sleep until time to get ready for work, this doesn't work for me. I sleep as soon as I get home and do my 'home stuff' when I get up in the afternoon. It's been 'different' for my family, but they've all adjusted beautifully, my oldeds 2 kids are grown and out of the house and don't seem to have suffered too much. (Though when they were little, I got VERY LITTLE sleep, I think that everybody who has little kids gets less sleep anyways) I really wish you all the best! I like nights, and I like night people. We have a hard and responsible job that we manage to do while most folks are asleep. Good Luck!
  6. by   Neon8
    I am unable to find the archives. How do you do it? I try to do a search but it only gets me back to thi thread.
  7. by   JAYNE :DANCE:
    I WORK NITES AND I LOVE IT.....I WORK 7P-7A 5 NITES A WEEK, I HAVE OFF MON AND TUES THE SAME AS MY HUBBY.......I AM USUALLY IN BED IN THE MORNING BY 9:30 AND I AM UP BY 5PM....WORKS GREAT FOR BOTH OF US....WE HAVE NO KIDS....SO MAYBE IT WOULD BE DIFFERENT...BUT FOR RIGHT NOW WE BOTH LOVE THE NITE LIFE THAT HAVE GOTTEN SO ACCUSTOMED TO.
    THE ONLY THING I HAVE FOUND IS THAT I WE HAVE TO REMINDER FRIENDS, NOT SO MUCH THE FAMILY, THAT WE DO NOT JUST NAP DURING THE DAY, THAT WE ARE ACTUALLY GETTING OUR SLEEP LIKE THEY DO AT NIGHT....WE SHUT OFF OUR PHONE (STILL CAN RECEIVE MESSAGES)..........WE HAVE OUR BEDROOM VERY DARK, TO KEEP OUT THE SUNSHINE...AGAIN IT WORKS WELL FOR US...BUT EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT....TRY IT OUT SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT......KEEP US UPDATED...........
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Ok sweetie, here are my suggestions: (I really want to help);

    CAFFEINE baby! yea, sadly, I have to use it to get thru nightshift...hopefully, you don't.....

    Sleep w/a while noise machine or fan to block out neighborhood and/or household noises that may disturb you. I know how it is, I have two kids and dogs...I have to block out the noise somehow.

    Phone off; answering machine on LOW vol. NO call is that important unless it's an emergency. And they will get to you, if it truly is.

    Darken the room with dark shades, sheets or something. It's a must. Keep said room COOL but not cold, if possible.

    Eat a light meal before bedding down; cereal w/milk helps me. Toast maybe, nothing HEAVY. Make sure your bladder is empty at bedtime. I find when I wake up to pee, I am wakeful after that.

    Make sure all people you know-- KNOW damn well you need your sleep and not to call unless dying or life/limb are at stake. After all, would you call THEM at 2: 00 a.m. to "chat"? This includes where you work. And my friend, that is a challenge. They often do NOT hesitate to call at 1:00 for "something important" Reiterate unless they want calls at 1:00 a.m., that you want your sleep respected in a similar way. Learn to guard your sleep carefully; teach others to do the same or you will be sorry.

    Put a sign on the door asking visitors to refrain from ringing the bell. Or else, do what I had to; disconnect the bell; cause it seems many cannot (or will not) read.

    If you have a dog that barks at all that moves, good luck. Maybe bedding him down in your room w/you and the white noise will help...it does me. My dog hears nothing over the box fan I run.

    If the above fail, ask your doctor about OTC sleep aids such as benedryl (non-habit forming for most) or Melatonin. These were musts for me when I was on fulltime nightshift. But I am telling you to ask your dr first...ok?(grin) I don't have a license to practice medicine, IYKWIM.

    Take darn good care of yourself. You are all you got. Stay well- hydrated on your shift as possible. Reduce caffeine intake after 2-3 a.m., if you use it. Take your vitamins; eat well (challenging on nights at times). If you don't you will fall apart FAST.

    Good luck! Hope this helps you!
  9. by   RNinICU
    I work nights too, and it works out well for me as I am not a morning person. In fact see the thread "I Should have known better" for what happened when I agreed to work some days to cover my unit. I use the same strategies as BluEyes to sleep. The person who was most likely to wake me was my mother. She would call me around noon every day, and when I told her I was sleeping, she would say "You slept all day." When you go to bed at 10 pm, sleeping till noon is sleeping all day. When you go to bed at 8 am, it isn't. I finall started calling her at about three in the morning, and used the same line on her. She finally stopped calling. I think she was waking me on purpose, though, just to be difficult.

    Good luck in starting your new position. You may find that you adjust well, and love nights. I have found that for the most part, the people who work nights work more as a team, and get along better than the daylight people. That may not be true everywhere, but it is at my hospital.
  10. by   MelissaCT
    The part I am having trouble adjusting to:
    When I have days off (3 days /week) I go back to a day routine.
    Is this what you guys do? I haven't heard of anyone that sleeps during the day and then stays up all night on their night off....

    So it is the switching back from being night person to a day person for my days off...it is making me feel sleepy like I never get enough rest!
  11. by   lauritasol
    I have a similar question to MelissaCT. I am about to start a night shift on the CCU, and it is 3 12s. What should I do about the other 5 days. I was going to try to go back to sleeping at night and staying up in the day and flip flop each week, but am worried that it will mess up my sleep patterns. Any suggestions?
  12. by   RN2B2005
    I worked the 11p-7a shift three days a week (Friday, Sat, Sun) in college. I found that if I stayed up until about 1p, then went to bed, I was less exhausted at work. On Monday mornings, I would go straight to bed after coming off shift, sleep about two hours, get up, then stay awake until 10p. This put my body back on the 'day' clock for the rest of the week. On Friday evenings, I just reversed the process, taking a two hour nap in the evening before going to work.

    To make sleeping in the day a little easier, take the hints posted earlier. Also, invest in voice mail, so you can unplug your phone and calls won't be missed. I left my cellphone plugged in--only a select few family members and friends had the number, and all of them knew not to call me unless they were actually a) on fire or b) standing in front of my apartment building, and the apartment building was on fire.

    Hope this helps.
  13. by   Nocturne121
    I work 7pm to 7am and I stay up all night on my nights off, usually! I have tried sleeping on nights off, but find it to wear me out when I change rhythms back and forth...:roll Good thing WALMART is open 24 hours a day. Switching sleep patterns back and forth is hard on your body and you never get your circadians set right. My advice... be Nocturnal!

    Working night shift - it's not just a job - it's a LIFESTYLE!

    You definately have to let others know you work nights and SLEEP in the daytime, otherwise you don't get much sleep.
  14. by   Tweety
    I'm exactly like Nocturne121, I'm a night person, even on my days off. I go to the 24 hour gym at 2 or 3AM, then to the 24 hour grocery store, or to Walmart. My spouse is pretty nocturnal too, but not as bad as me.

    Good advice from above. I would just try to stay up as late as possible the night before your first night and sleep all day if you can. Most people have a lot of trouble sleeping during the day at first, but you get used to it.

    A lot of people work work 8 hours sleep those last few hours right before work and that gets them over the hump.

    Good luck.

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