Night shift nurses: tips on sleeping AT NIGHT
- 1Jan 25 by edwindelahigginsI've been a nurse for 8 months, 5 months of NOC. I love my floor and have adjusted well to the night shift hours. I've always been somewhat of an insomniac so sleeping in the day has been easier for me. I don't love not being able to get a lot of sun and sometimes I don't think it does wonders for my mental well being, but that's a whole different issue.
My main problem has been that I have had a lot of trouble falling asleep before 7am on my nights off. I think my circadian rhythm has completely flipped. I"ve tried Lunesta, not sleeping much the days that I'm off (get up at 2pm), but I still can't seem to fall asleep before the sun rises. That makes it difficult to get up early and do things on my off days. I'm willing to try non-pharm measures such as meditation, yoga, etc. I'd love to hear from other people.
- 1Jan 25 by SL2014It depends on what time you are staying up until the night before... if you're tired enough you WILL sleep.
What I mean is if you work from 7p-7a then come home and sleep until 4, yes you might have a problem going to sleep again... but if you come home and take a cat nap or don't sleep at all, you WILL fall asleep lol.
That being said, I released control over my sleep recently. It was a hugely frustrating thing when I first transitioned to night shift. Now, I sleep when I'm tired, I stay awake when I'm not. If I wake up at 2am and can't sleep anymore I don't stress about it (like I used to) I just go out into the living room and do homework or something.
If I have a hard time sleeping during the day before work... Oh well. I probably won't have that problem on the next day because I'll be so exhausted.
- 0Jan 25 by BiffbradfordI lasted 12 years doing 8hr NOC shifts 2300 - 0730, just over 1 yr doing all 12's. Doing 8s, I'd sleep from 8:30 till about 1300 or 1400, go outside, get some sun and fresh air, then take another nap from 1800 - 2200. Having just a 15 minute commute helped immensely. WHen I did 12's, I also had a 1 hour commute time each way, and that did NOT work out at all. :P
- 1Jan 25 by Sun0408I flip back to "normal" sleeping patterns when Im off, this is what works for me. I don't live on the NOC schedule lol.. I go to bed with the rest of my family when Im off and wake about 10am the next morning, if I have to work that night well Im just up til the following morning. I tried staying up on my nights off and that was a disaster
Try different things, you will find what works for you, oh and black out curtains are fantastic !!
- 0Jan 25 by meanmaryjean, MSN, RNI do a modified sleep schedule. On my nights off (I work 7p-7a) I stay up until about 1-3am, hen sleep until 11a-2p depending). That way I can still do 'day' thing (dentist appt and the like) but it's not suck a kick in the a@@ as flipping to a 'normal' day schedule.
- 0Jan 25 by That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-BMy schedule is so messed up I cant offer any real advice. I do what my body likes and what I have adjusted to over the years. On the weeks I have off, I go to bed at 0800 after I come home from work like usual, wake up whenever, then go to bed again at 2300 with my fiance. And like that I am back on regular terms
- 1Jan 25 by ShillaBSNI worked nights for years. I am by nature a night owl, so it suited me well. I worked 12 hour shifts....on the nights that I did not work I still went to bed at 1 or 2 am. Doing that meant I could wake up in the late morning, so I could do 'day' activities.....but when I needed to switch back to being up all night it was not hard on the body.
I think the biggest thing to remember is working 7p-7a means you are not a nine to five worker,,,,you are a night person. Your sleep patterns should be different. If you have a friend or family member wanting you up at 9am for 'breakfast' on your days off, say sure as long as they are willing to have 'lunch' with you at 3am.
- 0Jan 26 by Do-over, ASN, RNI've just quit trying to regulate anything. I sleep when I can, or when I am tired and get up when I am not. I do, however, set my alarm anytime I have to be somewhere at a specific time - just because I fall asleep one morning at 0500 does not mean I will be awake before 1700 if left to my own devices.
It helps not having little ones in the house.
- 0Jan 26 by Blondenurse83I don't have any good advice, I was just interested to read everyone's responses because I have been doing nights for about 3 years now and have no problems sleeping during the day, but my nights off are awful. I have been taking Benadryl to sleep and I hate relying on that!