Night Shift off Nights

  1. I'm about a month into my night shift schedule. I have no problems staying up at work, sleep well during the day and am learning a lot. The problem lies on my nights off. I keep waking up at 2/2:30 am (about the time I eat "lunch" at work) and cannot fall back asleep! Sometimes I try a snack then going back to bed, but no matter what I can't fall asleep again. Tips? Please! When do you guys eat at work? Does that schedule mess you up on off nights? I think thats what is causing my problems.
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    About nrse20

    Joined: May '11; Posts: 16; Likes: 1


  3. by   DeliveryRN2007
    oh night shift! I feel your pain, I ALWAYS wake up around 230 and couldn't really tell you why. I have found that if I go to the gym for about an hour around 630PM and force myself to stay up until 10PM, I can manage to stay asleep untill 5 or 6. The only other thing that works for me are sleeping pills but that was never a habit I wanted to start so I usually just suffer through it Someone else also told me that eating light foods and not heavy fried foods would help with sleep.
  4. by   wooh
    I just stay on a modified night shift schedule. Which is why I'll be here posting at 4:30 in the morning.
    Switching back and forth works for some people (my husband has no problem with it), and I guess is required for some (those with families that are all on day schedules) but I get sick and crabby and am constantly sleepy if I don't stay on sleep during the day, accomplish things at night sort of schedule. When I have work classes or school functions that I have to be at around 8am? It takes me almost a week to recover.

    I highly recommend staying on a more nightshift schedule if your life allows you to do so.
  5. by   Aurora77
    I stick closely to my work schedule. I stay up until 4 or 5 am, then go to sleep. I've been doing nights for a little over four months and have never successfully flipped back to days on my days off. I eat lunch between midnight and 1 at work and usually have at least a snack at that time when I'm off.
  6. by   nrse20
    I'm thinking I'll try having a smaller lunch at work at midnight or so, so that it is a little earlier than usual. Maybe try to stay up later on nights off too. I just feel so lazy sleeping until late on days off! But I need to readjust my thinking - still the same amount being accomplished just on weird hours. Definitely frustrating but I guess I'll find what works for me, as it sounds you all have. Thanks for all the replies
  7. by   wooh
    It's an adjustment realizing that sleeping in until noon (or 2pm or 4pm or 6pm or 10pm,whatever works for you!) is NOT lazy when you're getting out of a day worker mindset. And sleeping ENOUGH hours is even more important when you're fighting your circadian rhythms. Life is much better since I realized this major thing: It's not lazy to sleep!! It's as important (if not more!) as exercise and eating right in maintaining your health. Nobody would call you lazy for going to the gym, so don't call yourself lazy for giving your body what it needs, SLEEP!
  8. by   joanna73
    You have trouble sleeping at 0200 because you're usually up working at that time. I can't sleep well at night anymore either. I'm on permanent nights, so I'm usually up until 0430 or 0500 on my nights off. Keep the same schedule if you can. The earliest I'm awake now is 0100. I always hated getting up before noon I don't have to.
  9. by   honeykrown
    I try not to go to bed before 10 becuase if i do then i wake up real early. So i wait till around eleven or sometimes i wait till 3am and go to sleep nad i still get to wake at 8 am so by the next night i am able to sleep usual time and wake up after 7.

    But then i never could fall asleep before 10pm even when i worked days
  10. by   joanna73
    Also, its not uncommon for me to sleep 9-10 hours on some of my off nights. I work 12.5 hours, so I do not feel guilty about getting a little extra sleep. Sleep is important.
  11. by   mama_d
    I've got kids and a hubby (who thankfully is a SAHD) so I just go with the flow...sleep when I'm tired and up when I'm not. It's actually easier for me to adjust for when I have day things I have to get done if I don't have a set sleep schedule. I do tend to stay up to the point of near-exhaustion on a semi-regular basis, followed by about eight to ten hours of near coma. I'm sure it's not healthy, but as I'm getting older it's so hard to switch from days to nights and back again. My poor body no longer expects sleep at any particular time.
  12. by   turnforthenurse
    I am constantly battling a messed up sleep schedule thanks to night shift. Some people stay on their night schedule indefinitely, even on their days off. I will stay on it if I have a day off in-between shifts (or "day and a half") but otherwise I usually end up with 4-6 days off so I switch back and forth.

    I find myself waking up between 2-4am A LOT. It doesn't matter how tired I feel before going to bed...I will just wake up between that time and I will be wide awake. I try to go back to sleep but that doesn't usually I just get up. Get some FB/AN time in, do some cleaning/laundry/whatever. I usually always take a little nap mid-day (I try to limit it to an hour). I try to go to bed no earlier than 10 or 11pm because if I go to sleep earlier, I wake up earlier in the night. Sometimes the only way for me to sleep through an entire night is using Benadryl or Unisom, but I try to limit their use.
  13. by   shakedwnst924
    I feel your pain! I hated waking up at 2am on my days off, used to happen all the time
    when I worked nights. Melatonin might be worth a shot. If that doesn't work for ya, don't feel bad if you need to get a script for Ambien or Restoril or something PRN as a last resort. Do what works for you & do what you gotta do to get the sleep you need & stay healthy!