night shift question

  1. So i've been working as a nurse since 2010, little over a year. i was originally hired for 8 hour day/pm rotation, but after i got offered the position they changed me to 12 hour day. Well now, the night shifters were complaining of never being given the opportunity to do days. which changed up EVERYONE schedule. Not that i really care all that much, some are making a big stink about it and 5 actually left. yikes!

    So i don't mind working nights, i do all right. But i feel like CRAP when i am at work. I don't really feel "tired", but i feel nauseated, lightheaded, just down right blah!!! I don't eat when i work nights because i feel so nauseated that i just can't get myself to do it. I sleep well during the day, i have NOOOOOO issues with sleeping. i could sleep all day if i let myself, and i wake up whenever i need to with no problem.

    Is this a normal feeling with night shift people or am i the only one that ever feels this way? my coworkers will complain of just being tired and excited to go to bed, but i just feel like Crud, only word i can use to describe it!
    any suggestions on making me not feel so cruddy?? Anything that has worked for anyone else. (I don't drink coffee).
  2. Visit Jenni811 profile page

    About Jenni811

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 1,042; Likes: 1,689
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Intermediate care


  3. by   Asystole RN
    Exercise while you are off work and pay close attention to your eating habits. Night shift has a tendency to make you eat poorly and at odd times.


    You're pregnant.

  4. by   umcRN
    ugh, I don't really have any advice but just letting you know you're not the only one. I left a perm day position to try something new but had to agree to rotating. I hate night shift, I have never done well with it, and I feel like you, sick, nauseous, headachy, I almost always come down with a bad head cold, I feel like I literally sleep for days when I'm not working. Starting my next four weeks of nights tomorrow...ugh :-(

    Good luck!
  5. by   glutton4punishment
    wow, if nights are affecting you that adversely, you should change shifts asap.

    I worked nights for a few months, long enough to get used to it, and long enough to realize that it def. takes a toll on your body.
  6. by   Jenni811
    Quote from Asystole RN


    You're pregnant.


    Ha!!!!!! Lord, i hope not.
  7. by   RxOnly
    I've worked nights regularly for over a year and those first few months were brutal on my stomach. Pain/gas/nausea/etc... I think my body adjusted over time. Some day shift nurses make the same GI complaints when they work nights. I think the key is to get yourself on as regular a schedule as possible. Also invest in a bottle of TUMS And if you can't get yourself to eat, at least have some fluids.

    There are nights when I eat everything in sight, and nights when I don't eat anything at all- and I feel the same either way. Probably because I'm so used to it. One thing that always feels good on night shift is a cold salad and ice water. Or a few grapes straight from the fridge. Something about cold food overnight is refreshing!

    Are you going to be on night shift from now on, or just rotating?
  8. by   sapphire18
    I used to feel the exact same way when I started doing nights; it's your body protesting that you should be asleep right now! Not running around with your brain on high alert. I would also (and sometimes still do) get REALLY cold all of a sudden at 3 or 4 am. As for how to feel better, try your best to force small amounts of food that you think your stomach can handle- crackers, yogurt, applesauce, plain bagel- and just eat small amounts every so often. The not eating will perpetuate the nausea. I happen to have a rx for an anti-emetic r/t migraines and honestly that helped a lot when starting back on nights this time around. My other advice (which I need to start taking myself!) is to continue to get some exercise on your days off, it will just overall help your body function better. It may take a few months but you'll get used to it!
  9. by   DixieRedHead
    I know, I know, we're nurses and somebody has to do it, but:

    If God meant for you to work at night, you'd be able to see in the dark.

    Hope you feel better soon.
  10. by   umcRN
    another thing I do that helps...but don't know if you are able to, is to schedule my nights all together with as much time off in between as possible. I work 3 12's a week so for instance this week I am working mon/tue/wed night then off until next week wed/thur/fri night. I don't do well with on off on when it's night shifts
  11. by   Do-over
    I don't have any trouble. As a matter of fact, I am sleepier on days.

    I think some of us are simply night-owls, and others are not. Hope you can get a shift that works for you.
  12. by   caliotter3
    Get yourself checked out. I have that icky feeling during the night and I know that it is related to a medical condition. I had that feeling for months and didn't know what it was until I woke up one morning, darn good and sick, went to the hospital, and they yanked my gall bladder. The surgeon said it had been going bad on me for a very, very long time. I just didn't know it. So, get yourself checked out.
  13. by   MCRNENC(C)
    I have been working all nights for over two years. I find it easier than switching back and forth between days/nights. I do 12hr shifts. I just stay on a night type of schedule when I am on days off. I have no small kids at home - and no reason to have to get up until noon, or whenever I feel like getting up. I'm often up half the night on days off doing housework or other chores. I figure I can vacuum or clean a bathroom just as good at 0200hrs as I can as 1400hrs. The only pain is when a scheduled appt somewhere has to be early in the am, but that happens rarely. Some of my friends find it hard to wrap their heads around - as would most people I expect. But it works well for me - and after 29yrs of nursing - if it works - I'm not gonna change it!
  14. by   Dalzac
    In the 35 yrs of nursing before I retired, I worked the majority of that time on Nights. The only time I worked days was when my kids were teenagers and I found out my house was party central.
    I retired in 2005 and I still can't adjust to daytime things. I stay up all night and generally go to bed around 9 or10 am. and sleep until 4 or 5 pm. It drives my husband nuts! I just took a job watching monitors for 3 days a week. Just to pass the nights away.