Night shift question

  1. Is it possible for night shift to catch up with you? I've done it for a year so far as a new BSN. I thought I was handling it well. I liked the differential, the covered shift parking lot, the pace.

    But I'm back to work after four nights off. They were lousy. I was too sleepy to stay awake for more than a few hours. I missed out on some socializing. No matter how much I sleep, I can't get enough.

    Sound weird to revert to anti night shift like that?

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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Maybe you're just getting sick? Or possibly developing Shift Work Disorder (SWD)?
  4. by   amoLucia
    I was thinking it too that you might be coming down with something. Might you also be due for some vacation time?
  5. by   ukjenn231
    Sometimes I just go in a slump. This past week, I have almost flip-flopped to days when I was off, waking up at 7am, going to bed at 11, feeling good. For the previous three weeks, I was in a total night shift slump. I basically was going to bed at sunrise and sleeping until 7 or 8pm on my days off. I listen to my body and try not to fight it, but I know that's not ideal depending on everyone's situation.
  6. by   Soon2BNurse3
    I get like that too...some weeks I can be happy & get lots accomplished & then there are weeks I'm in bed every night I'm off & just feeling miserable. I just ride out the lazy/tired/yucky days. If it continues, can you switch to dayshift?
  7. by   BSNbeDONE
    It only happens to me IF there is something I try to do on that first day off. If I respect that day as a day of nothing but sleep and rest, I'm always back to normal by early morning on day two....up at 6-7am, normal active day, bed no later than 11pm. Worked for me for the past 11 years that I've been on night shift! So, if there's an event that I'm interested in attending, I make sure to plan my shifts so that I would not be getting off the morning of.
  8. by   j_tay1981
    I can switch to days pretty easily. My floor is very busy, and most DON'T want to work days on it! However, I am considering it. If I have too many days off in a row, my body flips to a day schedule automatically, making returning to work (like I just did when I first posted this) tough. I'm also just feeling depressed and lonely since my friends and family all work 9-5 jobs

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  9. by   WeepingAngel
    Ugh I used to hate that feeling. Groggy, and I never wanted to leave the house on my days off, just lay around and watch movies and sleep. It's a night shift thing but I can't put a name on it.
  10. by   weirdscience
    On nights since April and I'm so there...some weeks are very productive, others I do NOTHING on my days off. The idea of making the first day off a day of complete rest is intriguing...I may do that. I will say I am much less tired AT WORK working nights. I very rarely get that mid-shift slump like I did on days after lunch.
  11. by   j_tay1981
    Oddly, I'm usually very awake for night shifts. I hit a wall around 4am, but it won't last long. But, WeepingAngel, you pretty much described my nights off perfectly!

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  12. by   ekramona
    I found it much easier to work nights when I was in my 20s. Nights and evenings are awesome because the pace is slower and, for the most part, you avoid having to respond to the demands of administration and the other disciplines - plus the differential doesn't hurt. As I got older however I found that my body didn't want to keep those hours anymore. The body really does prefer to sleep at night and be awake during the day. Working at night forces an unnatural lifestyle, and after a while that takes a toll on some of us. There are some ways to combat this though - I find that it helps to keep a regular routine of exercise and healthy eating, and also use of a light therapy box before heading to work makes it a little easier.

    I recently moved to the day shift and, even though the work is harder, I feel a lot healthier. I am also happier because I am less isolated from my family and friends. Some people manage to work nights for their whole career, but I just can't imagine doing that past my 20s or 30s.
  13. by   j_tay1981
    Ekramona: I'm 32, and nursing is my second career. I've held up to nights better than anticipated and enjoy all the pluses you state. But that feeling of isolation and constant sleepiness is wearing on me. I can't see myself rocking a night shift for the next decade! But for a newer RN like me, the slower pace and lack of admins hanging around is appreciated.

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  14. by   happilysingle
    I understand totally, on my first night off I most often plan to sleep most of the day and play catch up on my television shows. night night lol

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