Night Shift Woes

  1. Do you feel like you are the only one in the world up on your nights off? :aln: I am so mixed up & feel like crap...does anyone else feel like this? I am up all night & sleep in the daytime....always. As long as I am working I am fine....in a routine.....but have a day off & bam! I am totally messed up. No one seems to understand that you cannot just switch back & forth....or I can't!
    I also feel guilty that I just am not around for my family/friends.....if I am up they are asleep or vica versa. There is nothing to do...everyone is asleep, all the stores are closed except Wal-Mart & you can only go so many times! ( I feel like a shoplifter!)
    I try to be quiet so not to wake hubby....uggggh! So vacuuming & major cleaning is out......bored to death on my nights off!
    I have been on nights about a year & half....I absolutely hate the way I feel but I really like my shift & coworkers! Does anyone else feel as mixed up & crappy as I do? Thanks for letting me have a pity party! my:
    •  
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    I feel that way usually but remember that the advantages of working nights outweigh the disadvantages for me. Don't have much to do in the daytime anymore anyway. It does seem to isolate a person to be on nights. Sometimes you have to just force yourself to do something during the days just so you have a life.
  4. by   sharlynn
    You must be on eight hour shifts. I work twelve and definitely switch back and forth for all the reasons you mentioned (except hubby works nights also). He's been on nights for 12 yrs and I just started last year.
  5. by   Suninmyheart
    If it was daylight I would go for long walks and bike rides. Plus for years I have been so busy with school and before that a business. Now I am trained in my job, no deadlines, pressing projects, or textbooks consuming my time. There is a quietness I am not used to. Yikes. I have hobbies but even those get a little boring. I cannot even believe I used the word "boring". That word hasn't been in my vocabulary for years, even decades. Perhaps I should think about going back to school...

    But I do love the higher wage and not having a zillion health care professionals running around competing for charts.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Although night shifts can throw my schedule off, I love working them. To be perfectly honest, I like to work without being bothered by visitors, family members, and the other members of the facility's interdisciplinary team. Night shift is less stressful for me because my only worries involve patient care. I am so very unlikely to be screamed at by an abusive family member at 2am, because these people are generally catching up on their sleep.

    I'd rather lose the social life in exchange for working nights.
  7. by   akcarmean
    i work 4 10 hr shifts in a row then have 3 days off i slep a little my first noc off so i can reset my schedule and be with my family
  8. by   crb613
    Quote from sharlynn
    You must be on eight hour shifts. I work twelve and definitely switch back and forth for all the reasons you mentioned (except hubby works nights also). He's been on nights for 12 yrs and I just started last year.
    Nope I work 12's....come to think about it ...when my days were scheduled together I don't remember feeling like this! I use to work 3 in a row & off 4. Now I may work 1 off 1 or work 2 off 1.....or work 5-6 & be off 1-2. I agree it is a lot less congested at night & that I like.
  9. by   StrwbryblndRN
    I work 3 12's in a row every weekend. I am a SAHM during the week for my babes. I feel pretty good except for Monday. If I had to work 1 on/1 off I would probably be "bored" too.
    But I was bored after graduation for awhile. I had plenty to do but just wanted to be a zombie. (there is a thread regarding this phenomenon too)
    For those out there just starting nights and just graduating, it could be the transition from student/previous job status to nurse. It takes time.

    Also I found it easy to work nights socially. My husband used to work nights and all his friends work nights. Each have a different profession. Before my dd started school, getting a social call at 4am was not abnormal.
  10. by   SDS_RN
    I also liked working nocs not as much hassle or management. I agree that the 1 on 1 off messes you up can't get into a routine and that's tough. It's hard to get anything done when your schedule is like that. I was a hermit when I got dished those hours! I did not mind doing 3 in a row because it was easier to adjust to that than the alternative. I know how you feel about being the only one awake. I have 3 kids & my hubby so it's hard to be a noc person when you have no where to go and nothing to do because everyone is asleep. I would lay in bed for hours before falling asleep because there was nothing I could do w/out waking anybody up. When it was my day off I would only sleep for a few hrs then get up so I could go to sleep that noc.
    Since switching to a diff dept. I have not worked a lot of nocs but noon-10 & 11a-11p. It has been nice having a regular sleep pattern and I don't feel as worn down as I did working nocs. Both have pros and cons. Just try to take care of yourself and don't get run down.
  11. by   Quickbeam
    I worked 10 years of straight nights and when I was off I kept to the day sleeping schedule. My husband is a confirmed night sleeper and very easily awakened. I developed a set of quiet things to do that still were useful. I did all our finances and bills at night. I did our taxes. I learned to knit. I wrote letters. Folded laundry. Dusted. I don't use a clothes dryer so near dawn I'd hang my laundry out on the line.

    I also became a short wave radio enthusiast because late night hours are the best reception. At 3-4 AM I could listen to Australian and New Zealand news, on headphones.

    I don't think it is easy to live the night crawler life but think of it as a challenge. Best wishes to you!
  12. by   emmakirst
    You are not alone. Nights are good and bad. Good in the sense that it's not as crazy, no Dr rounds, fewer new admissions and people generally sleep. but the bad part is that I feel hungover after doing a shift. I dont' sleep well in the day, so I'm basically up for days straight. I have 5 children so it's not that easy to get rested. Where I work it's two 12 hr days, then quick turnover to 2 12 hr nights. Then 4 off, but you really sleep your first day away, and are in a zombified stated for that whole day.
  13. by   Rabid Response
    It's lonely! I find that on my days off, I cannot go back to sleeping at night (unless I'm sick). I wind up staying awake all night at home, creeping around the house while everyone else sleeps, and looking for things to occupy myself. I tried doing housework but found that I made too much noise. A couple of nights last week, I watched television by myself until dawn, and I felt completely depressed when I finally went to bed. I do like my actual job--when I'm at work, it's great. I think I need a hobby.
  14. by   bollweevil
    Quote from crb613
    Do you feel like you are the only one in the world up on your nights off? :aln: I am so mixed up & feel like crap...does anyone else feel like this? I am up all night & sleep in the daytime....always. As long as I am working I am fine....in a routine.....but have a day off & bam! I am totally messed up. No one seems to understand that you cannot just switch back & forth....or I can't!
    I also feel guilty that I just am not around for my family/friends.....if I am up they are asleep or vica versa. There is nothing to do...everyone is asleep, all the stores are closed except Wal-Mart & you can only go so many times! ( I feel like a shoplifter!)
    I try to be quiet so not to wake hubby....uggggh! So vacuuming & major cleaning is out......bored to death on my nights off!
    I have been on nights about a year & half....I absolutely hate the way I feel but I really like my shift & coworkers! Does anyone else feel as mixed up & crappy as I do? Thanks for letting me have a pity party! my:
    Yes, I do. Is there an all night gym you could go to? Otherwise, maybe you learn to sew or bake fancy stuff or play an instrument - quietly, of course.

close