Night Shifts best for Night Owls??

  1. I won't be a RN until 2010, but I'm thinking I'm going to want to work nights, because I'm such a night owl. I have to force myself to go to bed early on weeknights, but on weekends, I usually stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. I work 8 a.m.-5 p.m. shifts as a dental hygienist right now, and mornings are SO brutal for me. I truly don't feel at my most productive and most awake state until the afternoon. My only concern about working night shifts as a nurse is being able to sleep during the day.

    So, I guess what I'm asking is: if I'm a night owl, does that really mean that night shift would be perfect for me? And....just how hard is it to sleep during the day? Is the change from day shifts to night shifts easier for night owls??
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Dixielee
    I am naturally more of a night owl. My husband is an early bird. If each of us did not have to work and could just go to bed when we were tired and get up when we were rested, he would still get up by 0700. I would stay up till about 2-3 and sleep till 11.

    The biggest problem with nights is when you are trying to live with others who are day people, or you are trying to go to school or do other activities which require you to be up early.

    I have NO problem sleeping in the day time. I do have dark curtains on the windows, but do not have to have it completely blacked out. I sleep with a fan on for back ground noise. If my husband is home and I can hear him, I put in ear plugs and could sleep thru a tornado.

    There are benefits and drawbacks to working nights, but if your body naturally does well at night, you will do well on the night shift.
  4. by   augigi
    Any regular routine is better than rotating shifts. I find nights easier, and always worked nights as a nurse. I sleep fine during the day, even with the window open and someone mowing the lawn outside! As a graduate you'll probably be better on days for the preceptorship and support, but you'll find the right shift for you. Isn't it great how nursing is so flexible?
  5. by   lizzyd
    It really depends also on what the rest of your schedule is like. For example in nursing school, I was on night shifts for one of my clinicals. Unfortunately, I also had day shifts on other days (5 am) and classes very early (7 or 8 am). I had the absolute worst time trying to switch back and forth throughout the week. That was easily the worst semester of my education. It's much easier if you are only on night shifts and don't need to be up early. Also, as dixielee said, it helps to be able to sleep during the day, I decided to live alone when I chose night shift this year, so I wouldn't have to worry about conflicting schedules with a roommate.
  6. by   RDH-NrsgStudent
    Quote from Dixielee
    I am naturally more of a night owl. My husband is an early bird. If each of us did not have to work and could just go to bed when we were tired and get up when we were rested, he would still get up by 0700. I would stay up till about 2-3 and sleep till 11.

    The biggest problem with nights is when you are trying to live with others who are day people, or you are trying to go to school or do other activities which require you to be up early.

    I have NO problem sleeping in the day time. I do have dark curtains on the windows, but do not have to have it completely blacked out. I sleep with a fan on for back ground noise. If my husband is home and I can hear him, I put in ear plugs and could sleep thru a tornado.

    There are benefits and drawbacks to working nights, but if your body naturally does well at night, you will do well on the night shift.
    This is what I was hoping to hear, Dixielee...especially that last sentence!
  7. by   RDH-NrsgStudent
    Quote from augigi
    Isn't it great how nursing is so flexible?
    It's one of the MANY reasons why I'm going into nursing.
  8. by   Daytonite
    Nights will probably be perfect for you! As a kid I lived for Friday and Saturday nights. I used to lie quietly in bed until my parents were asleep and then I was up and watching TV or reading until the wee hours of the early morning. My mother could tell you stories of all the flashlight batteries that were used up because I would use them to read under the covers of my bed until all hours of the night.

    I worked nights for many years. It was the perfect shift for me. I'm like you. I can wake up in the morning, but I'm not really awake until almost noon. That's when I really get going. When I worked nights my regular routine was to come home from work and stay up until about 1 or 2pm and then go to sleep. I woke up about 8 or 9pm, got up and got ready for work. It loved that schedule. Shopping at 10am is great. No one is in the stores at that time of the day anymore so there are no crowds. It's easier to get doctor and dentist appointments in the middle of the day as well. Most working people want those appointments at the very beginning or the very end of their work day. It's also easier driving home in the morning when you are driving on the opposite side of the traffic jam that is going in to work.

    My mother, who worked nights for years, put aluminum foil over the windows of her bedroom. It made it pitch black. Not a speck of light in there, even in the daytime. Turn off the phone and unless someone fires up a lawn mower you'll sleep like it's night time.
  9. by   RDH-NrsgStudent
    Quote from Daytonite
    Nights will probably be perfect for you! As a kid I lived for Friday and Saturday nights. I used to lie quietly in bed until my parents were asleep and then I was up and watching TV or reading until the wee hours of the early morning. My mother could tell you stories of all the flashlight batteries that were used up because I would use them to read under the covers of my bed until all hours of the night.

    I worked nights for many years. It was the perfect shift for me. I'm like you. I can wake up in the morning, but I'm not really awake until almost noon. That's when I really get going. When I worked nights my regular routine was to come home from work and stay up until about 1 or 2pm and then go to sleep. I woke up about 8 or 9pm, got up and got ready for work. It loved that schedule. Shopping at 10am is great. No one is in the stores at that time of the day anymore so there are no crowds. It's easier to get doctor and dentist appointments in the middle of the day as well. Most working people want those appointments at the very beginning or the very end of their work day. It's also easier driving home in the morning when you are driving on the opposite side of the traffic jam that is going in to work.

    My mother, who worked nights for years, put aluminum foil over the windows of her bedroom. It made it pitch black. Not a speck of light in there, even in the daytime. Turn off the phone and unless someone fires up a lawn mower you'll sleep like it's night time.
    This is very encouraging, Daytonite. Thank you!
  10. by   rashan1053
    I just started nights two weeks ago and was looking so forward to it because I too hate getting up in the morning and find I get a burst of energy towards the late afternoon- early evening. Nights is working great for me!! I live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow you to put things over the windows, so I bought a cover for my eyes. I also use a fan to block out noise and it works great. I work twelves so I usually go straight to bed when I get home and wake up about 3pm. This gives me some time to spend with the family. Good luck to you in school.
  11. by   AprilRNhere
    You're not allowed curtains? How odd.

    I work nights...and have white very thin curtains and have no trouble sleeping. My neighbor shingled his roof one summer- and I slept through it with the windows open.

    I actually sleep better during the day...when I know my kids are being taken care of somewhere else. When I am off..and sleep at night..I am a light sleeper listening for the kids.
  12. by   rashan1053
    The apartment furnishes blinds, but the sun comes right through them.
  13. by   RDH-NrsgStudent
    Quote from rashan1053
    I just started nights two weeks ago and was looking so forward to it because I too hate getting up in the morning and find I get a burst of energy towards the late afternoon- early evening. Nights is working great for me!! I live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow you to put things over the windows, so I bought a cover for my eyes. I also use a fan to block out noise and it works great. I work twelves so I usually go straight to bed when I get home and wake up about 3pm. This gives me some time to spend with the family. Good luck to you in school.
    Wow! This thread is so old now! LOL But, thanks so much for the good luck wishes and the encouragement!!

    When I started this thread, I was only doing my pre-req. courses. Now, I'm in Pharmacology and will be starting clinicals in May. I definitely still want to work night shift though! As I write this, it's early morning, and I am sooooo tired (was up early for Easter sunrise service).
    :zzzzz

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