Opinions about night shift and personal health - page 2

by Soneshine | 2,388 Views | 17 Comments

Hi, I recently had a discussion with some of my co-workers regarding working nights and overall inpact on health. a few years back, I recall hearing that nurses who work on the night shift have a greater incidence of cancer?... Read More


  1. 0
    When I first started I needed Benadryl to help me with sleep. I would use it both in the AM after a shift and on days off so I could sleep before 0500.

    Now I'm more of a sleep hog. I sleep after a shift in the AM, and on days off I will often sleep after the shift and go to bed at a reasonable hour with the fam. It just makes sense for me. I sleep when I feel like it.
  2. 0
    I happen to like night shift a lot - but I think it is physically more dangerous for your personal life:

    example - one of my coworkers almost hit a little girl getting off a school bus on the drive home. he switched to days.

    example - I clumsily tripped over a pt's central line after a 13 hour night shfit while having to dodge visitors during report, (gotta love open visitation:angryfire), fell hard and herniated 4 discs in my neck. I don't think I would have done that if I weren't so tired and on night shift.

    I have no examples of health problems, but some day shifters tell me they become physically ill and nauseous after working nights.

    All I can say to my fellow night-workers is, be careful out there!
  3. 0
    I want to share my story with you. I worked night shift ten years ago. I wasn't feel well at that time and was very relutant to work that night. the nuring manager was very strict and wouldn't allow me to change. one month after that night, I was admitted to hospital. two months later I was diagnosed with cancer.
    I do see some nurses prefer night shift, their body function pretty well with night. but I was totally against night. If I work night shift, I am not able to sleep either day or night, I feel terrible.
    please be very careful with your body.
  4. 0
    I have decided I cannot work nights. I worked nights a few years ago and I was ALWAYS tired.

    Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

    I think Uncle Ben Franklin had it right.
  5. 0
    Quote from rn/writer
    I remember reading all the scare stories. But then I read a wonderful article (wish I'd saved it) that said the hazards don't apply to those who work nights voluntarily. People who work third shift against their will have higher stress levels and all sorts of other fallout from fighting their innate circadian rhythms. But for those of us who do it by choice because it does line up with our bio-clocks, there appears to be little or no increase in health problems.

    I personally would hate, hate, hate to work days. The few times I have had to do it for orientation purposes darn near finished me off. At least it gave me empathy for what nights feels like to others. I am naturally a night owl. When I'm not working, I sleep from 0400 to 1200. Working nights comes naturally to me.

    So, it's not so much the hours as how your bio-clock responds to them. I'm not certain whether you can train yourself to have different circadian rhythms. All I know is that I have always been able to find a job because I can do third shift.
    I prefer nights, and have worked it since I graduated in '83... but I hit the wall a few years ago. Now my body can't function on either shift :stone

    My doc has been after me to quit nights, has given me copies of study after study... but I can't sleep at night any more. Even on days off, I'm up half the night. Ugh.
  6. 0
    I was just talking with a classmate of mine from school and I LOVE nights! I had to work daylight today and I think I might die! I only have 2 more daylight shifts and then I am back on my beloved night shift. I think it does have to deal with personal preference though. My Mom has worked night shift for 35 years and CAN'T go to daylight. It's not even an option. I think it might be hereditary because I am not a morning person no matter how much sleep I get. I also find I eat better when I am on night shift than daylight. I am also able to workout/swim when I am on night shift. In short, I feel healthier on night shift.

    On a side note, when a new grad comes to your facility and volunteers to work strictly nights, be grateful and nice!!
  7. 1
    I would much rather see 0700 staying up than getting up. DH also works nights and when we have an early appointment (after being off the night before) we stumble around like mole people, shielding our eyes from that scary bright thing in the sky. We are both pretty much useless before noon. But we're lively as ticklish toddlers at ten PM. I might also mention that my chance for skin cancer is minimal as I haven't had a tan in years. If I take a dip in the pool, it's usually around three or four in the afternoon. Do like those shooting stars and Northern Lights, though. I guess it's all in what you're used to.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 17, '07
    kcalohagirl likes this.
  8. 1
    My husband and I also work nights. We are both nurses, we both work at the same hospital, and we try to work 2 nights of the week together (though not on the same unit) and we each get a night on our own.

    I was raised an old fashioned "country kid". Up by 6, out in the barn to do chores before the trip to the school bus by about 730. I did that my whole childhood/adolescence. Even though I spent a ton of years working bar shifts (9 pm-4 am) I never really got out of the early morning habits....

    .....til I started working nights as a nurse. I think I'm probably more flexible than my husband is, but I agree with rn/writer. I would way rather see 0700 from the night side. So would my husband. Classes that start at 1 pm are the absolute bane of my existance. LOL.

    I think it helps that my DH and I work the same job, have similar hours, have no kids, and understand each others' stresses. We don't flip our schedules too much on our days off. Once in awhile, there are things that need to be done during daylight. But I swear, if I could find a 24 hour bank, I would.

    We don't have too much trouble getting to the gym, because we are lucky to have a 24 hour facility nearby. A lot of times, we'll be sitting around the house at 3 or 4 in the am, when nothing is on tv, and the choice is to eat something or go to the gym. We usually go to the gym. Not always.

    I think the reason it works so well for us is because we don't have to adjust to the "day life" too often. I think my health has probably improved since I started working nights, strangely enough.
    tinderbox likes this.


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