Question for night shifters

  1. So, if you work say 3 12 hour shifts and have 4 days off.. on your days off do you stick to sleeping during the day and being up at night? That would seem weird, (1) because you would never see the light of day and (2) you couldnt have activities that would involve your family. So my qestion is- say you work Friday from 7 pm to 7 am, it is your first night back after your days off.. On Thursday night, do you stay up, so that you can sleep Friday daytime and then be able to pull the night shift?

    I really think I would like working nights, I am a night owl, and would rather sleep at 10 am than at 10 pm. Just wondering how it all works out
    thanks!!!!!!!!!
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   glascow
    I have worked night shift for 13 yrs and am still trying to figure out what's the best way to do it! It is hard with a family, I miss out on lots of things. If I do try staying awake on my first night off, I am usually so tired and exhausted that I am like a zombie! But if I do sleep, then I am up all night. It really messes with your circadian rhythm.

    There is a new drug out there indicted for shiftwork sleep disorder called Provigil. I went to a conference on it and it sounded wonderful, so I got my doc to prescribe it. It gave me an awful headache (which is one of its most common side effects). I only took it a couple of times.
  4. by   zaleah
    I too have always been a night owl....worked nights for 22 odd years now, as a waitress in a bar--not getting home til 3, then onto nursing, where I only work nights.
    On my days off I do try to switch, as you are right you have to be awake during the day. On my last day after a few in a row I try to sleep only 4 hours or so, and often I need sleep aids--beer works for me 2-3 and I am out, some prefer gravol (dramamine to you americans) or ativan. My first night back often sucks as I am up at 0730 with the kids the day of the night shift, that night I often nap on my break.
    I try to group my shifts, it helps. Doing 6-7 in a row is better then 2 here and 3 there.
    I did a day shift by accident a few weeks ago and realized why I hate days so much. Far to many people, far too many chiefs, the indians are being bullied and the noise level----OH MY GOSH!!! Also no autonomy--at night I have no manager to run to, the Doc is busy, I have to choose and decide--and I do.
    Love the night shift-----
    Tracey
  5. by   chelli73
    Quote from moongirl
    So, if you work say 3 12 hour shifts and have 4 days off.. on your days off do you stick to sleeping during the day and being up at night? That would seem weird, (1) because you would never see the light of day and (2) you couldnt have activities that would involve your family. So my qestion is- say you work Friday from 7 pm to 7 am, it is your first night back after your days off.. On Thursday night, do you stay up, so that you can sleep Friday daytime and then be able to pull the night shift?

    I really think I would like working nights, I am a night owl, and would rather sleep at 10 am than at 10 pm. Just wondering how it all works out
    thanks!!!!!!!!!
    i worked part-time midnights for 3 yrs (11p-7a) and sleep became an option!! very tricky indeed. but here is what i would do: on my last day of work before i would be off for about 2-3 days, i would (try to) stay awake all day to get "on schedule" and also to enjoy the sunshine!!! but i am a nightowl at heart as well, so on the night before i had to be back at work i would stay up really late to sleep late the next day when i had to be at work by 11p. sometimes it would work, sometimes it would not. one time i was out of work at 7a, ran home to shower and go shopping to stay awake. well i noticed that i was "limping" thru the aisles and yet my feet did not hurt...i looked down and to my dismay and embarrassment i had 2 DIFFERENT white gym shoes on!!!!! LOL, i had to buy a pair of cheapos just to finish my shopping spree, pretty pathetic, huh??!! but i love the night shift anyway!!!!
  6. by   Tievoli
    I work all nights and my system depends on the number of nights off I have.

    Less than 2 = i sleep majority during the day and up at night (it usually means I have had split nights that week)

    3+ = I try to find stuff to go out and do and stay up all day then have an early night (before 10pm or 'ping' I am wide awake lol) and sleep as late as possible- sometimes a full 12hrs. That usually kick starts me into daytime mode.

    My night shifts are often lumped together to make up to 8 in a row therefore often giving me a week to recover so the 3+ is usually the rule for me.

    Before my first shift I have a late night (wine and a movie work well) then sleep late, hopefully till 11 am and thats me till next morning.

    To be honest though you will end up finding your own best routine eventually (hopefully before it kills you LOL)
  7. by   dlsgroovymom
    hih
    Last edit by dlsgroovymom on Sep 25, '06
  8. by   LauraF, RN
    I work 2 twelves. Saturday night and Sunday night. What I do is.....i stay up late on friday with the kids watching Netflix videos with sundaes or popcorn and soda. I sleep late on Saturday morning. I do try and take a short nap around 3pm. I'm up at 5:15pm taking shower and getting ready. When I come home at 7am I usually feed the baby, put him back to bed. Crawl into my bed, barring any kids haven't beat me to my spot. I sleep till about 1pm or so. Leave for work around 6pm. Get home the next morning- this part is about to change. I will be coming home to just the baby. The big kids hubby should have already gotten off to school. So I should be able to get a nap after I give the baby a bottle for a few hours. And he also goes down for a nap around 1pm. So I can nap from 1pm to 3pm, when the kids come home from school then go back to sleep that night for the remainder of the week sleep normally.
  9. by   Midwest4me
    No, on my days off I do not sleep during the day--I revert to a "normal" schedule of sleeping at night.
    Prior to starting the first night of a string of night shifts(I do a variety of shifts--not always nights) I will take a 3-5 hr nap and that seems to get me through that first night just fine. It's the next 2 or 3 that I have trouble with. I'm so tired when I get off that I want to sleep(and do go right to bed) but then only sleep for 6 continuous hrs then struggle to return to sleep so I can feel rested prior to the shift.
  10. by   traumamomtx
    first night on I either sleep in a little in the morning or if I have to get up early that day I try and take a little nap before coming on for the start of my week. On my final night when I get off in the morning I usually sleep about 4-5 hrs and then get up in the early afternoon and go on with usual everyday things then back to bed at regular time that night with the hubby. It's been working for me for the last 7 yrs.
  11. by   goats'r'us
    in my job, everyone has to do their share of nights, and the rule is that however many days you work per fortnight, that's how many nights you have to do every six weeks.
    i usually save up my nights and do two blocks of five with 2 days off in between.
    on the night before my first shift, i'll stay up till 4 or 5am, reading, watching tv, whatever.., and then i'll sleep as much of the day as i can. when i do wake up, i tend to stay resting in bed till at least 3pm, then get up and enjoy the afternoon. that tends to be enough sleep to get me through the first night shift.
    when the first block of nights finishes, i go to bed and set my alarm for midday, which is enough sleep to get me through to midnight or 1am. that keeps me in a routine of being up late, so that it's not too strange when the second block of nights starts.
    after my entire lot of nights finishes, i generally only grab a few hours sleep, and then make sure i have an appointment for something so i have to actually get up and about. this tires me out so that i am ready for bed again at a normal, non-nocturnal time that night.

    tra-da!! and that's how i cope with intermittent nights!

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    bless
  12. by   vamedic4
    I usually work the same days every week, unless some nimrod gets ahold of the schedule and screws it up. Sundays, Tuesdays, Fridays are my days of choice. I have two small children that I take to school in the AM, then I'm free to sleep for about 3 hours prior to picking the smallest one up.
    In the summer I just stay up until the little one takes a nap...around noon, then nap myself.
    I don't work back to back days anymore because I can't guarantee that I'll be able to sleep enough after the first shift to be ready for the second.

    I LOVE working nights...it gives me a chance to do things with my little monsters - and I don't miss out on family things.

    And I can sleep anytime, just give me a pillow and a blanket (and a fan, and something to cover my eyes..and earplugs..... )

    vamedic4
    Hoping today's cooler than yesterday
  13. by   Dixiecup
    I always kept the same schedule on my days off. My body couldn't handle flip flopping back and forth. So I stayed up on my days off, usually not quite as late but until 4 or 5 am and slept during the day.

    I did that for about a year but I am not a night person. Now I work days, thank goodness.
  14. by   elthia
    I keep to a nightshift schedule except for school holidays and vacations. It's too hard on me to change my sleep schedule.

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