RNs who LOVE nights, read me - page 3

by RNsuperstar

So....tonight is my first night on nights. I am excited. I have worked days for 12 weeks (i am a new grad) and now I am switching to nights permanently. I have a lot of anxiety about the messing up of my sleep schedule. Any... Read More


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    I am going to try the sunglasses thing! I am back on nights after over a year on days at a different position and am trying hard to adjust.

    I seem to get a splitting headache every night i work between 4-5 am anyone have any ideas? I am going to try to drink more water, it may be dehydration. I also don't eat much at night, I find it makes me sleepy. I do drink protein shakes or have a protein bar. I eat before I go in and on my way home (this is a bad habit).

    Anyway I was just wondering if anyone else had this headache thing. I am also thinking it may be an allergies thing, I seem to leave all stuffy in the morning.
  2. 0
    Quote from ruby vee
    there are numerous threads on this -- have you tried searching for them?

    you're going to have to find what works for you. i stay up late the night before my first night shift and sleep until at least noon -- there's something magic for me about that 12n time frame. if i wake up at 11:59, i try to go back to sleep. my dh gets up at the usual time of 6 or 7am, then goes back to bed at 1 pm and takes a sleeping pill so he naps for at least four hours.

    i come home from work and find dh waiting for me -- usually -- with a happy puppy and an offer of breakfast. so if he's home, i'll force myself to stay up and chat for a bit. if not, i go straight to bed. working 12 hour shifts with a commute that varies from 30 to 60 minutes, i don't usually get 8 hours of sleep. i get as much as i can. have to get up at least half an hour early to feed and walk the dog unless dh is home.

    night meal break is whatever leftovers dh and dear nephew haven't already scrounged out of the refrigerator. if they've already beat me to it, i do subway.

    i sleep with an industrial fan on the "high" setting. white noise that blocks out most (everything except the puppy howling) noise. years ago, an old boyfriend moved into my house while i was sleeping with that fan, and when he moved out a year later, i didn't hear that, either.

    telephone ringer in the bedroom is turned off, and cellphone is on airplane mode. if my mother has an emergency while i'm sleeping, i'm just going to be out of touch until i wake up. of course mom is in a nursing home, so it's not as if i'm the only one who can deal. so far, my mental telepathy works great -- every time a family member has had an emergency, i get an odd feeling and wake up and check my messages. i have black-out curtains -- aluminum foil over the bedroom windows works better, but our homeowner's association forbids it. something about it looking like a grow-room. and the neighbors all know not to ring my doorbell, which makes the puppy howl, which is the only sound i can't seem to sleep through.

    good luck!
    another great post.

    i love your prose.
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    I'd be a happy camper if the usual shifts were 4-4 or even 5-5, instead of 7-7.

    I think both night and day shifters could then "have a life" more equitably, and function at their overall best.

    I'll be switching back to nights with a new postion in a few months. Last time I saw night shift was in my late 20's. It sucked then....never could get to sleep during the day and felt like a perpetual zombie 24/7. Historically I've mentally and physically peter'd out after 2 AM... I've always been early to bed, early to rise.

    However, now in my early 40's, I'm finding my sleep patterns have changed and am more apt to stay up past 11PM.

    We'll see.
  4. 0
    Quote from shanthern
    i've worked nights for the past 3 years. i tend to stay on a night time schedule unless i have a lot of off days in a row. it's 4:30am, this is my third night off, and i'm watching tv and catching up on stuff like it's 6pm lol i usually work 2-3 nights in a row. i get home around 8, shower, and watch some tv for an hour or so. my goal is to be asleep by 10am (i have a scrip for ambien for emergencies but rarely use it) and i don't wake up till 5 at the earliest. i use a fan, sleep mask during the summer, and ocean sounds phone app. knocks me right out. naps are the devil! like the pp, they only make me more tired. i usually eat something little (bagel or bowl of cereal) before leaving for work. my break time depends on when my pt assignment will allow it. i always try for 2ish. on nights when it seems like i'll never get a break, i wolf down a fiber one bar - they're filling and they keep my blood sugar even till i can eat an actual meal. i'm diabetic so i always pack snacks i can eat in 30 seconds, just in case.

    i work 12s, but when i pick up an ot shift it's usually 8 hours. same plan, only i get a few hours before work to do stuff. there's no single method that works for everyone, but i do recommend buying a liter water bottle. drink one every night. keeping hydrated will make you feel so much better. if you don't believe me, wait a month into working nights, then add in extra hydration lol you'll thank me!

    psa: patients do not just sleep soundly on nights, leaving you with nothing to do but homework and online shopping. i've gotten my butt kicked on nights as much as days. don't believe the myth!
    [color=#ff0099]i am interviewing for a new job friday. if i get it i will have to go back to nights after being on days for 3 years. you gave me a lot of great ideas!! thank you!
  5. 0
    Quote from ruby vee
    there are numerous threads on this -- have you tried searching for them?

    you're going to have to find what works for you. i stay up late the night before my first night shift and sleep until at least noon -- there's something magic for me about that 12n time frame. if i wake up at 11:59, i try to go back to sleep. my dh gets up at the usual time of 6 or 7am, then goes back to bed at 1 pm and takes a sleeping pill so he naps for at least four hours.

    i come home from work and find dh waiting for me -- usually -- with a happy puppy and an offer of breakfast. so if he's home, i'll force myself to stay up and chat for a bit. if not, i go straight to bed. working 12 hour shifts with a commute that varies from 30 to 60 minutes, i don't usually get 8 hours of sleep. i get as much as i can. have to get up at least half an hour early to feed and walk the dog unless dh is home.

    night meal break is whatever leftovers dh and dear nephew haven't already scrounged out of the refrigerator. if they've already beat me to it, i do subway.

    i sleep with an industrial fan on the "high" setting. white noise that blocks out most (everything except the puppy howling) noise. years ago, an old boyfriend moved into my house while i was sleeping with that fan, and when he moved out a year later, i didn't hear that, either.

    telephone ringer in the bedroom is turned off, and cellphone is on airplane mode. if my mother has an emergency while i'm sleeping, i'm just going to be out of touch until i wake up. of course mom is in a nursing home, so it's not as if i'm the only one who can deal. so far, my mental telepathy works great -- every time a family member has had an emergency, i get an odd feeling and wake up and check my messages. i have black-out curtains -- aluminum foil over the bedroom windows works better, but our homeowner's association forbids it. something about it looking like a grow-room. and the neighbors all know not to ring my doorbell, which makes the puppy howl, which is the only sound i can't seem to sleep through.

    good luck!
    [color=#cc0066]great advice ruby!
  6. 0
    Quote from RNsuperstar
    So....tonight is my first night on nights. I am excited. I have worked days for 12 weeks (i am a new grad) and now I am switching to nights permanently. I have a lot of anxiety about the messing up of my sleep schedule. Any advice? We work 3, 12 hour shifts a week......and I am aiming to do my 3, 12hour shifts in a row......so here are my questions.

    Do you take a nap during the day before you go in for your first night on?

    Or do you sleep in late in the AM on your first day you go in?

    Do you come home after work and go straight to bed?

    Do you try to get a full 8 hours sleep?

    What works for you?

    Do you eat a full meal during your night meal break?

    Any advice will help. Please don't tell me that nothing worked.....although it may be true.
    First night back in a while I will try to go to bed around 7-8 am and get up at 4pm, get ready for work and go in. I do not want to be up for more than 24 hours when I have to work. Yes, i go straight to bed after work after takign a shower, eating something light, sometimes. I might read or watch the news for a few minutes but i am usually in bed by 9am and I get up at 5pm. sometimes earlier but not by much. Eating depends on what if anything I ate before work. It all depends I try to not eat just because it "is time to eat" unless I am really hungry. Nights is not easy for many people. it does take a toll on your life, a huge one for most. I dunno what your place is like but you may not even get the 3 12s in a row.
  7. 0
    Quote from healthstar
    Hi everyone,I am graduating this May and I am probably going to work nights because of course I will be a new grad.....we get the worst shifts sometimes . Why is that some of you love nights, what do you guys recommend for new grads? day shift, evening shift, nightshift and why? Please help (: hugs
    i love nights because I hate days. Less patient/co worker interation, less people around- from managers, administration, visitors, drs, pt/ot, etc. ( can be a good or bad thing but we have in house residents and pharmacy coverage 24/7).
  8. 0
    I've worked nights for more than 20 years, am a natural night owl. Always did my best exam cramming and paper writing between 12 and 3AM.

    Light doesn't bother me, but heat does; I have a fan that oscillates, but set it to one position because the air moving back and forth over me is disturbing.

    I stay up late every night, unless something is scheduled, then I try to get to sleep earlier. Up at noon on my days off, except for the 2 months every semester when I teach a morning class (but not till 10! :spin. My Albertsons is open 24 hours, I can shop whenever, and park close in.

    I do eat a full meal at night, on the nights when there is time. I eat supper on the way in, but don't like a heavy meal right after waking up. I often wake up around 1 or so, eat something light, and go back to bed. If I can't get back to sleep, I do quiet things like reading, nothing that gets my energy really going, and even that much rest helps.

    Try not to drink too much caffeine after 4 AM, it makes it harder to get to sleep when you get home.
  9. 0
    If you have to work nights it is recommended to stick to a schedule and try not to do rotating shifts if possible. Also stick to the same routine on weekends. Check out some good info at Jobs Working Nights
  10. 0
    I do either: take a 4 hour nap, or sleep in till noon, on the day I go back to work. I put my shifts in a row, 3 nights together, if at all possible. I go to bed within an hour and a half of coming home and try for 8 hours sleep, sometimes it's 6 or 7. I take my daily med pass in the mornings before bed so I get all the urinating out of the way before I go to work. Yes I can get up and go pee in my sleep, it's very rarely I run into the wall on the way to the bathroom. (diuretics aren't fun.) I don't eat a full meal, I pack 3 heavy snacks. I eat at 5 before going in, and I snack at 9, 1am, and at 4 am. I drink water all night and alternate it with coffee, trying to drink double the volume of coffee in water so I don't have kidney stones.

    In the morning I unwind with a heavy breakfast-like meal and either orange juice or milk. I have no blackout curtains but I do keep a circulating floor fan (little round thing that looks like a footstool) on, and in the winter turn the electric blanket on low. I like a warm bed with cool air. I need benadryl some mornings and am currently also trying out melatonin.


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