Sleep deprived due to nightshift

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    I just started doing nightshift work recently and I find after work, I start to experience difficulty sleeping during the day after work which causes me to feel so sleepy when I'm at work at night. I find it weird because I have trouble staying awake when at work, but I somehow can't get myself to sleep once I get home.
    Does anyone have the same experience? If so, any advice or suggestions as how you overcome it? I prefer no sleeping pills cause I don't wanna deal with side effects and such.

    Also I tried finding some solutions online and I came across this thing called bright light therapy. Has anyone ever tried it and did it work?
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  3. 25 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I'm with you! I started noc in Jan. there's a lot to love about night shift. lol I recently noticed I can't sleep very well all of a sudden. When i started it was still dark when i drove home ..I'm thinking because the season has changed and now the sun is bright when I'm driving home that's kinda messing with me. It was recently cloudy and dark when I drive home and I slept great that day.. I do have black out curtains and stuff.. So I think it's the bright sun doing it for me...I drink lots of ice water and ice tea when I'm working and that helps keep me up. But around 4 I start to Peter out and I'm trying to stop that!!
    hemingrald likes this.
  5. 3
    If you can, maintain a night shift schedule, if not, melatonin may be your friend. Black out your windows with cardboard. Use a white-noise machine or a fan. Turn your phone off. Drive with sunglasses. Stop the caffeine a few hours before work is over.

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
  6. 1
    For me I can't stick to a noc schedule cause I have kiddos.. But if OP is single it might be easier for you! I have weekends off so I transition over Friday by staying awake most of the day and sleeping Friday night..and taking a long nap late Sunday afternoon. I tend to do better every day by taking a nap before going back in .. If I don't get he or so nap in the early eve I really struggle..
    hemingrald likes this.
  7. 1
    When I worked 7pm-->7am, it was often difficult to go home and fall asleep. I had a 30 mile drive home and dared not get sleepy before I got home.

    When I got home, I would take our big muscular dog for a walk on the dog/biking trail. My husband had taken him out for a quick potty
    run but he still had a ton of energy left to burn. That walk was good for both of our waistlines!

    If I ad any errands or grocery shopping to do, I did it on my way home. I always carried reusable shopping bags, a couple of coolers, and a shopping list in the back of the car.

    Our dog loved to visit nursing homes in the area and we'd often make quick visits because he was the star attraction and I could just keep an eye on him and if I were groggy, no one cared.

    When I finally got home, I'd make a cup of tea and stretch out on the couch and usually zonk right out. In bed after my morning shower? No way would I sleep.
    hemingrald likes this.
  8. 7
    Sunglasses on the way home helps a LOT as do all of the other above suggestions. Your sleep room should be ABSOLUTELY dark- no light from windows / electronics / nightlights. And wear the sunglasses if you need to get up to the bathroom.

    30+ years on nights and a master's thesis on the subject. Trust me on this one.
    avaloncar, TheSquire, nrsang97, and 4 others like this.
  9. 2
    Yeah I have heard melatonin, sunglasses, darkening shades, and try some relaxation when you get home. I used to think about how wonderful my bed felt. If nothing else try to stay in bed with your eyes closed. It isn't a perfect form of sleep, but it does offer your muscles and organs a bit of rest. :/ Sorry. I did night shift for over four years and it definitely takes some practice, so don't despair just yet.
    nrsang97 and hemingrald like this.
  10. 2
    Quote from marycarney
    Sunglasses on the way home helps a LOT as do all of the other above suggestions. Your sleep room should be ABSOLUTELY dark- no light from windows / electronics / nightlights. And wear the sunglasses if you need to get up to the bathroom.

    30+ years on nights and a master's thesis on the subject. Trust me on this one.
    Are you published anywhere Mary? I would love to read your thesis. Night shift fascinates me.
    nrsang97 and hemingrald like this.
  11. 6
    My research WILL be published in the Journal for Nurses in Staff Development either late this year or early 2014. PM me and I'll send you a copy of my thesis if you like.
    I'm doing another project right now and have about five more I'd like to do......$omeday
    annietart, nrsang97, Dazglue, and 3 others like this.
  12. 1
    I tried to PM you, Mary, but got a message that you're mailbox is full & can't accept any more messages. I'd also love to read your thesis.

    I started working nights in 1975 when I was in nursing school & have never been able to adjust to any other shift. I took a day shift job in 2007 so I'd be on the same schedule as my husband but I only lasted a month before I started begging to be put back on nights!
    hemingrald likes this.


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