Sleep deprived due to nightshift

  1. 0 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?
  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest discussions, articles, and toons.

  3. Visit  hemingrald profile page

    About hemingrald

    Joined May '13; Posts: 2.

    25 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  bratmobile profile page
    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. Visit  itsnowornever profile page
    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. Visit  bratmobile profile page
    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. Visit  sharpeimom profile page
    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. Visit  marycarney profile page
    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. Visit  Tait profile page
    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. Visit  Tait profile page
    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. Visit  marycarney profile page
    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. Visit  poppycat profile page
    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.
  13. Visit  hemingrald profile page
    0
    Quote from marycarney
    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
    Hi Mary,
    I would love to have a read at your thesis as well, but since I can't use the PM feature due to my low post count- do you mind me asking, so based on your findings how do they cope with night shifts and any successful methods that they did to readjust their body clock? Congratulations on being published by the way
  14. Visit  turnforthenurseRN profile page
    2
    I don't have issues with staying awake at work...my issues come about on my days off. I try to switch to a normal sleeping schedule on my days off but I still end up being wide awake in the middle of the night.

    As for trying to get to sleep once you get home, different things work for different people. Some people like to work out immediately after getting off the clock. I never have the energy (or desire) to do that lol and working out actually energizes me, so I avoid. Some, though, swear that it helps them sleep afterwards.

    Invest in some black out curtains or if you don't want to do that, invest in an sleep mask to mimic night time when you sleep. Turn off all electronics, including your cell phone. Tell your friends and family about your work schedule and your designated sleep times. Remember, their 1pm is your 1am! Keep your sleep environment cool, too. Turn on the AC or have a fan going - it's nice to have a little bit of "white noise" to help you doze off.

    I use either Benadryl or melatonin to help me sleep when I'm switching back to my night shift schedule. I typically do 3 in a row (though now I'm doing 2 in a row with 3-4 days off, 2 in a row, 1 off, 2 in a row) so once I'm back on my night shift sleep schedule, I don't use sleep aids to help me sleep when I'm off the clock.

    If you like coffee, drink it. I need this liquid elixir to function, lol. I do, however, cut off my caffeine consumption around 0100 to prevent sleeping problems when I'm finally off the clock. If I feel like I'm dragging at work, then I'll drink a couple of sips of coffee if it's past my 0100 cut off time, but that's it. No problems.

    I also agree with wearing sunglasses. And wear them if you have to get up and pee. Any light exposure will start waking you up and you'll find it hard to go back to sleep.
    jrsRN07 and poppycat like this.
  15. Visit  marycarney profile page
    1
    I've emptied my mailbox and can now take messages from you all. OR email me at marycarney49@yahoo.com
    poppycat likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Top