Sleepless on the night shift - page 2

Need advise. I'm having trouble turning my nights and days around. Translation I work nights. Usually 3 in a row and we work 12 hour shifts. My problem is that I have teenagers and a husband that... Read More

  1. by   Lisi-LPN
    Quote from stretch thin
    Need advise. I'm having trouble turning my nights and days around. Translation I work nights. Usually 3 in a row and we work 12 hour shifts. My problem is that I have teenagers and a husband that are day people.(NORMAL PEOPLE) When I get off my third shift, I'm dead. I work in the ER and many times you don't sit down for the whole shift. I want to beable to see my family, but I'm so use to my day sleeping and night working that I can't seem to switch. I can't afford to go to days and don't want to. So whats the answer? Any advise I would appreciate it. Thanks.
    I work night shift now and I have to agree, it is absolutely the most difficult transition to have to make. What works for me is taking a nap Friday afternoon if I can (I do Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night from 7p-7a) and then on Monday morning I might nap on the couch or in my bed for a little while but not past 1 or 2 (plus I still get to watch my stories), and then sleep with everyone else that night. And on Saturday and Sunday during the day, I use ear plugs and every now and then those eye pillows but the ear plugs usually work. And if someone else is home, I turn off the ringer on the phone in the room and don't take my cell phone in there with me. Just because I know someone else will be able to get the phone. It does ok by me! Good luck to you!
  2. by   Palpitations
    Stretched Thin, I'm glad that you made this post! I'm going to print out all of the responses and have my family read it. Maybe, this will help them to understand how I feel, and why it's so hard for me to go all of my children's school functions and stuff. They don't understand the concept of feeling "jet-lagged"! They do understand that they need money for the things that they want! I've got to get them to put 2 and 2 together. It's either one or the other!

    Thanks
  3. by   Farkinott
    Quote from redshiloh
    I remember when I worked night shift one time my dad called and woke me up around 1400 asking " Are you STILL asleep?" I told him I was going to call him at 0300 and ask him the same thing. 'Normal' people do not understand life on nights.
    Talk to your family (or threaten like I did) and see if they have any ideas. After all, most teenagers know everything, right?
    I once had a girlfriend (note once!) who did the same kind of thing to me. I had just started a new job that involved nights and she rang up one day at around 1230, to see if I wanted to come and have lunch with her! Needless to say I didn't partake of her offer.
  4. by   MelissaRN
    Nights would have worked out better for me if I had a set schedule. The weekends were tough because the whole family was home and sleep was near impossible. I just couldn't do it any more.
  5. by   JoniL&DRN
    Can I ask the night shift folks a question? My husband and I have discussed it and decided that when I am done with nursing school I will do a night shift (3 kids in school blah blah blah). I am quite alert in the evening and have a difficult time going to bed before 12 or 1 and even then can't fall asleep. I actually *think* I will be one of those who prefer the night shift. That being said here is my question... What is your sleep schedule? I envision it going like this (of course if you want God to laugh tell him your plans right?): First night - nap late in the afternoon. Second night - come home, decompress, and then sleep from say 9am-2 or 3. Third night - come home and power nap for a couple of hours to get you through the day so you can be with everyone in the evening (and your husband). If you have to work a fourth night you jump off a building ;o)

    Is this wishful thinking or is this similar to the sched of the night folk. This kind of holds with the "trying to get on the same sched as everyone else in the house" thing. Input is appreciated... Thanks
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Farkinott
    I once had a girlfriend (note once!) who did the same kind of thing to me. I had just started a new job that involved nights and she rang up one day at around 1230, to see if I wanted to come and have lunch with her! Needless to say I didn't partake of her offer.
    I just tell all of my friends to go ahead and call. If I'm sleeping, the ringers are turned off and I'll get the message when I get up. I've also told my neighbors not to ring the doorbell unless it's truly an emergency. (The house is on fire, we're in the path of a tornado -- that kind of thing) It seems to work pretty well.

    Anyone who wakes me up TWICE will get a phone call from me at 2AM. So far, I haven't had to make good on that threat. Usually, I think they're so horrified by the stumbling idiot they encounter when they wake me the first time.
  7. by   J Lynn
    I love reading everyone stories about the night shift. I'm applying to do a weekend special.....my interview is tomorrow.

    Lisi---I've noticed that you also work weekend nights. I would like to know more about your schedule..........any tips would be helpful. However, I have an advantage to this.......the hospital has it's own hotel (for families of patients and nurses and docs that works at least 3 days in a row and live far away), and since I live 80 miles from it......I can stay in the hotel for free......no kids distracting me. The pay is good, better than anywhere else.
  8. by   klone
    Has anyone tried Provigil for this issue?
  9. by   j4nice
    Well, Melissa of R.N. Maine:angryfire Please tell me you want to make a career face of this kind of action.
    Last edit by j4nice on Jun 28, '04
  10. by   DZcarrie
    what times do you plan your meals while working night shift? should i eat a 'breakfast' before work...take my 'lunch' at breaktime, and dinner when i get home at 7am?
  11. by   lynn27
    I used to work nights but it just never worked out. I hated that shaky, groggy feeling when I had not gotten enough sleep. I tried nights for 3 years and tried all the tricks-ear plugs, face mask, turned ringer off on phones and became severely psychologically addicted to Ambien. Finally I had to face the fact that I was just not a nightshift person. While working during the night, I really didn't have trouble staying awake--it was trying to stay asleep for more than 3-4hours after shift that finally got me. I wish you all good luck in finding a method that will allow you to sleep well during the day.
  12. by   reyna
    i work 4 nocs straight and on my days off, i only sleep for about 4-5 hours when i get home and i try not to take a nap. it sort of works.
  13. by   wonderbee
    My feet ache so terribly after my 12h shifts that it's impossible to sleep until the pain subsides. Anyone else have that problem? I'll get home at 800, take a shower to decontaminate and have a cup of decaf and a Tylenol PM. By 1000 I'm usually comfy enough to sleep and I'll sleep like a rock till 4 or 5 so long as I turn off the phone ringer. I'll still be kind of drowsy from the Tylenol PM by 2200 and I'm ready to sleep again.

    I only work two nights a week and rarely do I pull two nights in a row. I like having a day between shifts to recover. On my days off, I sleep at night like everyone else.

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