Switching from Night Shift to Day Shift

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    Ok so I have researched this subject on here and seen multiple people who are "unhappy" on nights. My question is what did you end up doing? Did you switch to days or stay on nights? And if you stayed on nights did your "problems" eventually cease? Here are some of the problems I am referring to that I have seen many people say they experience and I have been experiencing while on nights.

    1. Sleeping away the day even on your days off. Or...not being able to switch back and fourth between nights and days so you are always on a night shift schedule. Like going to bed at 6 to 7am on your days off...waking up at 4pm.

    2. Tummy troubles....nausea, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea.

    3. Tired all the time. Basically feeling like a walking zombie unless its like 2 or 3am.

    Oh and if you stayed on nights...did you do something specific to work on these issues? For example...I have tried waking up "early" on my days off to reset myself back into day shift. But that leads to severe tummy issues and severe zombiness then I end up not being able to fall asleep until 7am anyway. I have also tried alternating my meals around. Increasing fiber, water. Or snacking rather than eating full meals. Eating more, eating less etc etc. These haven't worked yet. I'm really tempted to switch to days, but very intimidated by the shift itself. And, I LOVE my co-workers at night so of course I would miss them.
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    I am wondering the same thing right now. I have worked nights for two years. You would think you would get used to it but my tummy troubles have gotten worse and my energy level is getting worse. Plus I feel grumpy a lot. I have talked to people who switched to days. They said it's definitely busier and nonstop, but it's helpful to have worked nights first for the experience and it just feels more natural to the system. I think I'm going to try it. Good luck to you!
  6. 0
    Quote from sameyjaney
    Ok so I have researched this subject on here and seen multiple people who are "unhappy" on nights. My question is what did you end up doing? Did you switch to days or stay on nights? And if you stayed on nights did your "problems" eventually cease? Here are some of the problems I am referring to that I have seen many people say they experience and I have been experiencing while on nights.

    1. Sleeping away the day even on your days off. Or...not being able to switch back and fourth between nights and days so you are always on a night shift schedule. Like going to bed at 6 to 7am on your days off...waking up at 4pm.

    2. Tummy troubles....nausea, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea.

    3. Tired all the time. Basically feeling like a walking zombie unless its like 2 or 3am.

    Oh and if you stayed on nights...did you do something specific to work on these issues? For example...I have tried waking up "early" on my days off to reset myself back into day shift. But that leads to severe tummy issues and severe zombiness then I end up not being able to fall asleep until 7am anyway. I have also tried alternating my meals around. Increasing fiber, water. Or snacking rather than eating full meals. Eating more, eating less etc etc. These haven't worked yet. I'm really tempted to switch to days, but very intimidated by the shift itself. And, I LOVE my co-workers at night so of course I would miss them.
    I totally understand your sentiments,i work 7days continous nights (10.5 hrs) then 7 days off...if i have a choice ill will swap it with days ,but due to obligation i have to my kids and family i just cant at this time.Its hard work, i feel exhausted all the time i only been doing it for little less than a year but i can feel my body is suffering.My work at night is a piece of cake, its an ortho ward, we get busy at 2100 till maybe 2300 hrs then thats it done ready to bed. and me and my partner takes for up to 3 hrs break if we can, but nothing else our body need is the proper rhytmic of sleeping at night.ohh well i need my kids to grow quicker...lol or maybe if i win a euromillion lottery.
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    I just couldn't do nights. Every night at around 2 or 3 am, I'd get nauseated, light headed, and just "off." I really didn't have much trouble sleeping during the day because I was always so tired when I got home, but I was often awakened by outside influences, such as phone calls, lawn mowers, husband coming and going. If I could have been just left alone, I would have slept just fine.

    I was so happy to move back to days. Many nurses love nights and have adjusted just fine after an initial transition period.
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    I worked nights for 2+ years. My migraines were terrible, I was to the point where I was only sleeping about 4 hours on my back to back night (not healthy for me, not safe for patients). I was miserable to be around & my relationships were suffering. I could never get anything done, always exhausted.

    I left my dream job, to take a day shift position on a floor that I really am indifferent to.
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    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    When I was a Med-Surg nurse in a large county-run trauma center in the SF Bay Area I worked night shift for most of my 27.5-year career there. It was like a "never ending jet lag" the way I described my night shift job to relatives and friends. I had to work night shift to take care of our 2 children while my wife worked in the office during the day, and the night shift differential pay was a nice addition to my income.

    I have been working part time during the day since my retirement from the trauma center as a nurse preceptor, telehealth nurse and nursing supervisor in a private nursing agency for the past three years working in the office from 9AM-12 Noon and from 3PM-5PM on most days. I am a lot more alert, I feel healthier and I enjoy eating dinner with my wife every evening. And I have every weekends off!

    Would I work night shift again if I have to do it all over again? I think I would if I am given the same family situation. I am enjoying my semi-retirement and am looking forward to full retirement in about 7 years.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Last edit by Daly City RN on Oct 16, '11
    joe17 likes this.
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    I've been working nights for a little over a year & it's the same for me...always feeling exhausted. If I can wake up a lil earlier on my day off....yea I'll still be a zombie that day but... if I can get to sleep at a decent hr later that night (1-3 a.m.) I'll be able to wake up in the morning. I notice when I wake up in the morning, I have so much more energy to get things done around the house. If I just can't wake up early that first night off my whole entire time off I'm on a night schedule & can't get anything done because who likes starting on chores when the sun is already starting to come down?!?!

    It's hard because I feel like I don't have any control over my sleeping schedule...some days it's easy to only sleep 3-4 hours & other times I can't pull myself out of bed even after sleeping 6-8 hours.

    But like you, I love my co-workers & don't see myself switching to days soon...I'm just dealing with it.
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    I worked the majority of my 16 years of nursing on nights. Not less work, but less stimuli (I worked ICU). I never had problems sleeping, but looking back I stayed up until 11am each day, preparing dinner, cleaning, homework and relaxing. I only slept 4-5 hours each day. During that time, I had no problem with it, although many articles tell you how unhealthy that is.

    This march i moved to 4 10 hour days in an EP lab and thought I would hate it. I was exhausted from waking early, went to bed by 9pm for months and I think I have caught up on all my sleep from the past 16 years. I'm not exhausted anymore, before it was normal for me to feel that way. I have much less stress and I feel better generally.

    Keep in mind, I don't work the floors or the ICU on days, I'm in a proceedure lab with one patient at a time, no family and the patient is sedated, our charting is minimal. So I choose VERY wisely taking a day shift job.

    Prior, I would work all three 12 hour shifts in a row to have 4 days off. Now my day off is monday, wednesday or friday and no weekends. I don't care when I have off now. A three day weekend is great, a break on wednesday is great too.

    Two years ago, I would have tried to sell you on staying on nights for the sanity of no management and fewer families. Now I'm happy. It's individual and I hope you find what works for you.
    Poi Dog likes this.
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    I did full time nights for a year and a half. Loved the shift and the people. My body hated it. I have to take meds to sleep anyways, and it just MESSED my system up. Always tired, always crabby. My daughter was freaking out at night because I wasn't there in the house (Dad was home of course, but he is not the same thing :redpinkhe).

    Then I got preggo with baby #2 in about March. This one is a boy, and has given me EVERY pregnancy symptom imaginable. I knew then I was going to have to switch to days.

    I have been on days for about 2 months now, and I love it. The first day I wanted to cry, felt like a new nurse again. The pace was so different. I got used to it, and now I love it. I love being busy, day flies by, and there is just something about being home in my bed in the DARK that just feels right and normal.

    I hope it all works out for you! Some people switch shifts, others don't and make do. You have to do what is best for your health and body.

    Kelly
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    Nightshift almost killed me on more than one drive home. I liked the night shift atmosphere and higher pay but like another poster said it's never ending jet lag. I moved to days for my health after just over a year of nights. The body hormonal system works without noticing you're a night shift worker and that's why so many of us never feel right. I've met hardcore night shift people that claim days made them sick and I was ever so glad there is a group of nurses that can anchor nights, so all nurses don't have to swing.

    I think non-caffeine addicted nurses adjust easier to switching from nights to days.

    When I worked nights, I didn't pay much attention to light. If I were to do it all over again, I'd walk out of the hospital wearing the best sunglasses money can buy. If you walk out into daylight, the eye sends the brain a message to make wake up hormones when you're intending to sleep. If you want to stay awake when you get off spend more time in the sun without sunglasses.


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