tell me i will be ok working the night shift!

  1. i am soooo worried about the night shift. I wont start on nights till after my 12w orientation. And i accepted nights because i like the cc step down unit and am open to learning and wanted to take the opportunity. But i am freaking am i gonna ever sleep again? how do you stay awake? i eat well and exercise now and so worried that i will be miserable. how do u eat when your up all night? do u find time to exercise? do you ever feel rested? please any adv? help
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   I RN A
    Don't freak out. I worked the night shift and liked it. Think about it. It will take some time to adjust. You actually have a couple of hours during the day to do whatever you need to do. Use it for working out. The shift starts at 1900. Eat dinner before going to work. Sleep as much as you can. You will get used to it. After all it is only 3 12-hours shifts. You'll be fine.
  4. by   ChristineN
    I rotate days/nights. Will you be doing 5 8hr shifts or 3 12hr night shifts? With 3 12's, it's very easy to still live like a "normal" person the other 4 days a week. The days I work nights, I try to either sleep in or take a nap before work, eat before I go to work, and once I get to work I try to eat between 1-2am. When I get home from work, I normaly eat some breakfast before "bedtime." I personally don't excercise, but some of the girls I work with do, and they just wake up a little earlier to go to the gym before work.
  5. by   chicookie
    You get used to it. Once you go nights though it will be awesome. I hated it when they put me back on days. No big deal though, my only complaint was that living with a Spanish family they were too loud to sleep during the day.
  6. by   MeggaRN
    I also am worried about this. I'll be graduating in dec and with the job market the way it is i'm assuming i'll end up working nights if I get a job. ugh...
  7. by   Be_Moore
    My day:
    In bed between 0900-1100. Sleep until 1730. Eat. At work at 1845. Work until 0723. Gym until 0845ish (when I go). Home. Breakfast. Rinse, repeat. It's not too bad. Realistically, you are doing the EXACT routine...just flipping it by 12 hours. If sleeping is a problem, black out your windows by hanging dark drapes and such.
  8. by   keithjones
    I have read that Melatonin supplements work wonders for adjusting your sleep rhythms to night shift. I currently work 3 days 2 nights a week as a night watchman while going to school and am looking at supplements to help. Also dimming all lights for an hour or so before (and during) sleeping and getting a lot of sunlight for an hour or so after waking will help to adjust circadian rhythms.
    there are some excellent treatment suggestions for Delayed sleep phase syndrome on this site . Since you are intentionally changing your sleep cycle the same information applies. Funny that the articles I've read suggest nursing as one career suited to people with this disorder.
  9. by   Beverage
    I hated the 6 weeks of NOC shift during orientation. We work 12 hr shifts and I'd get home at 8am, eat a snack and take 50mg benadryl which was good for about 4 hrs sleep. Wake up at noon, drag around the house for a bit, snack again and try to go back to bed for a nap. On our floor we got to combine break and lunch at night so I'd go out to my truck and jump in back seat for a lunch time nap with 2 alarms. I lost 20# in 6 weeks and was greatful to get a day shift after orientation.
  10. by   Dave the nurse
    Yes virgina you will survive the night shift.
    I've been on nights for the past three years. What works for me is I'm completely up side down.
    My day starts at 21:30 (9:30PM). I take my vitamins, have a cup of tea, watch the wheather forcast, have a little breakfast. by 22:00 I'm in the shower and out the door by 22:30.
    I eat lunch at around 03:00. When I finish my shift and get home at about 0900. My wifes at work my daughter at school and I think about cooking dinner,doing what ever errins I have to run and I'm in bed by 14:30.
    We all get tired,some time you have to put your head down. I call it getting the creapy sleeppies, no one ever got fired for taking a fifteen minute power nap durring thier break.
    You have to set a routine that works for you.
    As far as practice is concerned If your a new grad for now stick to basics get to known basic nursing care cold so it starts to run on automatic. NEVER be afraid to ask question , and Never be afraid to ask for help

    Good luck Dave the nurse
  11. by   soozeeqrn
    I agree with Dave the Nurse. I also live completely upside down and keep almost the same schedule. My sister is home with a couple of little girls and I get to spend a ton of time with them without always invading their family times when my brother in law is home from work. I have been doing it for 7 years and love the hours. Most of my co-workers do the napping thing and they are always dragging butt. I usually spring out of bed at about 930 pm.
    Good luck in finding a schedule that works for you.
  12. by   december2905
    It will actually be your advantage to work nights. I'm a new nurse, just like you, I oriented on days for 12 weeks and work nights for 8 months now. In our unit, it's a slower pace at night since we don't do discharge after 10 pm, it's not as crazy as day shift, you'll have more time to learn, less stressful. You'll get used to it. I wish you the best of luck!
  13. by   erin01
    thanks for all the replies it made me feel better...i just have to figure it out ...n when i really think about it i will have a lot more time with my son since i will be sleeping while he is in day care for a few hours.
  14. by   Christina Wright
    I just wanted to add some info. I work nights now and have been for over a year. I LOVE it! However, I can't take Benadryl because it makes me feel very groggy the next day. I usually take 1 valerian root supplement and 1 time released melatonin tablet when I get home. I ease into sleep very well and wake up feeling good and not with medicine head. Just a tip in case you have a hard time adjusting.