Thoughts on the 3-11 shift: I can't fall asleep afterwards!!

  1. So,

    Does anyone else have this problem with swing shift: You get home, you want to go to bed, but you stay up for another 2-4 hours unproductively surfing the web and mindlessly snacking?? Maybe you do something else besides surf the web, and the the mindlessly snacking part may be just me

    Does anyone purposefully NOT work swing shift because of this?

    I am deciding between a couple job options and this may be the deciding factor. I've worked swing on and off for the past 4 years and this has always been a problem for me. I like swing *in theory* b/c I am not an early bird/morning riser, but it seems not to be worth it in the long run.

    Has anyone been able to combat this successfully?
  2. Visit ivyleaf profile page

    About ivyleaf, ASN, RN

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 265; Likes: 79
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience in ambulatory care, psych, case management


  3. by   TheCommuter
    I purposely avoid the 2-10pm/3-11pm shift because I was never able to get a routine established while working these hours. If left to my own devices, I would wake up at noon, slowly get ready for work, work my shift, then go home and watch television or surf the net until 4am before settling down to go to sleep.

    I was able to forge a routine whenever I worked nights (11-7am) or days (7-3pm), but I wasted a bunch of free time when I was working evenings.
  4. by   tishirajan
    I had the same problem with the 3-11 shift. It would take me a few hours to wind down after I got home. I talked to my sister about it and she suggested that I take me a hot bath instead of a shower and drink some hot tea. I got in the habit of drinking Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea sweetened with a little bit of honey and within a week it only took me about an hour and a half to drift off to sleep. Reading a really boring book helps too. hehe. Hope this helps!
  5. by   Penguin67
    Worked 3-11 for two years and loved it. I am a night owl, so day shift wasn't too cool. Seemed like I was at work when I was at my best. I usually went to be within an hour of getting home. There were several times that I was up later when I got home, but that was due to losing a patient, or having something bad happen to a patient that I really liked.

    If you are having trouble sleeping, watch the caffeine toward the end of your shift. maybe take a shower when you get home so you are relaxed enough to sleep.
  6. by   LG713
    i have the same problem!!! ever since i started working 3-11 i find myself going to sleep later and later!!! so i have been going to the gym right after work to tire myself out. it really has been working or nights that i dont go to the gym i read a book until i get sleepy but just know ur not alone hee hee
  7. by   nurturing_angel
    I totally loved working 3-11 because I am definately not a morning person. But 8 hour shifts are not offered at my job site. So I have been working 3 12 hour day shifts a week.

  8. by   wonderbee
    Actually, I love the shift. There's still time during the day to get some "daytime" things done and still be home in time for a bed time that's almost normal. I'm used to getting to bed around 1:30 and don't fault myself for sleeping past 8. But I'm single and have no small children to care for either.
  9. by   mdewey626
  10. by   Sunflowerinsc
    I worked 3-11 for years before 12 hrs shifts. I never tried to go right to bed after I got off work. That is when I did most of my housework. My husband worked that shift also. Then when our son was about 4 years old and up with us at 4 am folding laundry, it dawned on us, can't do this when he is ready for school! And he is a night owl to this day also. Many times he stays at his office working after everyone has gone home. Say he can do better work in the middle of the night.
    I would never want to go back to 8 hr shifts but getting up at 5 am is still not my thing .
  11. by   arelle68
    Everyone has a time of day when they are most creative and able to cope with stress. For me, the early morning is a stress all by itself. Eves are the shift for me. You might have to let your body pick the shift it wants to work. You could force it to work a shift it hates. It may adjust, or it may make you pay.
  12. by   Neveranurseagain
    I "trained" my self to go to sleep 30 min after arriving home from my 3-11 shifts. I learned progressive relaxation, and learned mindful meditation (Jon Kabet-Zinn) and it worked almost every night. Then when I worked as a paramedic I used the same techniques to fall asleep between calls at night.
  13. by   inthesky
    I have a love/hate with 3-11.
    good: more sleep, later bedtime, no early morning, less stressful busy shift
    bad: sleep too much, go to bed too late, get nothing done

    I websurf too late as well.
  14. by   joanncm109
    I worked 3-11 for about 15 years total. I loved it, but it doesn't seem to work if you have a family. When I was
    younger, I found myself sleeping more, but less as I aged. You sort of have to make yourself go to bed. I loved
    not having to go in early, though. I have been working days for most of the past 15 years. I try to go to bed
    early when I have to work the next day also. If you take a nice hot shower before bed, that seems to help me
    relax. Also, a cup of sleepytime tea. Good luck!