Tips for working swing shifts?

  1. I thought I would ask if anyone has any useful tips for working swing shifts?
    I am being scheduled for a combo of day and evening shifts. I start as early as 7am some days, other days I am on evenings and work till midnight. I am working 3-4 day shifts every schedule, and 4-5 evenings every schedule.

    I cannot stop waking up at 6am, no matter if I work the evening shift. Any tips for how to get my body to adjust better? I am slowing going crazy from lack of sleep.

    I've tried tylenol pm and I still wake up early, only I am left feeling groggy........
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    I would not try to change your sleep habits for the pm shifts. Instead, try to focus on taking an early nap that day before going in for your shift. You will find that you will feel much better that way. By trying to alter your internal clock to meet your work schedule, you will actually do yourself more harm......

    Hope that this helps........................
  4. by   RN-PA
    That's a tough schedule. I work evenings part-time so I experience similar problems that you've described. On my days off, I get on an earlier awakening schedule that's hard to change after I've worked my shift and maybe haven't gotten to sleep until 1:30 a.m. Is your room good and dark? I find I will sleep longer if I'm not awakened by light seeping through the blinds on the windows. So I also put a room-darkening window-shade over the mini-blinds. I also sometimes take just 0.25 of 10 mg Flexeril prescribed prn for headaches/muscle stiffness that seems to help me to get back to sleep more easily if I awaken too early.
  5. by   movealong
    Thanks for the tips.

    Maybe it's because I am so tired, but I am trying to decide whether to stay with this job which I love in all other aspects, or whether it's time to start thinking about quitting. Why do they work nurses like this? Why do they ruin an otherwise great job?

    They keep telling me my schedule is temporary, but with each new schedule, it's the same old stuff.

    I don't know whether I am angry or sad. I cry and then get mad. And in the meantime, I can't take any classes, join a club or any activities that require a more regular schedule.

    My house is dirty, my laundry is piling up, I've got a ton of things to do and I just sit here exhausted, knowing I'll be up till 1am again working tonight after waking up at 6am this morning. It's been this way for months. Sorry for the rant, but thanks for letting me vent. I'm 47 and I'm too old to put my body through this.
  6. by   RN-PA
    Please talk to your manager and tell him/her what you've written here. If they think you may quit, they may have a lot more incentive to change your schedule for you. For your family's, your health's, and your sanity's sake, please talk to them soon.

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