I recently started working 12 hr day shifts, after working 12 hr nights for several years. I am naturally a night person, and prefer going to bed at midnight or later. I have insomnia prior to working each day shift, but sleep fine when I don't work the next day. I am trying to go to bed at 2200, and plan to keep that bedtime regularly unless there is an occasional late night event. I think I'm better off with the same bedtime daily, even if I have to get up earlier on the days I work. I realize I've been trying to do too much in the evenings after work since I'm not sleepy, and need to cut back to using that time just to eat a light meal and wind down.
My toolbox for insomnia includes:
Camomile tea with valerian root
Glass or two of wine
Benadryl or Tylenol PM
Trazodone 50-100 mg
Ativan 0.5 mg
Neurontin (which I haven't tried)
Doxylamine (which I just read about and will also try)
Of the above tools, only Ativan is always effective while the others work sporadically. Reading, hot baths, watching TV, nature sounds, etc. help me relax but are not effective solutions once I get in bed and am not able to sleep.
I am wondering if day shift nurses usually are able to obtain adequate sleep without sleep aids once they become accustomed to working days. Thanks in advance for any suggestions of what works for you when you have insomnia!