What helps you sleep after night shift?

  1. 0
    I often struggle sleeping the day post night shift. I often have to take half of a sleeping pill to get at least 4 hours.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 29 Comments...

  3. 1
    Benadryl!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll pop in 50mg of Benadryl about 10-15 minutes before I get home. Grab a light breakfast so I don't wake up hungry. I'll pee so I don't wake up to pee. Go up to my room, turn on my fan (white noise), close the blinds and go to bed. I usually sleep until about 3pm.
    legisty likes this.
  4. 1
    Super dark room (I have a black out blind that I put a dark coloured flannel blanket over top of), fan on medium for white noise, ear plugs if it's a nice day (neighbor likely to mow lawn), no coffee after 2am, and no drinking at all after 4am (I get off work at 8am).

    I get home from work, eat a small meal, either last night's leftovers or eggs and toast, have a warm bath in my dark bathroom then off to bed.
    I feel feel really hyped after a shift, I'll take either melatonin or a benadryl before the breakfast/bath routine.
    legisty likes this.
  5. 1
    Worked nights for years. What to do? Benadryl, and plenty of it! Blinds, shades, and blackout drapes. Put towels up over the tops of the curtain rods (hanging down the sides) to block ANY light from coming in. Would even put one against the door to block light from hall.

    Make sure you're not hungry, make sure you use the bathroom, make sure you've turned the ringer off the phone. I kept my answering machine in another area of the house so I couldn't even hear that. Air conditioner or fan for white noise.

    If you DO have to get up for something (like the bathroom), keep the lights OFF. Getting shocked with daylight during your sleep cycle can screw you up. I used to keep my eyes closed, lol, just to be sure
    legisty likes this.
  6. 2
    Excellent advice- can I also add: sunglasses ON before you ever leave the building on your way home. Sunlight hitting the retina supresses melatonin secretion- thus 'waking you up'.

    Also, if you have an LCD display alarm clock- turn it away from you.
    legisty and wooh like this.
  7. 0
    Thanks everyone! I have heard benadryl is helpful, will have to try it!
  8. 0
    A chilly room, white noise, black out curtains, and a xanax. That combination is the only thing that got me through working nights. Benadryl would help me fall asleep, but I'd wake right back up 2 or 3 hours later.

    Jeez I am so glad I don't work nights right now.
  9. 0
    Nothing. That's why I got off night shift ASAP. Though admittedly I'm medication-adverse, so never went that route. I've also had paradoxical reactions to benadryl in the past so don't hold high hopes for that.

    We're planning on building a new house in the next several years, and I intend to design the master bedroom in such a way as to facilitate sleeping on a night shift schedule in case I want to do that in the future.
  10. 1
    I have a half-hour walk home that helps me transition. If you can't walk home, taking a walk anyway might be a good idea. I eat plenty--number one thing that wakes me up (or keeps me awake, if I wake up for another reason) is being hungry. That's had the most impact on my sleep, actually! And often I turn on Netflix to something light and funny and not too engaging, put the laptop next to my bed, and fall asleep to that. It usually doesn't take long but at least I'm not just lying there hating it and wishing I was asleep if I don't fall asleep immediately. The day I have to rely on medication to help me fall asleep is the day I quit night shift.
    legisty likes this.
  11. 0
    I would try Benadryl. Also keeping the room dark and cool, as other posters have mentioned, as well as using white/light noise. Usually I was just so tired I would collapse!


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top