I can't sleep!!! - page 3
So I worked my first night shift last night, 7pm to 7 am. It all was well while I was working (thanks to the coffee and red bull :alien:) but as soon as I got home I just wasn't tired anymore!! So I... Read More
Apr 12, '13 by TheCommuter, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorI've been working 12-hour night shifts for the past three years (6pm-6:30am).
Although I'm a coffee drinker, I drink no coffee or cola within 6 hours of bedtime. So if I plan to be asleep by 9:00am, I stop drinking coffee by 3:00am.
I also exercise on most days of the week. I notice that regular cardiovascular exercise helps regulate my sleep/wake cycle. I frequently visit the gym immediately after my night shift ends and will work out for 45 to 60 minutes before going home in the morning. I have no problems falling asleep after exercise.
Certain foods such as cheese and chicken cold cuts make me sleepy due to the naturally-occurring tryptophan levels, so I'll sometimes snack on these before going to bed. Chamomile tea is wonderful since it has a natural, mild tranquilizing effect. I'll drink this tea and become drowsy within 30 minutes.
If all else fails, I have had success with over-the-counter sleep aids such as Unisom and Benadryl.
Apr 12, '13 by VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN GuideI have to do the same sort of thing with the glasses, only in reverse because I work days. My psychiatrist told me I am extremely light-sensitive and it messes with my moods, so in order to wind down enough to sleep, I have to shut down the computer at least 1-2 hours before bed and wear these amber wrap-around glasses for however long I'm awake. I'm also supposed to sleep in complete darkness (sleep mask) and put the amber glasses back on if I have to get up in the night.
It's a total PITA, and even with all this folderol I still need to take meds for sleep, but it does help me detach from the day and get to sleep faster, which is the purpose of any type of light manipulation.