Is this what night shift really does to us?

  1. Thanks for reading

    I work night shift, and i will have to say, some nights its a breeze, if you were able to convince , fight or bribe your body to please rest because you need to work that night, but wow, MOST of the other nights are dreadful. After working night shift for 8 months now you will think the body will be used to sleeping during the day automatically but I guess with my 23 years spent sleeping during the night like a normal person, this 24th (one) year of my life, isnt enough for my body to adjust. perhaps 23 more years spent during night shift may even things out and things can get better. Yea no way,

    On to what this shift does:
    I am a zombie to the point of no return. Like, I have forgotten what day of the week it is, and have to check my calendar numerously. Im 24. now forgetful? -___-
    I have showed up to work a very few times when It was my night off. It was actually funny because I went in there with my so called "Im excited to work, let get going!" enthused face, my nurse manager was like, what are you doing here? you work tonight? I respond? "It' s monday right? "yea it is, but your off honey"-___- Face switched, "OMG im going to bed, goodnight to you all.
    My shins, my legs, my arms, my back, my neck, my feet, my eyebrows, my ears, my fingernails, my nose, my my hair, everything hurts. Not all due to lifting but this night shift is doing things to my body. Once athletic 4 year MVP tennis player, works out full of energy, I now drag myself to do these things.
    My affect is so incredibly DULL! Im just dull, zombie, no emotion in my voice, just bland.
    Im tired all the time, I eat and feel worse cause now I have to work hard at the gym, which the energy is lacking.
    Im 24 feeling about 56, how I came up with 56 i dont know, but I feel it.

    I have a new nephew, 2 y.o and I am that energetic aunt, who can chase him all around till HE got tired, but I cant give him my all because Im all burnout from just 8 months. WOW.

    I know what I need to do, and that is get a day shift position, not even evenings, DAY! My orientation was great it was day shift, despite the amount of work and things going on, but I felt normal within myself so I was able to do it well. now with nights, I don't do much at all, my skills arent utilized enough, and i feel abnormal.
    I texted my sister randomly one morning, and just said "Im slowly dying" and it was no joke, I feel like my health is deteriorating, and I have NO heatlh issues Jesus my Lord blesses me. but I feel SO UNHEALTHY the thought of tis shift causes me to create health issues for myself. But trully I feel like I am slowly dying and thats the sad truth. Sadness, dullness, stressed, worry, feeling physically detached from my body, i tell ya, im slowly dying. its too much.
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    About gloryfied

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 107; Likes: 133


  3. by   TheCommuter
    I'm sorry about your night shift woes.

    Some of us are nocturnal people, whereas others are diurnal (day) people. It sounds like you're a hardcore diurnal person who needs a day shift job ASAP.

    On the other hand, I'm a night owl. I've worked daytime jobs and I do not feel well when I am forced to awaken at 5 o'clock in the morning. I drift through the day and usually do not feel fully awake until the early afternoon. When bedtime (9:00pm) rolled around, I had trouble falling asleep. Now that I am working 12-hour night shifts, I feel much better.

    Good luck to you, and I hope you can find a daytime job quickly!
  4. by   poppycat
    I'm also a hardcore night person. I've been working night shift since 1975 (while I was in nursing school). When I got married 5 years ago, I decided to take a day shift job so my husband & I would have the same hours. HUGE mistake. I only lasted a month. I couldn't sleep at night because my body told me I should be at work so I was a zombie during the day when I was at work. I was also ill quite a bit in that month. I finally had to quit that job & go back to nights. I actually see my husband just as much now as I did when I was working days but now I get the queen-size bed all to myself all day long!
  5. by   AllyRN82
    I'm hardcore nights, also. Ever since I was a kid, I'd be awake into the wee hours of the morning. When I started working nights 7 years ago, after many years of being forced to function during the day, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I'm at my best during the night, and I know it's not like that for most of the dayshift people. It's perfectly ok to switch to days. I think it'd be hazardous to try to force these nightshift hours any longer for you; for your health and the safety of your patients. I hope you're able to get a dayshift position soon! Good luck!
  6. by   gloryfied
    Lol at you 3 hardcore night shifts. I just want a day shift, And May God bless me with a great one, cos he knows Im tired and burning out.
    Thanks for your responses.
  7. by   nola1202
    I do nights, but I feel it. The sleep deprivation is the hardest, even when I sleep well I still feel deprived. Usually I come home, stay up about an hour or two, lie down around 9 or 10, sleep till 2 or 4p then I'm up. If I only work an 8hour shift I take a nap around 8 pm to 9:45 or 10pm. If I work 12'sI'm just up and hit the wall on my 3rd night and wonder who I am and what the he#$ I'm doing here...and yes frequently forget the obvious (such as where a peer has gone when they told me not 5 minutes ago they were going to go on a break. Nights are easier so far as the chaos, phones ringing, multi-tasking,coordinating with other dept's and having more 1 on 1 time with the patients who really need it, but the rest including the weird aches and pains...(my big toe hurts after a 12 hour shift) (and my feet are so stiff when I first get up...I walk down the stairs going "owie", "owie" "owie" ) Other friends who are nurses also confirm the stiff sore feet part no matter what shift they work!
    Oh heck, this post is a good example, I am Rambling and lost the thread of my idea..
    Last edit by nola1202 on Oct 27, '12 : Reason: working nights right now...can youtell?
  8. by   EMTtoRNinVA
    This very topic is plaguing our scheduling committee! We don't have enough straight night staff, so the rest of the shifts are divvied up equally amongst the rest of us. That means no one is straight day shift anymore (except 1 person who no one knows why), we are ALL rotators. As more people leave we are required to work more and more night shifts, 4 weekend shifts, every other holiday, etc. Talk about a crew of zombies!
  9. by   IHeartNursing321
    Awh I am sorry to hear that, maybe try to switch to day shift if possible. Good luck!
  10. by   DizzyLizzyNurse
    Do you keep a similar sleep schedule all the time; or do you try to switch back on your days off? Keeping the same schedule is best.

    That's how I feel if I work days. It's funny huh?
  11. by   MotherRN
    I'm sorry to hear about the effect the night shift has on you. I feel it would do the same for me physically. I had been working 3-11 recently and that seemed to be okay, except that I found after awhile I would stay up later and later til 3 am when I got home. Every night I seem to be watching a late movie. The kicker is that I don't seem to sleep well once the sun is up so I'm not really sleeping well at all either.

    Hope you get a day shift soon that works for you better!
  12. by   MBrickle
    I think some people don't handle night shifts in the best way, in my opinion.

    First, if possible, I think it's really important to work all nights or all days. Its too difficult to swtich between night and day shifts, but I also know that sometimes there is no choice in the matter. I also think it's best if you can work all of you night shifts in a row so there is no toggling between. Again, this is the ideal and not always realistic.

    I also agree, as some people have said, that some people are just nocturnal! I used to wake up at 5am to get to work and to this day I have PTSD thinking about an alarm clock going off that early! I hated waking up that early, going to bed early, etc. I'm a nightowl so for me, nights are a breeze. I MUCH prefer heading to work for 11pm and working all night.

    I work Monday-Thursday nights (32 hours). On Mondays I sleep late (11am or noon) and wake up to do errands, go to the gym, etc. If i'm lucky, I squeeze a nap in for a couple hours or so, but most nights I don't. I find that my body still handles it well due to how late I slept in. Once I get home, I IMMEDIATELY go to sleep. Even if I can't sleep (which doesn't often happen) I stay in bed. Period. I think it's important to get into this routine, have a dark room/sleep mask, etc. I then wake up after about 8.5-9 hours and cook dinner, take the dog out, etc. I repeat this everyday until Friday. On Fridays I hop into bed for about 4-5 hours and wake up during the early afternoon. That way, with so few hours of sleep I can easily get to bed that night and begin living like a normal person for my days off.

    Now, I rely heavily on coffee at night (always have a large one) and I have a hard time waking up early on the weekends, but it works for me right now. I also don't have kids which I know makes a HUGE difference, but I think the big thing is going to bed immediately and really committing to sleep. Melatonin helps some people, too. From my experience the people who have the most difficult time are the ones who don't immediately go to bed when they get home.
  13. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    I'm a 23 y/o day shift nurse, and I could of written your post. I've worked both nights and days both have their pros and cons. Nights are definitely more harder on me than days, however... Some days leave me feeling like a zombie too.
    Getting up at 4:45am isn't too peachy either, especially in the cold and dark.
  14. by   misty_dawn
    I feel your pain. I worked strictly nights for three years. I felt like a zombie every single day....unless I scheduled myself for like 6 days off in a row. My health went downhill, I was moody, irritated and no fun for my family. I got depressed too. I was out of energy for anything. I gained weight. You name it and it hurt. Now that I have switched to school nursing and work mon-fri 7:30 to 3:30 I feel so alive. I am happy, healthy and not in as much pain. Now to work on losing that weight I gained. Some people just cant physically or mentally do nights, some can. What is best is to find what you like the most and stick with it, for me it was days.