Night shift syndrome - page 4

by SweetsRN522 26,458 Views | 39 Comments

Is there a such thing as "night shift syndrome"? I just started working 12 hour nights in July after working 12 hour days for about 6 months. I decided to go to nights because in my current position, the environment was chaotic,... Read More


  1. 0
    A balanced diet and getting some exercise may help - other than that- checkup with your MD?
  2. 0
    An old thread but I am as of this second suffering from night shift syndrome. I am always physically and mentally exhausted even after working only working nights for about four or five months. I'm always canceling social engagements with friends on days off because all I want to do is sleep (12-14 hours sometimes), and I'm ill often. The flip side is like that of the OP: my floor is extremely busy on days and I still get really behind during the slower pace of night shift (this is my first RN job and I'm having a rough go of it). It would likely improve things if I switched to days, but at this point it would be a bit much.

    I'm sure by this point in time the OP has sorted out her schedule but I thought I would add my voice to the chorus. I started off strong but it took it's toll on me!
    Last edit by j_tay1981 on Mar 11, '13 : Reason: Spelling
  3. 1
    I have utilized ear plugs, black-out curtains, and still an eye mask. I have tried melatonin and Valerian root extract, but I'm not much of a fan.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from puroticorico
    I have utilized ear plugs, black-out curtains, and still an eye mask. I have tried melatonin and Valerian root extract, but I'm not much of a fan.
    I don't blame you. Neither of those ever worked for me, either. Unfortunately, the stuff that DOES work is either expensive (ziprasidone, which I use for dual purposes) or habit-forming (Ambien). And you don't really want to go to benzos if you can help it, even though they are very effective. Benadryl is good for some people, even though it's not really a long-term solution......and it tends to make for some screwy dreams and a lot of grogginess in the morning.
  5. 0
    I know this is an old thread but it sounds like you were maybe sleeping too much. 6-8 hours works best for me on 12 hour nights. My latest question is why do I get so bloated at the end of a night shift?!
  6. 0
    Quote from WeepingAngel
    I know this is an old thread but it sounds like you were maybe sleeping too much. 6-8 hours works best for me on 12 hour nights. My latest question is why do I get so bloated at the end of a night shift?!
    I usually get the same amount of sleep. Don't know if its best, but it's what I can get. :P
    I wonder that too! I'm always soo bloated at the end and I've been doing night shift 5-6 months now.
  7. 0
    I did nights for a short period of time when I first graduated over a year ago. I tried everything from blackout curtains, ear plugs, white noise, Gravol, valerian root, melatonin, sleeping masks and probably a few more things I'm forgetting.

    Like a few posters here, all I did was sleep on my days off. I felt horrible on nights. I was getting sick more often, and could never revert back to normal daytime life on days off. That means I cancelled family outings, didn't see friends and so on.

    I eventually stopped working nights since it was doing more harm than good for me. I don't know how you regular night shifters do it, but I applaud you!
  8. 0
    I've worked permanent nights for almost 3 years, but the trick is NOT to revert back to a daytime schedule on your days off. Logically, you will be tired because with only a few days off, you're reverting from nights to days back to nights.

    Sometimes I sleep poorly during the day, but mostly, I'm fine. I think whatever works for you is the schedule you need to keep. I am nocturnal by nature and more alert at night than I am during the day. I've always hated working days, and I'm tired until 1000 am. Days are a struggle for me.
  9. 0
    I've worked night shift now for over ten years and all can tell you it is still not easy. Working 3 twelves is not easy and the older I get the more intolerable it all becomes. The best things I've found is to eat healthily (you can really pack on the pounds working nights. I've found that when I'm tired, I crave carbs), drink plenty of water, exercise and get your sleep! I've been pretty darn lucky because I've had a set schedule so I don't have to work random nights during the week...it's always the same. That really makes it more tolerable but it is still difficult because I then get back into "normal" day living the nonworking nights and then my body has "adapted" so that usually on the night that I return to work, I'm able to sleep some that day. Then do my 3 nights--(come home, sleep, get up and return to work--for the other 2 nights). But that 4th day, at the end of my stint, is a completely lost day--I'm completely useless, irritable and difficult for that 24 hours. The next day is a little better, the third day I'm more "normal" and then the fourth, completely back to normal and ready to do it all over again!! I'm single, unattached, no children and no life!!! And after these 12 years--I'm looking to change that!!
  10. 0
    Your adrenals are putting out more and more adrenaline to keep you going at night, because you are not supposed to be working at night, you should be sleeping, or so your body thinks so. Long term exposure to the increased adrenaline makes you hypersensitive to EVERYTHING, and it will cause changes in your hormones and neurotransmitters and it alters your sleep which makes you feel even worse. I'd have your cortisol levels checked. My guess is that they will be really high as mine are. And check your vitamin D levels, those would be low too since night shifters sleep during the day. So your immune system is less efficient. My body is seriously jacked up, and I started taking vitamin D supplements, and I've finally made the decision to never work nights again. It's taking me a long time to find a job, but I can't go back to nights! Some people are fine and adjust easily. Some people just can't do it.


Top