Sleep Problems after coming off Night Shift... how long does it last?

  1. 0
    Hi, all,

    I'm finally, finally on days after several months of 7P-7A, 3 nights in a row. I realized long ago that this didn't work for me but had to do my time.

    Although I'm truly a night owl, and staying up all night is no problem, I have great difficulty sleeping during the day. After a shift, I would usually not go to sleep until 12:00 or 13:00 and get 4-5 hours sleep before my next shift (splitting up shifts was not an option for personal reasons). The first day off was a mess - like jet lag - and for the next two days or so I was totally wiped out during the day... basically sleeping my days away. That left me, maybe, one decent day before it started all over again. Just awful.

    Well, this nightmare ended 10/31 and I just worked my first three day shifts. It was hard, because I had a lot of trouble sleeping during the night!!! In other words, my sleep-wake cycles are totally messed up and I wonder how long this will last

    I know one thing, I'm done with nights (and was prepared to resign if I hadn't finally gotten days).

    Other former night shifters: How long did it take you to re-adjust to a "normal" life? I'm still totally exhausted, although not quite as bad....

    Thanks for any info!

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  2. 0
    After five years of nights(ugh!) it took me a good 3-4 months of days to finally feel normal again!
  3. 0
    Quote from DeLana_RN
    Hi, all,

    I'm finally, finally on days after several months of 7P-7A, 3 nights in a row. I realized long ago that this didn't work for me but had to do my time.

    Although I'm truly a night owl, and staying up all night is no problem, I have great difficulty sleeping during the day. After a shift, I would usually not go to sleep until 12:00 or 13:00 and get 4-5 hours sleep before my next shift (splitting up shifts was not an option for personal reasons). The first day off was a mess - like jet lag - and for the next two days or so I was totally wiped out during the day... basically sleeping my days away. That left me, maybe, one decent day before it started all over again. Just awful.

    Well, this nightmare ended 10/31 and I just worked my first three day shifts. It was hard, because I had a lot of trouble sleeping during the night!!! In other words, my sleep-wake cycles are totally messed up and I wonder how long this will last

    I know one thing, I'm done with nights (and was prepared to resign if I hadn't finally gotten days).

    Other former night shifters: How long did it take you to re-adjust to a "normal" life? I'm still totally exhausted, although not quite as bad....

    Thanks for any info!
    I did nights for 3 years, then went to days and it took about five weeks to not feel totally wiped out on days. I've recently gone back to nights, although, for general life balance days worked better for me.
  4. 0
    Make your days be your nights. Be sure to block all light so your body can get used to sleeping regardless of the time on the clock. I know of an MD who put a cot in his walk-in closet so he could eliminate all light and noise
  5. 0
    I just went to days this week, too. Couldn't sleep more than a couple of hours before my first day shift. I have heard it will take a while to re-adjust.

    I will say that getting through a dayshift on a couple hours sleep is WAY EASIER than getting through the night that way.
  6. 0
    I worked the night shift for 18 years and thrived. I slept well and pretty much kept to my night schedule on my nights off. The problem began when the state closed the hospital and I no longer worked nights. I retired. It's been three months and I can't sleep at night. I'm a wreck. I've forced myself to stay up during the day with an occasional nap; but generally I'm exhausted. Has anyone else had this problem? I hate to start popping pills.
    Quote from DeLana_RN
    Hi, all,

    I'm finally, finally on days after several months of 7P-7A, 3 nights in a row. I realized long ago that this didn't work for me but had to do my time.

    Although I'm truly a night owl, and staying up all night is no problem, I have great difficulty sleeping during the day. After a shift, I would usually not go to sleep until 12:00 or 13:00 and get 4-5 hours sleep before my next shift (splitting up shifts was not an option for personal reasons). The first day off was a mess - like jet lag - and for the next two days or so I was totally wiped out during the day... basically sleeping my days away. That left me, maybe, one decent day before it started all over again. Just awful.

    Well, this nightmare ended 10/31 and I just worked my first three day shifts. It was hard, because I had a lot of trouble sleeping during the night!!! In other words, my sleep-wake cycles are totally messed up and I wonder how long this will last

    I know one thing, I'm done with nights (and was prepared to resign if I hadn't finally gotten days).

    Other former night shifters: How long did it take you to re-adjust to a "normal" life? I'm still totally exhausted, although not quite as bad....

    Thanks for any info!
  7. 0
    I love night shifts better then days,I'm also a night owl,it's usually less stressing and I get two and sometimes three days off so I have time for college and studying,I work in shifts for 3 years and you never get used to that rhythm of sleep,sometimes I wake up and I need a few minutes to realize where I am and where I have to go, to classes or to work...
  8. 0
    I'd say it took about a month for me to get back into a days-only routine. I pretty much handled it the same way I taught myself to get used to nights in the first place: I kept the same schedule even on my days off.
  9. 0
    It takes me months to get used to a night schedule, but I ca flip back to days in a week. My body naturally likes to be a morning person. I feel better going to bed early and getting up at the crack of dawn. If I take a vacation, I can be back to days in a week, but it takes months to get back to m night schedule. So I think it will depend on your body.


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