Waking Up Mid-Day Worried About Work

  1. Hi fabulous nurses! I'm hoping to hear your tips, tricks, and suggestions.

    As you may have guessed from my avatar, I work in the NICU. Lately I've been taking care of one of the sickest babies I've ever seen, and it's literally causing me to lose sleep. I've bonded with the family, and have signed up to be his 'nursing care coordinator.'

    I work the night shift, and I'm so exhausted after work that I pass out the second my head hits the pillow at 0900. Unfortunately, I've recently been waking up at around 1300 after a REM cycle or two, and for the life of me I cannot get back to sleep. I find myself wondering and worrying about how he's doing. I don't usually have this problem when I'm not signed up to be a 'nursing care coordinator,' so I know it's all rooted in anxiety and work/life separation.

    The baby's condition is unique (and awful) in that he'll be on the unit for at least the next 6 months (and may go directly to PICU after that), but he could pass away at any given time because he's so ridiculously medically fragile. Therefore, this could mean several more months of sleep deprivation.

    I know there are tons of posts on this site about falling asleep, but does anybody have any particular advice about staying asleep or falling back to sleep? Or possibly just advice on how to leave work at work? I'd also appreciate anyone sending this sweet little boy and his incredible family your thoughts and prayers. Thanks in advance!
    Last edit by adventure_rn on Sep 23
    •  
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Davey Do
    Sorry it took so long for me to find your thread, adventure_rn.

    I have the same problem of waking up in the middle of my sleep session, thinking about stuff, and not being able to fall back to sleep. I do have a sure-fire way of falling back to sleep through a method of utilizing a combination of: Focusing on phosphenes (random firings of the optic nerve when your eyes are closed), deep breathing, and prayer. Problem is, it takes a lot of focus. But this method has never failed me when I've been able to focus upon it.

    PM me if you want to discuss this method further. Or, we can discuss the method right here!

    The best to you!
    Last edit by Davey Do on Oct 8
  4. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from Davey Do
    Sorry it took so long for me to find your thread, adventure_rn.

    I have the same problem of waking up in the middle of my sleep session, thinking about stuff, and not being able to fall back to sleep. I do have a sure-fire way of falling back to sleep through a method of utilizing a combination of: Focusing on phosphenes (random firings of the optic nerve when your eyes are closed), deep breathing, and prayer. Problem is, it takes a lot of focus. But this method has never failed me when I've been able to focus upon it.

    PM me if you want to discuss this method further. Or, we can discuss the method right here!

    The best to you!
    Oh Davey, you are the best. Thank you for reaching out!

    The family decided to withdraw care a few days ago; it was difficult, but I almost feel as though a weight was lifted from my heart because I support the family's decision. Fortunately I'm surrounded by an amazing group of nurses who have supported me through the process. I've got a candle lit right now, and I'm reflecting on his life and thinking of this sweet, strong little boy enjoying snuggles up in heaven. I'm actually been getting better sleep, but I will absolutely have to try your suggested methods as soon as the opportunity arises.

    Thanks so much again!

close