I noticed that this was an old thread but will respond anyway. I am primarily a NOC nurse and couldn't sleep on night shift if God commanded me. It's just not the way I was "raised" as a Noc nurse. I can always find something to do or clean or study. However, on my last case, when I worked Nocs, the pt who was a stable vent dependent pt, required lights out at certain time and encouraged/allowed/expected his Noc nurses to sleep. He and I discussed this at length. One of the reasons he let his Noc nurses sleep, according to him was quid pro quo-for various reasons he had problems getting and keeping nursing personnel and through the yrs found that letting noc nurses sleep was beneficial b/c some of them were literally working around the clock and really should not have been working that shift at all. He stated, and I agreed, that since he allowed sleeping, ok but of course nurse should be arousable for emergency. Common sense. However, this pt had bona fide sleep disturbance, which I noted and was documenting...he had requested sleep meds. He understood from my point of view that as far as I was concerned I was there to work, i.e. I noted and was documenting his sleep patterns. I explained why. I just could not bring myself to lower my work standards, just b/c of expediency. So, yes, depending on the situation, there are night "sleep" positions, but they are very few and far between, and always come with the caveat that the nurse is expected to alert awake when necessary.