how to adjust to night shift?

Nurses General Nursing


Any tips on getting used to night shift? On any normal day I already have bouts of insomnia and a 21 month old who loves to wake frequently..assuming my husband will watch him while I sleep during the day (or he goes to daycare) ..does it just take time to get used to being up all night? I tried it once before, after my first child, and hated it..made me kinda crazy. But am willing to try it again as I realize a new nurse will likely have night shift

Any tips?


178 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Intensive Care, Long Term care.

it depends on which night shifts you work. At most instituitions you can work 5 shifts of 11p-7a a week OR 3 shifts of 7p-7a. Some places also let you do some type of combination of the two. I work 7p-7a three times a week and i like it so much better than mornings. I get off and usually go to sleep by about 9am and get up around 3p. Your body can get used to it. At first it took a lot of coffee and mdew for me to stay awake. Then i started drinking a protein fruit smoothie right before I work and it really does get me through the night. However, everyone is different with how they cope with nightshift and the adjustments they make in their life. It takes me 30 minutes to get home from work and sometimes I make dinner before i go to sleep so i wont have to worry about it when I get up. I also have a 2 yr old and i get her up, feed her, let her play while im cooking, and then wake my husband up to take over so I can go to sleep. I just really like seeing her in the morning ;-)

Hope this helped...


356 Posts

I'd prefer the 12 hour shifts as well..

that must be wonderful to see her in the morning, I never thought about that but working nights would give me a chance to be with my son in the mornings when he is generally happy instead of picking him up after a long day when he might already be in a foul mood lol :)

Tait, MSN, RN

2,140 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice.

There are lots of great threads scattered about on the subject. I would suggest using the search feature to take advantage of those great threads in addition to suggestions posted here :)



6 Posts

I use black out curtains so that its easier when I get to go to sleep

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