An all time low for a new night shifter

Nurses General Nursing


I am a new to the night shift and not adjusting well. I have been on night shift since February. The other day after a very long shift, followed by a staff meeting, followed by a traffic filled commute home it happened. I woke up with a slice of pizza stuck to my face. I literally fell asleep at the kitchen table. In my pizza. I am thankful I was too tired to warm it up or the outcome may have been bad.

I am really trying to make this shift work. I am trying to stick to the night schedule on my days off. But I feel like all I do is work and try to sleep. And if I ever get a few days off in a row, all I do is sleep. I was off this weekend, I slept 12 hours each day. On work days, I rarely get more than 4-5 hours of sleep between shifts. On days off, I can't do anything with my family. I am tired all the time.

I have never been a coffee drinker, or soda drinker. Now I am drinking coffee on my days off in an attempt to stay awake to interact with my family. Nothing helps.

Please tell me this will get better. I really like my job, but I am not sure how long I can keep this up. And to make matters worse, I was told when hired that whenever a day shift opens they offer it to us night shifters first, but they just hired 2 new grads that are going to be on days. Now a bunch of coworkers are giving their notice and I am feeling hopeless of ever getting off of nights.

Specializes in LTC.
I woke up with a slice of pizza stuck to my face.

Hahahaha, oh no... *hugs*

I suppose I would remind whoever's doing all the hiring that you were told you would be offered the position first. I suppose they are just trying to stick you in there as long as you will take it. In my facility, they have a hard time holding onto their nightshift people- perhaps it's the same at your facility?

It gets worse, I only woke up because my husband came home from work sick. He witnessed the "incident". Otherwise I may have slept in my pizza all day.

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU.

I love night shift but I don't stay on the "night" shift on my days off.. I sleep late the days I go back to work. Wake around 11 and stay awake til the next morning. I sleep from 9 til 3 every day I work the night before and if I am off that night I still go to bed around 10 or 11 with my husband and wake the next day around 10 and get on with my day.. I guess that's my way of catching up on sleep.

I tried staying up all night on my nights off but it didn't work for me, so I flip back to a regular schedule.. Some people just can't get used to nights.. Try different things and see if something works for you. If you can't adjust, time to be heard and get moved to days :0

My body just didn't adjust to staying up all night. I felt the same way... tired all the time. I had a hard time sleeping during the day and what sleep I did manage to get felt like it didn't do anything for me. Some folks don't seem to have any trouble adjusting though. My hat is off to them!

I have worked night shift for years and I have to say it will probably not get better. At least that was my experience. I would rather fall asleep in my pizza than to fall asleep at the wheel while driving home. That has happened to me many times. I would reevaluate my need for this job, particularly since the employer reneged on their promise to move you to day shift. To me, that is reason to start looking for a new job. There is no excuse for the employer to hire new grads into day shift when they owed it to you, based on their promise when they hired you. That is how I see it.

Specializes in Orthopedic, LTC, STR, Med-Surg, Tele.

I'd be furious about the new grads being hired for days before shifts were offered to night shift. That's a dealbreaker.

May I call you "pizza face"?

I worked nights for about 3 years and never really adjusted. I hope things change for you soon.

Specializes in Emergency.

I HATE night shift. I did not do too well with it. I did do better with either working all 3 in a row or spreading them out.

I never stayed on the "night shift schedule" What I did was work, and hit the swimming pool riht after for an hour then home and sleep til 4 pm.. it worked, but it was not ideal.

It is not nice that they hired the new grads for days. It may be though that the manager believes that the day shift is going to be able to better absorb the new grads in the mix. Either way, you need to visit in with the manager; let them know you are having a very difficult time with night shift and see what she can offer. She may be able to offer that once the new grads are off orientation for a while they can go to nights, one of them may actually want it- given the differential...Good luck!

Specializes in MICU/SICU.

Today I had visions of falling asleep in the salad that my wonderful and supportive husband made me. Thank goodness I'm not alone :)

Specializes in LTC and School Health.

I hate nightshift. I feel your pain.

Some people can handle nights... some cannot.

You described to a "T" (minus the pizza) my personal reaction to night shift.

NO job is worth your health and your time with your family. The facility has already told you.. they got you where they want you and day shift is a loooong time coming.

Finding another job will be difficult... but not as difficult as your current working conditions.

Good luck, keep us posted.

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