7 P.m. - 7 A.m.

  1. I just started working this shift because I wanted more days home with my family. My problem is on my first day on the shift I can't sleep. The second day is no problem because I am so dog tired from the first day. I usually have my weekend days together (every other) and then during the week 2 days together - usually T-W or W-Th. I can't really ask for 3 in a row because my partner on the day side of things doesn't want it and I can't make waves (I quit and this was their offer to stay). Plus this other person has been there about 20 years and I don't want to rock the boat with her. There has to be some way to do this! Since I have 2 "first" days every week I have to find a solution.
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    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 33; Likes: 1

    7 Comments

  3. by   Blackcat99
    Perhaps a dose of Benadryl 25mg and an afternoon nap before you go to your 1st nights? Good luck to you. That sounds like a very difficult schedule.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Benedryl interrupts the REM sleep cycle. I can't say I would recommend it. And it CAN be habit forming. Ask your doctor or naturopath about other things to help you, like small doses of melatonin. Also, having a good bedtime routine is critical. Eat lightly, make the room very dark, use a fan for "white noise" to block out other noises, etc.

    It's a myth that nightshifter have "more time" with their families. Not if you work fulltime. You STILL Have to sleep. Don't try to be an "at-home" parent because you work nights. You will wind up a physical mess if you do.

    Your schedule needs to change if you are to survive and remain healthy and sane. Working every other night is disastrous to your sleep and health. Sometimes, we need to "rock the boat" for our own wellbeing. If you plan to stay on nightshift, you must learn this sooner than later. You will do better if you work "in a row" shifts, not every other night.

    Sorry you are feeling so lousy. Nightshift it NOT easy or natural for most of us. Hang in there.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 21, '05
  5. by   rn-jane
    That's a hard shift to work, did it for twelve years and glad i'm back on day and eves. Eventually you body will program itself, it takes a while. When you get home or before leaving work eat a good carbohydrate such as a bowl of cereal, it would always make me sleepy. I would make sure the room is blackened, put on some easily listening music i would always take a warm bath before climbing into bed, usually it would knock me out in ten minutes.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    Night shifts tend to be quiet and less stressful for me. I worked 12-hour night shifts for 3 years. However, we're supposed to sleep during the night according to our natural circadian rhythms. I would suggest eating a dairy product prior to taking a nap. Dairy foods naturally wind people down. If a dairy snack doesn't work, I'd take 30 milliliters of Nyquil.
  7. by   PJMommy
    I understand your "first night" dilemma. The way I solved this was to get up early the night/morning before - say 5 AM - early enough that you've had 1-2 hours less of sleep than a normal night. Don't do any workouts/exercise that morning. Don't drink any caffeine that morning. Do "lazy day" activities -- read a book, watch a movie, etc. Have a carb-heavy lunch -- something warm like oatmeal or potato soup. Go to bed early afternoon and shoot for three hours of sleep.

    You absolutely must turn off the ringer, put a sign on the door, and blacken out all light in your bedroom. I solved the white noise problem by using a small fan in the summer and a room humidifier in the winter. Set your alarm and turn the clock so it doesn't face you. (You won't keep looking at the clock and thinking 'i've got to get to sleep') Keep your bedroom slightly cool -- you'll sleep better.
  8. by   medic1488
    I have been working similar shifts for about 5-6 years now. I've trying to stay up a little late the night before, and getting up early (which with having a newborn at home is never a problem), trying to grab a 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon. Also when I have time (back to the newborn thing) I like to do a workout in the afternoon around 4-5, but after my nap. Then lots of healthy snacks and caffeine for the night. Some others I work with also swear by Ambien, but I personally have never had to go that route.
  9. by   Gompers
    I don't know if it's possible for you and your family, but what I do is force myself to stay up really late the night before I go back to work, so that I sleep until noon or so. Could your husband get the kids up and ready for school, etc? This is the only thing that's worked for me, because "making" myself take a nap before that first night on is nearly impossible - I can't sleep if I'm forcing myself, too much anxiety.

    Otherwise, for an afternoon nap I agree that a loud fan for white noise, cool room, darkening blinds/shades or an eye mask, and turning off the phone will really help. Good luck!

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