First night shift.....staying awake?

  1. Hi everyone, I am working my first ever night shift tonight. I tried to stay up as late as I could last night, but I was wide awake by 11 am this morning. I may try and take a nap later if I feel like it but not sure if I'll be able to sleep. I may be a little sleepy at work but I'm sure it won't be too bad since I will be so busy. My biggest concern is the drive home in the morning. I live about an hour away from the hospital and am really worried about getting sleepy on the drive home. I am going to be working some days also so I will never be able to get on a set routine for nights. Anyone have experience with switching your sleep schedule? Any suggestions on staying awake? :smilecoffeeIlovecof
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    About Purdue_Nurse

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 52; Likes: 1
    Specialty: ICU


  3. by   TazziRN
    Try and take a nap whether or not you think you can sleep. Just resting your body will help. If you're a coffee drinker, drink some tonight. I know your concern about the drive home; I've done cover shifts before and had to drive home an hour in the morning. Not easy. In the morning drink some coffee about an hour before you get off. Don't have the heat on in the car, or not very high. Bouncy music like rock or country.....anything other than slow and soft....will help too.
  4. by   JaxiaKiley
    How often will you be switching back and forth? That's going to be hard on your body long term. Bouncy music is a good idea for the drive. Rolling down the window seems to help me, too
  5. by   bethin
    Take a nap later even if you think you can't sleep. Just resting will help.

    I have never had a problem in the morning after working nights. About 5am I get my second wind and it lasts until I get home.

    Think of working nights this way: when you work days, do you come home and immediately go to sleep? No. To an extent, you need to be thinking of your nights as your days.

    Drink caffeine and stay busy. Good luck!
  6. by   matchstickxx
    While you wouldn't want to do this every morning, have some coffee and maybe a sugary snack shortly before the end of your shift.
    Also, sing along to the bouncy music on the way home. I find doing this not only helps keep me more alert, but it also makes the drive seem a little shorter.
    Unfortunately, you will definitely need your heater on tomorrow morning. It will be way too cold to drive without it.
    Is this shift switching going to be long term or is it just temporary? Constantly changing shifts is really hard on you.
    I hope your night goes quickly and you have a safe drive home in the morning.
  7. by   Bluehair
    You might want to see if there is anyone else at work that lives reasonably close to where you are so you can commute together. Talking re: your shift helps unload from the shift and makes the commute go faster while you both stay a little more alert.
  8. by   andrea05
    i have a lot of experience with shift switching since i am in the military and i get stuck on night shifts, evening shifts, and day shifts with no set schedule every single week, so my best advice for staying awake all night long and then having to drive home in the morning is caffiene. that is the only thing that works for me. i get the rockstar diet energy drinks they only have 20cals for 16 oz and i drink it slowly throughout the night and it will keep me awake for the entire 12 hour shift, then i drink the rest about an hour before i have to drive home.
  9. by   Bluehair
    Forgot my other tip - I take a multivitamin and vitamin C between midnight and 2 a.m. No idea why, but that with plenty of water gets the job done for me. (Take with meal or you will be so sorry!).
  10. by   Purdue_Nurse
    thanks for all of the good advice....I'm sure I will be having lots of coffee tonight! I tried to take a little nap and got woke up by the phone about 15 minutes later.... Looks like I had better shut off the ringer on the phone in my bedroom. I am on a permanent day/night schedule. Since I am on orientation my manager made out the first few weeks of my schedule for me and she didn't leave me much time between switching shifts to adjust my sleep. After the first few weeks I will be doing self-scheduling like the rest of the unit so then hopefully I can space them out more. If tonight and the rest of the week end up being really difficult maybe I can see about switching some around.
  11. by   nursesarah
    it gets easier and your body gets used to it eventually. my schedule is 2 days, 2 nights, then a few off. for my 2 nights, i take melatonin before bed to help me sleep during the day, and then again to help me sleep my first night off. also, try and eat regular meals during the night. it really does help.
  12. by   Cindy1008RN
    Working the night shift is where I discovered Moutain Dew. I would drink one around 0300 and that usually was enough to get me home safely. LOL. Sometimes, I would drink coffee, but not too often.