Got into a car accident after working a night shift - page 4

My worse fear has come true. I recently got into a car accident after working a night shift. Thank God, the accident only involved myself, and I did not get hurt. However, it has really shaken me up... Read More

  1. by   PacoUSA
    I know the feeling. I drive 30 minutes each way to work, have worked nights at my facility about 7 months and there are mornings where I feel God has taken the wheel to get me home safely. Always afraid to drink coffee after 3am as I don't want to feel wide awake when I get home and not be able to sleep for the following night. I may have to start taking a bottle of water with me in the mornings to sip while i drive. I used to live about 10 minutes from this hospital when I was in school (which is next door from the hospital) and had to move. I am looking to move closer to the hospital now, I am hating feeling so sleepy for such a long drive.
  2. by   ianursing22
    I haven't been in the same situation as yours, but glad to hear that the accident is not that serious! A 5 mins power nap before driving home works for me!why don't you try it??
  3. by   GloriaScarboro
    Have worked night shift for 12 years. I used to drive 25 minutes to work and had real trouble staying awake. Coffee was not an option. Windows open and loud radio helped but not much. Sipping ice water did more for me. I live in rural farming area and got worried about hitting a deer while on the way to or from work and was driving a Mustang. I traded up to a full-size pickup but still worried about the deer. After two years I transfered to the hospital in town nearest to home and now am only a five minute drive away. I haven't had any trouble with falling asleep at the wheel with exception of a really hard shift since.
  4. by   sandyfeet
    I worked nights while I was in nursing school and the only time I ever fell asleep at the wheel (for a few seconds, woke up when I felt the car shifting!) was when I called my mom to talk and I let her dominate the conversation. All those bedtime stories as a kid: I was lulled right to sleep by the sound of her voice! After that I made sure to talk a lot, or if I felt really tired, skip calling and just sing as loud as I could the entire way home.
  5. by   amoLucia
    Just a question --- is your car in good working order??? Like with a recent exhaust check?

    A couple of stretches of travel (days and 11-7) left me terribly tired and groggy just as soon as I started driving a little distance. Turned out my car needed some work so I believe it may have been low level carbon monoxide. Whenever I start getting that overly sleepy feeling, I get my car checked out.

    It would make sense to me that your new biological time sched with high new job stress could compound an automobile exhaust problem, something that you normally wouldn't be feeling on short distrances under normal conditions.

    I know this sounds rather far-fetched...
  6. by   flashpoint
    I am back on nights and I DON'T go to sleep as soon as I get home. I get off at six (or seven) and have a forty minute commute home. I try to watch a little TV, read, use the computer, or something like that before going to bed. I do better if I am not used to being asleep by eight o'clock and I think I am more alert on my trip home since I am not used to going to sleep right after my shift. I sleep a little later in the afternoon and do pretty well.

    I am one of the lucky people who does really well on nights. I did days for a year and a half and hated it after about six months. I sleep very well during the day and like the night shift a lot better.
  7. by   FlorenceFrightengale
    I have been a nightshifter for a few years, and I've learned that some people just can't do nights. I think the people who succeed on nights are those that can either sleep solidly during the day or can survive on little sleep normally.

    I am a coffee drinker but because I have trouble sleeping when I get home if I'm too revved, I cut off the caffeine supply by midnight. Towards the end of my shift, though, I'll have a high fiber snack like oatmeal to get a mini-wind.

    Also, have you ever thought to listen to talk radio? Not NPR but one of those funny morning shows? Even if they offend you, it's hard to sleep with that stuff in the background.

    Not everyone is a night person, but sometimes the difference is in quantity and quality of day sleep, timing and nutritional content of food eaten and having a sleep and wake routine on work days.
  8. by   amoLucia
    One other comment and don't know if this will help as your physical status really determines your ability to drive safely, but ... maybe new routes on the way home? I have one direct route to and from work place (you know the one, the shortest distance between 2 points...).

    Going to work, I don't deviate, but on my way home I freq would try new routes. I now know just about every highway and major thorofare in my central NJ county (NJ's largest)!! The new routes keep me alert as my interest is full steam. I would just 'wonder where this road goes' and I would take it. Sometimes, my new routes would take a little extra time but no problem as I'm on my way home without a deadline. Have taken lots of new routes home but always in good weather and with a full gas tank.

    It has come in handy on the few occasions that I would be detoured by police on my way TO work. At least I didn't get lost at night in unknown Pinelands. A little late but safe.
  9. by   Twinmom06
    I find that when I'm feeling foggy a bottle of water helps perk me up...I also get a bigger boost out of iced tea than coffee...
  10. by   boggle
    I rotated to nights for a month at a time, then back to 2 months of day, for many years. The one hour commute each way was always a challenge. The singable, foot tapping music did help, as others suggested here. A crunchy snack worked very well, like popcorn or pretzels or such. That really saved me. It was rough on the waistline though. Wish I had thought of the cup of ice to crunch. I wish you safe travels.
  11. by   boggle
    Oh, and there's nothing like spilling a cold drink in your lap to keep you wide awake for the ride!