Help! How do you stay awake on drive home after night shift?? - page 4

Hi, I started as a new RN 10 months ago, rotating 12 hour day and 12 hour night shifts (4 week rotations) in a busy metropolitan icu. I actually like rotating days/nights and think it has been... Read More

  1. by   NICU Mama
    I also have a long commute, over 1 hr. I'm good till that last half hour. What works for me is to eat Cheerios. I eat them slowly, only a couple at a time, and I drink water. Doing both of those things is enough stimulation to keep me awake for the rest of the trip home.

    Good luck to you!
  2. by   gonzo1
    Neetnik 461,
    I am so happy you have found a job closer to home. I was worried about you. I have read many studies about driving while sleepy and they are very scarey indeed. Enjoy your new job and thanks for sharing with everyone.
  3. by   jenmedsurgRN
    lots of coffee and lots of sugar
  4. by   acgemt
    I remember I was driving home after a night shift when I was working as a tech....the drive was 40 miles...even with the coffee, scrambled eggs in the passenger seat, loud music, windows open, etc, my eyes were still crossing because I was so tired.
    I will never forget was a Sunday morning, no cars on the road, and I was half asleep driving who knows how fast. All I could think was "is that a deer?" There was something standing in my lane but I couldn't figure out what it was...WELL!!!! Sure enough it was a cop standing in my lane with his hand out signalling me to stop! Yikes!! Luckliy he wrote the wrong state on the ticket (I had out of state tags) so I just had to pay a fine. But it goes to show that you have to watch out and be careful when driving home...if you don't think you can make it, then pullover!
  5. by   Jesus Rocks
    reading this post really scares me. and to think i was worried about drunk drivers. remember kids, dont snooze and drive.
  6. by   nicuRN2007
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    I used to have this same problem. I was in nursing school during the day and working nights. At the same time I was having to go to my spinal doc in Atlanta once a month. Well, on the way back from Atlanta after dark I fell asleep and woke up in a field. With no streetlights. With my cruise control on 70. I had hit some sort of depression in the ground that jolted me awake. After about twenty minutes of slowly driving in circles while crying hysterically from fear trying to find the road, I found it. The realization that I had fallen asleep, swerved across the median and the other two lanes of traffic and off about a half-mile into a field dotted with trees at SEVENTY MILES AN HOUR was enough to scare me from falling asleep at the wheel, and I haven't since.

    Now my husband, he's a different story. Nothing puts him to sleep like getting behind the wheel, and we have had several very close calls where I averted tragedy by screaming and waking him up.
    Oh my gosh, this scares me to death! :uhoh21:
  7. by   jetscreamer101
    I never had a problem on nights, but I was only 5 min. from home on a busy day. Evenings werent a problem either though I worked 35 min. from home (long highway miles). Then I went to days. Getting home isn't my problem, but staying awake to GET to work is. I actually have a Dx of excessive daytime sleepiness. I'm ok if I wake up around 7am-7:30am, regardless of when I go to sleep (and I've tried going to bed at like 5pm-6pm and it doesn't help). Ive tried a CPAP (have sleep apnea too), doesn't improve it. Tried Provigil, doesn't improve it. so i'm chronically late to work
  8. by   AspiringRNin09
    I am not yet a nurse, but a Telemetry Tech and a Paramedic. The thing that works the best for me after working a evening/night double is a cup of coffee at about 6am. Since I am a caffiene junkie this never disrupts my going to sleep. By the time I get home and take a shower it is lights out...

    Try it!
  9. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I live about 4 and a half miles from work. If I lived any further, I don't know what I would do. I can tolerate from work to home and that's it on most days. If I have to stop, I make sure it's somewhere very close. I drove to our old drycleaners about 10-12 miles out one morning and felt my eyes crossing and head getting wobbly. I made it to my best friend's house after and slept at her house for an hour or two to wait out the inbound traffic. (She lives less than 2 miles from the cleaners.) I would have fallen asleep for sure with that monotony. I can't tolerate caffeine either, so a lot of times I'm really stuck.
  10. by   flygirl43
    Your ehausted drive is illegal!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a risk to other drivers on the road......the same as an impaired driver. If you do get in an accident, you will be charged.....the same as an impaired driver. You will have no insurance. You could kill people doing this. Whats wrong with you? Would you get in the car and drive impaired. Your a nurse, and should live to higher standards!
  11. by   correctlywrong
    I take the bus. Drive? After a 12+ hour night shift? Some nurses do it, but then again, they all seem to have stories about how they caught themselves driving in their sleep/on autopilot. And more than one of my early admits for trauma on dayshifts have been night shifters who didn't make it all they way home that day.
  12. by   GOMER42

    hey hey hey hey!!!!
  13. by   uscstu4lfe
    My drive is only about 20 minutes one-way. I have the exact same problem as you do! I'm not sure how I would stay awake for the 50 minuites. One morning it was so bad that I had to pull over, get out, and run around to wake back up. The thing that only helps me is rolling down the window and letting the air blow in my face.