Help! How do you stay awake on drive home after night shift?? - page 5

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   1MOM2RN
    i work nights, 7p - 7a. i've been doing it for over 5 years, but only as an rn for 7 months. i was having a very hard time staying awake on the drive home when i started this job (i think because i am so busy all night, and then when i sit, i crash). all the things you describe: eyes rolling, falling asleep at a light. i actually had a fender bender. the driver in front of me admitted to slamming on the brakes but if i'd been more alert, i could have avoided her. what i have found works for me is to eat on the way home. that metabolism kicking in works wonders. so i stop at dunkin donuts and get a bagel sandwich and that keeps we awake for the whole ride. i think the ordering part contributes to waking me up, too (talking out loud, interacting with another human, stopping the forward momentum of the vehicle). that being said, bringing something to eat from home and/or calling home to chat with someone during your ride might help, too. but this works for me, and it justifies one of my favorite treats!

    now if i can just figure out how to stay alert during those hours between 2 and 5 when i sit down to do paperwork... i just crash... of course my problem is that my alarm goes off at 5:30 on friday mornings to get the older 2 off to school. my plan is to go back to sleep for a bit, but the younger 2 invariably get up soon thereafter. so then plan b is to nap when the youngest naps, while the other 3 is at school. she naps every day - but almost never on fridays! so it's about 27 hours before i get back to sleep on saturdays. ugh! i've got to figure something out! once i get up and move around i'm fine, but i have to do that paperwork!

    sorry i digressed...