HELP-Starting 12h Night Shifts

  1. Next week I will be starting 12.5 hour night shifts. Although I have always been a night owl and will eventually be OK, I am scheduled 7AM-3:30 PM Monday thru Friday the week before I have to start the night shift. Having had this shift for for the past 7 months and having only 3 days off to transition into nights--WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS TRANSITION??????? Any suggestions out there on how to do this is in such a short time?

    Thanks
  2. Visit loricatus profile page

    About loricatus

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 2,006; Likes: 2,269

    9 Comments

  3. by   ND76
    I swing back and forth between nights and days.

    My best advice is to stay up late the night before your first shift. Like at least 2 or 3. Then sleep as late as you can, then go to work. You'll be tired no matter what you do, just because of the switch. Come home from work and go right to bed, but don't sleep all day. I usually try to be up by 1:30 or 2pm.

    It's very easy to fall into a rut of going to sleep at 7:30am and sleeping until 5pm or so, but I try not to do it.
  4. by   gracie05
    I just started nights (7-7) about a month ago. Initially, the transition was awful. I was okay when I was at work, but I was completely screwed up when I was at home...very emotional, exhausted, etc. I am pretty used to it by now. I too stay up late the night before I work (3-4) and then sleep until 3 or 3:30...or earlier if I wake up. I come home from work and decompress for about a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes...I just cannot go straight to bed. I usually will eat some toast or something light too. To help pass the time when I stay up the night before I work, I get good movies or DVDs of the Gilmore Girls and just watch TV or get online. I use that time at night for me time, which I find myself looking forward too. I do not have kids, so I think the transition was easier for me because of that. I will say, that I miss my family, as I see less of them now. I hope your transition goes well...good luck!!
  5. by   ND76
    Quote from gracie05
    I come home from work and decompress for about a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes...I just cannot go straight to bed. I usually will eat some toast or something light too. :
    Yeah, me too. I usually watch a little TV or check my email. I just meant don't try to stay up til 10 or 11am. A lot of my co-workers do that, and then they wonder why they are exhausted or oversleep for their 7p shift!!
  6. by   texas_lvn
    Quote from NurseDiva76
    I swing back and forth between nights and days.

    My best advice is to stay up late the night before your first shift. Like at least 2 or 3. Then sleep as late as you can, then go to work. You'll be tired no matter what you do, just because of the switch. Come home from work and go right to bed, but don't sleep all day. I usually try to be up by 1:30 or 2pm.

    It's very easy to fall into a rut of going to sleep at 7:30am and sleeping until 5pm or so, but I try not to do it.
    Not flaming, just curious. If you finally go to sleep around 9 and only sleep until 2, how is your body functioning on only 5 hours of sleep? I do this alot and I feel burned out by the end of the week. Do you take b12?

    I have school on 2 days a week, and have church on the third, so sometimes, I do not get into bed until noon, and then wake up at 4 when the kids get off the bus. If it is the weekend, I am screwed because I don't get any sleep on saturdays.
  7. by   ND76
    Quote from texas_lvn
    Not flaming, just curious. If you finally go to sleep around 9 and only sleep until 2, how is your body functioning on only 5 hours of sleep? I do this alot and I feel burned out by the end of the week. Do you take b12?

    I have school on 2 days a week, and have church on the third, so sometimes, I do not get into bed until noon, and then wake up at 4 when the kids get off the bus. If it is the weekend, I am screwed because I don't get any sleep on saturdays.

    I never said I stay up til 9. I said I stay up anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after I get home, and I'm home by 7:15a when I work at night. We live very close to my job. I usually get to bed around 7:45a - 8:15a those days. Besides, I don't have any kids, I'm not in school, and I don't work every day.
  8. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Going from days to nights isn't too bad. Nights to days on the other hand, is the pits. I need at least two days between a 12 hour night and 12 hour day. I work a weekend of 12 hour days about once every 5-6 weeks. It took them three schedules to not schedule me that Thursday before. I would come home on Friday morning, sleep, and be too wound up to sleep for more than 2-3 hours on Friday night. So I would be working on Saturdays on about 2 hours sleep. I would be out of my element and a few steps behind b/c it was daylight as it was. No sleep only made it one hundred times worse.

    What I usually do is stay up until 9 or 10 am and sleep until 5 or 6pm. I can't get to sleep any sooner b/c I'm still wound up. In the rare instances that I do, I wake up @ 12 or 1 pm and am completely fried by the middle of my shift.
  9. by   texas_lvn
    Quote from NurseDiva76
    I never said I stay up til 9. I said I stay up anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour after I get home, and I'm home by 7:15a when I work at night. We live very close to my job. I usually get to bed around 7:45a - 8:15a those days. Besides, I don't have any kids, I'm not in school, and I don't work every day.
    I was asking for help. You dont need to be so dramatic.
  10. by   bigmona
    i had zero days to transition from days to nights.. worked 7a-7p one day, then had to come in for 7p-7a the following day. that sucked. but i mostly do what everyone else does. on my days off, i stay up until around 3 or 4, then go to sleep and wake up around 11 or 12. when i work, i come home, stay up until around 9, then sleep until about 4. it takes a little while to shake the groggy feeling in the afternoon so i give myself some time to wake up before heading to work. i also do not really drink much caffiene after midnight or 1 am if i'm working...makes getting to sleep easier when i get home.
  11. by   ND76
    Quote from texas_lvn
    I was asking for help. You dont need to be so dramatic.
    No drama...just an answer. A lot of my co-workers have 45 minute-1 hour commutes, then have to get kids off to school, pick them up, go to school, etc. You asked, and I was just pointing out the differences in those situations and mine and how I'm able to get up at 1:30 or 2.

close