I Feel Like Hammered Poo-Poo

  1. Ok, this is probably premature, I know, but I have worked a few night shifts and feel like major hammered sh$$, having nausea, major fog in my brain, headache. I feel emotionally overwhelmed at times at work, when I never did with days. I am a relatively 'new' nurse (4 months in), so it's hard to tell if it's the job or lack of sleep. After my first night I was ready to call the NM and QUIT I felt so crappy. My question is: How much time should I give myself to adjust to nights before I know whether or not I can handle them? In other words, if it's going to get better, when does it get better? Thanks!
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    About tencat

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 1,591; Likes: 2,159


  3. by   lauralassie
    :smackingf i really think some people are ment to be night shifters others are not. i am in that or not catagory. i'm 47 been a nurse for almost 30 years, took a night shift job because of better pay, with 2 kids in college and all, but wow, 2 days ago i slept almost 18 hours, got up a couple of times to do little things, then went back to sleep. i worked the last two nights , today i feel wounderful. but in a couple of weeks it will catch up with me and i'll do the same thing. have you gained wt. on night shift too ?
  4. by   muffie
    i hate how night shift makes you feel
    i liken it to a hangover except you didn't have fun the night before
    drink lots of h2o
  5. by   Simplepleasures
    Having workrd nights for almost 27 years, I cant stress this enough, ROUTINE.Go to bed in the AM within an hour of coming home, eat light breakfast, take shower before bed.If you have trouble falling asleep a tylenol PM always helps( per my own MD).Get up around the same time every day, give yourself at least 8 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep. Use room darkening shades and curtains on top of those. Use ear plugs if you have to.Keep door shut if your kids are home with strict instuctons not to wake you unless someone died.Of course turn ringer off phone in your room, use answering machine, NOT in your room.Your circadian rythym will switch in a week or so, maybe less.I found going to bed within an hour of getting home the most important.Good Luck.
  6. by   CHATSDALE
    getting a cycle to your sleeping is imperative
    some people go to sleep as soon as they get home [that was my choic] i know others who wait to go to be and go to bed then wake up an hour before shift and then go to work..i know some who sleep two or three hours and then take a nap before work
    i took a night shift so i could sleep when son was in school and be up y time he came home
    but if yo want honesty by body never did get use to it..but i believe in my case it was because on my day off i tried to be up in day and sleep at night
    there are so many erands that you can't do exept during day hours but your body needs a set schedule
  7. by   lupin
    It can be individual for how long it will take you to get adjusted to nights. I worked nights for about a year and it took me about two months to actually get a schedule that worked for me. I wouldn't eat anything past three in the morning and after 11pm I ate protein and light carbs, like a turkey and swiss cheese sandwich on wheat or something. Knock off drinking any carbonated sodas or drinks after 2 or 3 pm. Take an advil or tylenol pm before you go to sleep. When you get up set up a routine of doing some light house work (like dishes or laundry), this will set your internal clock. Give it a few more months. Good luck.
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    I started on nights last June and thought I'd love it. I didn't. I never adjusted and won't do it again. And I'm a night owl!
  9. by   Tweety
    I started to get my grove on working nights at about three to six months. It's hard to tell. What helped me is that on days off rather than live like a day person, I still slept all day, maybe took a nap at night, but stayed up so I could sleep all day the day I had to work.

    However, after 13 years I decided it was best for my body and my life to switch to days. I'm still tired but feel much better.

    Anyway, I don't think you've given it enough time. But as someone has some some of us are not meant for days and never get used to it. Give it at least a couple of months.

    Good luck.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Give it a bit more time.

    But be aware some never adjust. I never really truly did, and I did it for 7 out nearly 10 years' nursing. I did nights out of necessity, but never, ever adjusted. It took me at least 2 days of sleeping all the time to recover from one 12 hour noc shift.

    It is not for everyone. It sure isn't for me.
  11. by   jennyfyre
    When I worked nights (for about 8 years) I came home and did housework or went to volunteer at the kids' school... then came home and slept from about 3pm to 10pm.. got up, showered and went to work. Had the same schedule on my days off. When I switched to days (when the kids were teenagers), my first day shift the girls brought me coffee in bed and led me to the front door. They opened it and said.. "Mom.. this is the sun!" Those turkeys!
  12. by   colleennurse
    Quote from jennyfyre
    When I switched to days (when the kids were teenagers), my first day shift the girls brought me coffee in bed and led me to the front door. They opened it and said.. "Mom.. this is the sun!" Those turkeys!
    That is cute, I like it
  13. by   tencat
    Thanks, all! I knew you'd have good advice for me. :1luvu:

    I suppose I should try to keep the sleep during the day schedule even when I'm off, but I don't sleep very well during the day. I am trying to see if catching up with normal sleep on my days off might help with a long nap before my first shift of the week. We'll see as we go. I'm such an impatient person. I want it all fixed NOW :smilecoffeecup:
  14. by   matt59
    Tencat, I'm not a nurse, only a nursing student, but in my last life as an airline mechanic (that life started 18 years ago), I worked a literal ton of nights. Some of those stretchs were pretty miserable, but the last run of midnights I did (which was prior to quitting to go to school) I had things going pretty well for me.

    Some of the things I did were:
    went to bed when I got home in the morning (as opposed to sleeping before my nightshift started).
    Ate some carbs & supplemented w/ some Melatonin before I hit the hay.
    Used alumunim foil to cover my bedroom windows, which effectively blacked the room out.
    Slept w/ earplugs inserted (in my ears, of course).
    (I never did, but I know people who told me they ran a fan in their bedroom to generate pink noise, which helped them sleep; others have told me a 24 hour news channel accomplished the same thing.)
    If I felt the need, I was not adverse to popping a nodoz or two, &/or an ephedrine tab or two.
    Picked a time when I wanted to get up (be it 1600 or 1730 or whatever), set the alarm, & got up. Sleeping all day seemed to be the worst thing that I could do. If I was in bed at 2100, it was hard to get up to face a cold, greasy hangar.

    Good luck: midnights do work good for some.