Night Shift Nurse...I Can't Sleep at Night anymore..

  1. :roll :roll I have been working nights for about six months now...actually i really like it...the pay is better, i have no problem sleeping during the day or staying up at night...the problem is my nights off, like tonite, it is three in the am and i cannot sleep...i usually take either benadryl or tylenol pm to sleep during the day and my first night back sleeping at night...melatonin does not work for me, bad dreams...does anyone have any suggestions, my husband does not like the fan, which i use during the i am up at night after a few hours of sleep, inevitabley i get tired in the day and end up napping which is probably part of the reason that i can't sleep at night...does anyone else have this problem thanks for you suggestions....:kiss
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    About zambezi

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 1,088; Likes: 82
    CCU (coronary care); clinical research coordinator-neurology


  3. by   Gator,SN
    I wish I had some good advice. I worked night shift S-Th for over a year and like you, I was not able to sleep on the weekends. After I quit it took about 2-3 months for me to get back to a normal sleep pattern. My husband has worked nights for 12 years and his company shut down in Novemeber. He is still getting up in the middle of the night and tired all day.

    The only way that either of us could sleep during the day was with a fan running. Now we still use it to sleep. It is terrible trying to find one in the middle of winter.
  4. by   Repat
    I am thinking of changing to nights, and I would really like to hear ideas about sleeping, too. I have never minded being up at night - I loved night shift when I was in school. But now, with other responsibilities (kids) I wonder how I would cope. The thought of 24-hour days looms large.....
  5. by   Nurse Ratched
    We use a clock radio that has nature sounds programmed in it for white noise. Found it inexpensively at Target after we had gone around and around about using a fan (I hated the breeze even when it was turned away.) The wind sounds are perfect. Also has jungle sounds and babbling brook.
  6. by   Tweety
    I can't help you, because I can't understand the overwhelming need to sleep at night. I can't sleep at night either. So I get up, stay up, read, play on the computer, go to the 24-hour gym, the 24-hour Walmart, the 24-hour grocery store. You're asking your body to do horrible things by forcing it to sleep all night one night and stay awake the next. Why bother, if your not tired, get up. Sleep during the days on your days off if your tired, it isn't against the law.

    People say "I don't want to miss anything during the day". Well get up and do what you feel you can't miss out on, then go back to sleep.

    I've given up sleeping at night all the way through. I'm a creature of the night.
  7. by   majrn
    On the day of your first night off, try sleeping only alittle while. I sleep about 4 hours, granted I am quite the zombie until bedtime. But instead of sleeping all day long then trying to turn it around, make yourself either stay up all day or only sleep a few hours then maybe you can get it turned around. Good luck
  8. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by majrn
    On the day of your first night off, try sleeping only alittle while. I sleep about 4 hours, granted I am quite the zombie until bedtime.
    That's another thing I hate. Forcing myself to be a zombie just for the sake of being awake during the day, isn't worth it. I hate that feeling, it ruins being up during the day. For me it takes about three days for me to start being up during the day when I'm on vacation. I'm hopeless.
  9. by   911fltrn
    I agree with 3rd shift guy! I sleep roughly 10am to 4.45pm every day including days off. I sleep great, and never have a problem being awake at night. I do however bypass sleeping during the daytime for some good fly fishing. However this is supplemented with a nap. My best advise is if your going work nights pick your sleep hours and then stick with them. The people i work with who switch back and forth you can see its killing them. If you have to live the day shift lifestyle, work days!
  10. by   majrn
    Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy
    That's another thing I hate. Forcing myself to be a zombie just for the sake of being awake during the day, isn't worth it. I hate that feeling, it ruins being up during the day. For me it takes about three days for me to start being up during the day when I'm on vacation. I'm hopeless.

    I do it out of neccessity, I have 2 young children, work only weekends, so Mondays I sleep a short while so I am not a total crank when they get home from school, and then go to bed and sleep at night and am turned around by Tuesday. So it is worth it to me. Depends on your situation
  11. by   MandyInMS
    I've worked nights for about 8 years, and I STILL have nights I don't sleep.Even though I feel exhausted my eyes just pop open when I'm lying in bed.Seems the harder I try to sleep the worse it is.Yanno the drill...ok, if i fall asleep Now I can get 6 hrs.....ok, if i fall asleep Now I can get 4 hrs.....blah...I end up just getting since fighting it :/ About 3-4 am is my sleepy I usually end up sleeping from about then until noonish.Makes it hard to make plans with friends/family.They have slept great all night and are ready to go do things in the mornings.They just don't seem to understand at ALL just how b*tchy you are when sleep deprived (or at least I am).I've tried Tylenol PM and all the other BS..doesn't work for me either..don't want to have to start taking scrpt. sleeping meds... I'd love to hear ideas for sleep as well.
  12. by   NICU_Nurse
    I am having this very problem, and have been for about a year. My husband, bless his heart, does NOT seem to understand this. He worked nights many years ago as a security guard, and claims that he had no problem sleeping during the day- and going to bed THE SECOND he got home from work in the morning, and being awake all night. This was before I met him. Here's how it is for me. If I'm off the weekend, and have to go to work on Monday night: I get off Friday morning. I am so adrenalized that I cannot go to sleep. I stay up until 2 in the afternoon, finally collapsing in bed (I have to exhaust myself by reading or getting online until my eyes are crossing to feel tired). I will sleep until 6pm, when my hubby will wake me up so we can eat, exercise, etc. I am up until 2am Saturday morning, then I go back to bed for a nap until about 7 or 9am. I get up, do stuff, am up until 6pm, at which point I am very tired. It's Saturday evening now. Hubby wants to go out, I want to sleep. We usually go out, then come back for 10 or 11, at which point I collapse in bed and sleep a whopping 5 or 6 hours, at WHICH POINT I am so wide awake my eyeballs won't shut. I get up again, now Sunday morning in the wee hours, am up until hubby gets up, we do stuff, I don't go to bed until 9pm or so. I sleep an amazingly short 4 or 5 hours, am wide awake again, get up. It's now Monday morning, and I am up until hubby goes to class, which is at 9. I continue to stay awake until 10 or 11, at which point I lay in bed for an hour trying to sleep. I have to work that night! I have slept only 22-26 hours since Thursday before work and now I have to go!!! I should have slept 32 hours (at 8 hours per sleep over 4 days) but am horribly short, and all of my sleep comes in small chunks. Nap here. Longer nap there. I am tired all the time, and my body doesn't know what to do with itself, and my husband acts like I am doing this on purpose. This is the sole reason we fight now. Period. He says I'm moody (ya think?), cranky (umm...), spacy (read: sleep deprived!!!). This has been going on for a year. I MUST be up during the day if I want to do certain things. I must be up at night because I have half-programmed my body to do that since I work night shift. I go to the 24 hour walmart to grocery shop (woohoo, that's one day every two weeks!). We have no 24 hour gym. I'm not allowed to clean at night because it wakes him up. So I not only have to be awake during the day, but I have to do housework when I'm supposed to be sleeping. It's neverending, I hate it, and the sad part is, I LOVE working nights. If I were single there would BE no problem. However, living in an apartment with someone on a day schedule is proving to be impossible!!!! GRrr. I'm sorry, it's just that we were fighting about this very thing last night and I wish I had a solution but I don't. :>(
  13. by   nimbex
    well still up from working last night, it's 1130. Have to work tonight. been on nights for 6 of 8 yrs. nsg. so, have a hubbie on day shift schedule, with 3 kids. I wake up, shower and eat dinner with the family, which is my breakfast..... do this for a stretch. then, I have to sleep, get up and sleep that next night..... doen't happen.

    So I sleep when I'm tired.... spend as much waking time with the family... and if needed... havea romantic evening with hubbie on first night off, then when he goes to sleep I stay up until 1 or 2am. Try to wake up early so my next day off I'm closer to the "day" schedule of the family.

    I just listen to my body, some days I give up sleep for them, some days I sleep for me. It's a give and take relationship. If your significant other cannot understand or compromise..... you need to consider the switch to days for harmony in the house or have a heart to heart talk. I tried days because I thougt it would be best for the family, but it wasn't best for me..... which made family relations worse for everyone.
  14. by   LilgirlRN