Old Topic about night shift and melatonin - page 2
I've been having trouble sleeping and staying asleep. I'm sure it's because I flip flop my sleeping a lot on my days off. But lately it seems worse and I can't get a good days sleep. I'm... Read More
Apr 15, '04Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 5,673; Likes: 159If I'm having trouble getting to sleep, Benedryl relaxes me too...and since I have airborne allergies it also helps with those. Sometimes I will add some Arthritis Tylenol, specially if I've had a hectic or upsetting night and have muscle tension and discomforts. Many of my elderly patients have sworn by Tylenol at night to help them rest. Now that I'm older with my own set of aches and pains, I can see how it helps.
The dark cool room, fan, white noise, warm bath helps immensely and these are the things to try first for sure...I definitely try NOT to take even OTC meds everyday. It's always wise to NOT rely on meds if you can help it.
Some friends of mine could never adjust to sleeping during the day, never got enough sleep and felt ill. It's all what you can adjust to and you must find your own 'system' that works for you. I started nursing required to 'swing shift' for 10 shifts on nights alt with 10 shifts on days so I got accustomed early in my career to sleeping when I could. Now I prefer straight nights, but 12 hr shifts. (I have 4 days to live/sleep 'normally' this way and this works best for me)
Other night workers I know follow a nightlife routine even on their shifts off...staying up to do housework, shop at Walmart, etc. We all adapt a little differently.
Apr 15, '04Occupation: RN Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 100; Likes: 1There are currently 3 people where I work using Melatonin and they LOVE it. They do have lots of strange dreams but are able to sleep for up to 12 hours! I am lucky enough not to need it (yet). Hope you are able to get some good sleep. I know how miserable it can be when you don't.
Apr 15, '04Specialty: NICU ; Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 3,768; Likes: 252Quote from Karen_tn_37211Millions of night shift workers sleep just fine without the use of medications. Everyone, day or night shifter, has trouble sleeping at one point. That's what this post is about, so please don't assume that everyone out there takes meds!I had been thinking of trying night shift myself. I have changed my mind. If I have to take various medications to sleep then I think I need to stick with day shift. I wonder how taking all these various medications will affect one's health in the long run.
Apr 15, '04Specialty: NICU ; Joined: Nov '03; Posts: 3,768; Likes: 252I agree with everyone above! Definitely need a cool room, with a loud fan on for white noise, and darkness. I have a TempurPedic eye mask that is extremely comfortable - the foam forms it to my face, and the actual eye part is hollowed out so that I can even open my eyes inside it, therefore it doesn't feel as claustrophobic as some masks. I also try to wear sunglasses on my way home so that the bright sunlight never registers with my mind. Does that make sense?
Melatonin...never tried it. However, with all the studies saying how night shifters are at increased risk for some cancers, possibly due to a lack of melatonin, I am concerned. I did read somewhere - I think on this board, actually - that getting your eyeglasses tinted a very faint pink or rose color stimulates your body produce more melatonin. I am going to try this with my next pair - it can't hurt!
As for valerian, the only time I've tried it was with SleepyTime Extra tea. I used to drink regular SleepyTime tea, but it doesn't have valerian like the "extra" version does. Either way, maybe it's because I've had this tea since I was a kid, but my gosh it only takes the smell of that hot spearamint and chamomile to get me relaxed!
The best thing I do to get to sleep? I never lay on my right side unless I'm going to close my eyes and try to sleep. On my left side I watch the TV, on my back I read, on my stomach I'll talk on the phone. But once I'm on that right side, my mind knows it's time to sleep. I swear, it's like Pavlov's dog.
Apr 15, '04Occupation: Med/Surg RN, soon to be MICU RN Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 124; Likes: 30Oh, don't usually have much problem going to sleep unless the mind is going a 1000mph. I do, however also have a script for flexeril, which I only use when I need it cos my back hurts, and even then I tend to split the pill, as a whole 10 mg will make me sleep for WAY too long. Makes me just relaxed enough to get a good snooze. Thank goodness its not usually a problem!