The first day off after 12's

  1. My first day off after working 12's I am exhausted! I have no energy to do anything and I'm all sore and achy. I just lay around all day. Does anyone else do this? Is that normal? I've always worked 8's so this is new to me. Is there anything I can do to have more energy?
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    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 438; Likes: 429


  3. by   llg
    It's pretty common. Many people look at the prospect of working 3 12-hour shifts per week and think, "Yipee! I get 4 days off each week!" and imagine all the fun they will have on the other 4 days ... the reality is that most have to use some of that "off time" as "recovery time." Plan for it.

    Though, in my experience, it gets a little better as you acclimate to the 12-hour schedule. It's usually worse in the beginning.
  4. by   Good Morning, Gil
    Do you work nights? I know this is common for night shift nurses, and happens to me, too . I have noticed that as I changed specialties, I am more tired than I was before. My job in the ICU is just more demanding physically, emotionally, mentally, so I'm sure that has something to do with it, but it is also that much more rewarding. Also, I think the longer you work nights, the worse it gets sleep-wise (for the people who aren't "natural" night shifters, which most people probably fit into this category).

    Just do what you have to do, rest, but make sure you make sleep a priority in between shifts, as well.

    What you're describing is why some nurses prefer 8 hour shifts to 12's.
  5. by   Nurse ABC
    No I only work days which is one reason I was so surprised of how tired I've been! I've been doing it almost three months and just havent gotten used to it. I'm on my feet 90% of the 12 hrs si I'm sure that's not helping either!
  6. by   RubySlippers06
    Do you exercise regularly? I notice when I put the gym on the back burner I tend to stay on the couch more. I think you can always improve your diet and exercise. (the you is a generalized you)
  7. by   Nurse ABC
    No I don't but that's a great idea and I have been planning to start exercising again because I miss it and think it could help. I'm not overweight and I watch what I eat but I have been majorly been slacking in the exercise area since beginning this job due to the stress, exhaustion, and pain.
  8. by   lindseylpn
    I've worked 3 12s in a row on night shift for years and my 1st day off is always rough. I always sleep a few hours that day and then again at night, I can sleep like 12-14 hours and its hard to wake up the next day too. I always try to not make any plans that first day off but, some people don't understand they think you can sleep a few hours and are good to go.
  9. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Maybe I'm tougher than I thought. When I was in my late 40's I worked 3-4 16 hour shifts and one or two 8 hour shift in the same week.
  10. by   wooh
    I've always found that the day after a shift that I'm completely useless. That's why I like working as many days in a row together. It will take a day to recover from one shift or six shifts. So to limit recovery days, work all my days together. Once I take myself into work, I'm fine. But at home, if I have the option of sitting on the couch all day, I absolutely WILL sit on the couch all day.
  11. by   Glycerine82
    Ohhh yes. I need 24-48 hrs to recover. If you don't work along side a good cna I can see this happening to RNs as well. I'm hoping my brain will be more tired than my body by the time I get there. Hot baths alway make me feel better.

    "No day but today"
  12. by   liveyourlife747
    Whew. Makes me feel so much better that I'm not the only one who can't get moving on my days off! Lol.
  13. by   Nurse ABC
    That makes me feel better too that my wagon's not the only one draggin'!
  14. by   canigraduate
    When I started working 12s, I was exhausted and achy for a couple of days after my 3-in-a-row. However, once I changed the brand of shoes I wore and learned to make rest a priority between shifts, I didn't have any problems. Now, though, I work nights and am back to having the same problem.