Trouble sleeping at night

  1. Hi everyone
    ok heres the thing i just graduated from nursing school in may and took a job in the ICU at a trauma 1 hospital on june 8. i may be just over reacting here but i cant sleep at night and when i do get to sleep all i dream about is work and the patients i have had. i always dream that something bad is happening to my patients. and lately my bf has been telling my that im talking in my sleep and i dont mean saying small nonsense words i mean full out conversations with myself. im worried about not sleeping at night. is this normal? has anyone gone through this? does anyone have any suggestions on how to help?

    Thoughts and comments are much appreciated. Thx. Kara
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    About drawingarak

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 3


  3. by   Be_Moore
    I used to wake up to the sound of ventilator high pressure alarms in my bedroom. With any luck, it will go away as the stress of a new job goes away. Mine did!
    I had trouble sleeping at night early in my nursing career while working at an urban level one trauma center. I think the stress of the job early in ones career compounded by culture shock(dealing with pts that were homeless, mentally ill, drug addicted IVDAs/alcoholics , GSW's MVA's etc.)asking yourself questions after job hours such as "could I have done anything different for this pt., did I document everything that needed documentation, did I hang the right med, did I transcribe that telephone order ?etc. etc.It was like my mind could not shut off after a stressful day. All of this is extremely overwhelming and stressful which in turn brings on insomnia. I think once you settle into your new role, become knowledgeable in your area of practice things should get better for you. Sleep is so vital to our well being, on the job functioning, and critical to our health. New studies are supporting long suspected arguements that lack of sleep combined with stress can bring on core morbidities and reek havok in our lives. There is alot of exciting literature published on this topic. Use google and I bet you find alot of reading on this topic. Most of all take care of yourself and try to find a solution to your sleep problem. Good Luck...
  5. by   travel50
    I had trouble sleeping any time I changed jobs. Fortunately that was not often. But now, as the DON at a nsg home, I do not sleep unless I take dramamine. I know it is for motion sickness, but that is all it takes to help me sleep. It is just that I am responsible for the entire facility, and it weighs heavy on my mind. I lie here and wonder how "Jack" is, is his foot still hurting, is "Annie" sleeping, how is "Ben" that I sent to the ER with MI symptoms, is state going to walk in tomorrow, is anyone going to call in, oh, shoot, I forgot to send in that paperwork to corporate....and so on. So I finally gave up and just started taking the med.
  6. by   AllSmiles225
    I also am experiencing this problem along with grinding my teeth at night which is a new and beloved side effect of being a new nurse. I hope that it goes away as we gain experience..we can hope can't we?
  7. by   Teetop
    I think it is just the stress of starting a new job. When I first started working (I work the night shift) on my unit (critical care floor), I would go home and sleep, and I hear call lights ringing (I think I hear) in my head while sleeping. I also wake up suddenly some afternnon thinking I did not give a pt his/her meds. All those stuffs are a thing of the past now (although it still happens when I have really had a hectic week). So I will advice you to relax, and hopefully you will get past it. Cheers
  8. by   anurseuk
    These are all things that will ware off once you've been in your post for longer, learn more and feel more settled with your new job. After all nursing is high stress and there is a lot of responsibility in critical care areas.
    This is comepletely normal, just your brain trying to work out situations xx
  9. by   chicookie
    Yup that happens to me too. Even when I get off the floor I would hear the sounds of the floor. (the beeping, alarms, etc) I could never get it out of my head. After a while the sounds stopped. The dreams haven't, even though lately I am a good nurse that saved a life. Or am being chased by the government.

    I guess my sub conscience ran out of fresh materials and is going on reruns.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    i had the same issues sleeping when i was a new nurse. i'd hear the alarms in my sleep, and often woke up in a panic because i was sure i'd fallen asleep at work. it's worse when i have to rotate shifts; the more frequently i rotate the more issues i have. these days, i don't sleep unless i take ambien . . . the result of years and years of shift work, i guess.
  11. by   nerdtonurse?
    It goes away. But when they come to fill the propane tank, and the truck starts beeping as it back s up, I still shoot out of bed thinking I hear a vent alarm.....
  12. by   UM Review RN
    I did that with every job. I finally realized that it's how my brain synthesizes information and even while I'm asleep, I'm learning and cementing knowledge into my brain. Even with the desk job, DH was telling me that I'd spend hours talking about the job while I was sound asleep.

    If it gets out of hand -- that is, if it lasts over a few days or if I can't get to sleep at all -- I take an Ambien and cut out the caffeine.
  13. by   tishirajan
    I'm not a nurse yet, but when I started doing CNA work I would hear the call lights, even when I was awake. It did subside over time but every time I started work at a different place it would start again then taper off over the course of a few weeks. I thought I was going nuts when I would hear the call lights go off while I would be reading before bed.