What do you do to get past the 2am slump - page 2

Hi, I started my first night shift and all. My first one ever and it went pretty slow since I had a hard time staying awake? I was fine from 645pm until around 2am and then I got really sleepy. I... Read More

  1. by   live4today
    talk about sex, baby! yeah!!! my fellow nurses and i would start gabbing about sex, lies, and videotapes to get us through the slump when we weren't busy. but then...we were rarely not busy!

    since i'm not a caffeine drinker, i would drink lots of bottled water, chew lots of bubble gum (once the sugar was gone, i'd pop in a fresh wad), and do whatever it took to get through that 3 to 4 slump. if i had patients still awake, i would give more backrubs, talk/laugh with them a little, stock items in the patients room that they would need the next day, give some baths if the patients couldn't sleep...that way the dayshift didn't have to do them. i'd even weigh the ones that were awake if they needed to be weighed that day. i would make up i/o sheets for the next shift or two, make sure extra iv bags were hanging on the iv poles (for the patients on ivs).... i would start thinking of the next shift and do what i could do to help them when i had time on my hands. i would do some stretching exercises with deep breathing, jog in place, and sing joyful songs...anything to jar my brain. by the time 4:30 rolled around, i would gain my second wind of energy and snap to it. just do whatever you gotta do to get through those slow nights. at one hospital, we took turns taking one hour naps in the nurses lounge. boy, did that make a big difference! we all covered for one another that way. it was great!
  2. by   Teshiee
    Oh I envy you guys I can't drink coffee it makes me jittery. If I were to drink it my fellow co-workers would sware I was in the narcotic drawer......Mountain Dew and Jolt cola does it for me too. ahahahaha
  3. by   orkyblue
    How about swigging down a can of redbull?? Always does wonders for me when i feel the sump coming on..... and you never know, you might find yourself dancing round the ward!!
  4. by   mamabear
    Copious amounts of caffeine: really strong coffee alternately with Jolt cola.
    Go outside, whether you're a smoker or not (especially effective during February in northwest Indiana)
    Throw cold water on your face.
    Drink some really strong iced tea.
    With your coworkers, compile a list of why you're so grateful that you don't work day shift
    Did anyone suggest getting plenty of sleep?:roll
    As a rule, it takes about 3 or 4 months of straight nights to get used to it. My spouse works straight nights also, so it's a lot easier to sleep during the day
  5. by   gretnao
    Definately the coffee!!!! My slump usually hits about 3am, after I've done the 2am round. That and talking to my workmates. If all else fails, I'll take my break and wander around the hospital to get a change of scenery. Caffeine usually does the trick though. Some upbeat music helps me, as well as a smoke, if I'm back on them again.

    I usually find that by the 4th night in a row, I'm getting into the swing of things and that my bodies getting used to being awake all night. Then it is not so hard, as long as I've had a bit of decent sleep during the day.

    G'day from down under. Heading into winter here. Roll on the summer months and daylight saving.
  6. by   kewlnurse
    i go outside and smoke a cigar.
  7. by   Rustyhammer
    Forgive my ignorance but what is jolt cola?
    Is that some sort of coffee/coke combo that
    I don't know about?
  8. by   KaraLea
    Jolt is a soda that has three times the sugar and caffiene than other sodas. If you want to see me literally climbing the walls, just give me some of that stuff. Mountain Dew and Big Red sodas have alot of sugar and caffiene too.
  9. by   capgirl
    When I worked nites, (thank god it was only per diem for 8 mo.) I would bring 4 dunkin donuts GIANT coffees with me for my shift. that is the only way I could stay awake and ALERT all nite....those 12 hour shifts nearly killed me!!! (or maybe it was all that caffeine that nearly did me in....lol)
    I am not a really religious person, but when I was driving home in the morning I would seriously pray that I made it home safely....
  10. by   RN-PA
    When I worked nights on Med-Surg, I hardly ever had a slump because we were almost always so dang busy. As some others have mentioned, my slump also would come around 0700, waiting for day shift to listen to my report, and then the 30 minute drive home was tough. I always blew air on my face from the car vents and kept talk radio blasting to keep me awake. One morning, my husband was on his way to work and passed me as I was returning home from a night shift. He saw me tilting way to the right in the driver's seat as I drove 45 mph near our home-- I was leaning my right elbow on the gear shift and propping my head up with my hand, the left hand steering as the wind rushed in the vents, PRAYING to stay awake for the last mile home. :zzzzz :zzzzz :zzzzz
  11. by   canoehead

    What the heck is your avatar doing???

    This is a family board ya know. Ewwwww.
    Canoehead, I think I thought the same thing you're thinking about his avatar. I had to stare at it for awhile. I think it's a head banging drummer. Notice the drum sticks?

  13. by   whipping girl in 07
    I save some physical work for my 4:00 slump. We do our baths in ICU at night, and so I do my second bath at 4am. Drives my co-workers crazy, but I never have any trouble getting someone to help turn my patient to wash his back as they are all sitting at the desk. I also make sure I'm caught up with my charting by 3 so that I'm not sitting trying to write when I'm getting sleepy. After the bath, I'm good and awake, so I have a little snack and finish up the rest of the stuff I need to do (re-order meds, chart in computer, etc). This is assuming something doesn't happen at 4 am that's an eyeopener anyway (like a code or a patient crapping out!) I've been known to be finishing baths at 5:45 for this very reason, but I just can't seem to change the habit. If I finish both my baths by 2, you can forget it. I'll be UNDER the desk!