long term night shift work versus health - page 4

Anyone out there have any medical info on this subject ?? thanks... Read More

  1. by   sbic56
    Originally posted by night owl
    Get this. I've worked nights for 6 years now. Suddenly all shifts now have to rotate. I will be doing a week of 6am-2:30. I swore I'd never work day shift again. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I am so angry over this I could just . . . .!
    Quit? I think I would have to. That's pure bull!
  2. by   PMHNP10
    Originally posted by JetLPN
    Anyone out there have any medical info on this subject ?? thanks
    There has been a bit of research done on this. There are correlations with night shift work and colorectal issues (eg. CA). Note, though, that correlations NEVER infer causation. The studies seem to say it has something to do with not getting enough exposure to sunlight and some link a lack of melanin with that problem.
    I work nights and I feel I am usually able to get adequate sleep. The key thing about nights is that you should NOT change your habits on your days off. Yeah right!!! I am usually able to adhere to this, but like the past couple weeks I had my mom visit me and I went out of town for my gf's pinning ceremony, so it's not like that is an option. It certainly isn't for nurses with youngins.
    IMO, it's a double edged sword. Of course on the one hand you have the health problems associated with working nights; but there are equally as unhealthy issues associated with working days in the nursing field. First and foremost would be the stress. Stress kills. And on the average, nights are far less stressful than days. I have a family with a history of cardiac troubles, so I see cardiac being a little more significant than GI. Also, I find that I am very sleep deprived when I work days. I just haven't been able to go to bed by a decent time (usually from jacking around on this frickin computer), so I end up getting like 3-4 hrs sleep, which is obviously harmful for your physical and mental health (including the health of your license to function in a high stress situation while sleep deprived). This usually isn't an issue when I work nights.
  3. by   suzanne4
    The last documentation that I came across stated that as long as you stayed on the same shift there shouldn't be any problem, which means sticking to the same hours even on your days off, BUT if you work a job where you are rotating back and forth between days and nights every week, you are actually taking
    about 10 years off. Over here in Thailand, the nurses actually work all three shifts in one week. You work nights x 2, then are back 8 hours later for afternoons x 2, then possibly get a day or two off, then day shift. I could never do it, nor would I ever want to.
  4. by   TinyNurse
    I thought as a new grad that working nights would be good cuz i'm a night person anyways........ but 3-4 am in the ER was NOT me.
    I've since changed my hours as a new grad and have yet to see how they work out...
    i know that i was......... out of whack........... for days upon days
  5. by   Gompers
    I've worked nights for 5 years and love it. I do think that the key is to basically stick to the same kind of schedule on your off days. That's what I do to a point. Go to bed really late (like 4am) and wake up around noon or so. You still get PLENTY of daylight. Unfortunately this only really works if you don't have a spouse or small kids! But otherwise, if you're a night owl naturally, nights is probably healthier for you! I know when I had to work days it was so stressful on my body and I had horrible insomnia and anxiety problems. On nights I am so happy, and that can't be a bad thing for my health!

    I think the dangers are more significant for those night workers who can't or won't sleep enough during the day. Many of my coworkers are up all day long, from 7am on with their kids, and then work all night, and don't even have a few hours to nap when they get home in the morning as their kids need them. That is extremely dangerous, of course! But for someone who goes home and gets a lot of sleep, what is the problem?!?!

    The studies say a lot about Melatonin production and how decreased levels are linked to certain cancers. They say that the only way to produce an adequate amount of it is to sleep at night. Well I think that is bull! If someone gets a good, deep sleep during the day, using good window shades or a mask to mimic darkness - then I don't understand why it can't be produced! If your natural body rhythm is reversed from "normal" people then just go with it.

    I did read recently that if you get a pink tinge put on your eyeglasses, it increases melatonin production by quite a bit. To be on the safe side, I plan on getting a very light tinge put on my next pair of glasses. Couldn't hurt.
    Last edit by Gompers on Jan 10, '04
  6. by   GLDLPN
    I am a night shift worker. I worked the 11-7 shift for 18 years, then the 7pm-7am shift for 6 years. With a job change, I worked 3-11 in there for a couple years while waiting to get back on the 7p-7a shift.

    I am thinking what someone else here said. Which is worse for you ~ your body clock being messed up by the hours, or the stress of working during the daytime?

    During the time I worked 3-11, I enjoyed sleeping at night, but I don't miss the stress of dealing with impossible family members and all the craziness of the daytime.

    I feel happier on the 7pm-7am shift. I am having some trouble now sleeping at night on my nights off, but I have sort of given up worrying about that and just kind of sleep when I can and am awake when I can't. (Kids are grown and gone ~ just me and hubby and the cat ~ so mostly it works out ok.)

  7. by   Paige Turner RN
    I just went to 12 hour days from 8 hour nights..........the shifts go fast but yes you do spend more time witht he family......I hear there is a 12 hour night shift that will be available in Feb and I can't wit to apply........
  8. by   oramar
    "I love nightshift but it hates me." There are so many things I like about nights but it tears me up. When I was a kid I thrived on it. However, somewhere in my forties I suddenly realized I couldn't hack it anymore. I find I can handle an occasional shift without too much difficulty. We have a full time night shfit crew but occasionally there is a slot they can't cover so I come in to cover it.(by the way I love these people) Always enjoy it, always makes me realize I couldn't do it all the time.
  9. by   babynurse2B
    i saw this thread and just had to comment. i totally agree with all of you; some people are great with night shifts and others just can't handle it!

    personally i am a night person through and through. in high school i was a night person (diagnosed "chronic sleep deprivation" because no matter how hard i tried, i couldn't fall asleep before 4am, then had to wake up at 7am for school!) in college i did what way too many of us did and stayed up late, slept 3 hours, went to classes, slept 1 hour, went to another class, slept 2 more hours, then went out with my friends and did homework late into the night.
    well now i'm taking my nursing pre-reqs while working at a hotel, and i just realized how wonderful night shifts are for me!!! i have always known i'm a night person, but a few weeks ago i worked my first night shift at the hotel and i am in heaven. everything seems so much easier than daytime too! i love the fact that i don't have to see my manager for more than 1 hour at a time, because i get to go home! and now i have a legitimate excuse to family and friends for sleeping all day :d i definately am going to beg for night shifts when i finally become a nurse. i know i will love it, and my health is so much better when i get to sleep when i'm tired and stay up when i'm not. go night nurses!!!!!!!!!!
  10. by   cathwaves
    hi , where i work nurses work 2 twelve hour days and then 2 twelve hour nights. i think this shift is really hard on your health. Best to do days or nights but not both....any one else familiar with 2 days, 2 nights...doing a paper , let me know. northern nurse
  11. by   mstigerlily
    Well I've only been working nights since April of this year (3 12s 7pm-7:30am). But I really hated the day shift (3 12s 7am-7:30pm). We have horrible traffic and getting up at 5am, leaving at 6am and sitting in traffic for an hour just wore on me. It was dark when I left and dark when I got home. I was always so tired I'd just fall asleep at 9pm.

    Working nights I actually feel better now that I've gotten used to it. I used to be so tired on my days off it would take me a day or two to catch up then I'd go back and start all over. Now I find myself staying awake till 1am on my nights off but I still must get up at 7am to get kids up for school. But the saving grace is my son and I take a nap every afternoon around 1pm-4pm. I keep that schedule on my days on or off so it really helps.

    I like having the day off, taking a nap, eating a nice dinner and going to work as the sun is going down. No traffic, it's a nice drive and I like the pace on nights. I like coming home when all those poor people are sitting in traffic just starting their day.

    I worked night for years before but it was in a bar working from 6pm-2:30am so not quite the same. But I liked it.


    Quote from JetLPN
    Anyone out there have any medical info on this subject ?? thanks
  12. by   healingtouchRN
    update from my post in '03. Still on nights but just completed massage therapy school & waiting to take boards. Hope to complete my night contract next year & just do nights parttime. 20 years on nights is so long & hard on a body & on a marriage. Nice to make dinner & take a walk under the stars & have a routine! Still think night shift is more satisfying than when I worked days in nursing. Amazing what goes on & that quiet time in ICU when the patient wants to talk or just sleep.
  13. by   FroggysMom
    Quote from JetLPN
    Anyone out there have any medical info on this subject ?? thanks

    Check this out. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Citation