sunlight and nightshift

  1. I have been working nightshift for a few years now. I live in a dreary northeastern part of the country. Not many really sunny days. It gets dark early and light late in the autumn and winter. Sometimes, I would occasionaly see the sun or sunlight diving home from
    work. It was mostly an inconvinence. It hurt/s my eyes , gave me a headache and infringed my falling asleep time. The other day, I fell asleep super early and woke up in the early morning. I usually go back to sleep but for some mystical reason I decided to get up and take an hr long trip to go shopping. It was super super sunny and warm out. I rarely go outside unless I am going to my car or from my car to a building. I was amazed at all the trees and plants. Even the other cars. Evvetything had so much color. It made me feel so good. I felt like ai was having some sort of awakening out of the very long fall and winter gloom and darkness. any other nightshifters experience this?
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  3. by   MereSanity
    Yes...been several years and I am ready to get off night shift! Also, make sure you get your bit d levels checked regularly...mine were in the toilet. It really makes a difference.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I'm a hardcore night shift worker, but I somewhat adopt a day schedule on my days off and force myself to run errands during the daylight hours. On occasion I'll walk or jog outdoors along the Trinity Trails, which is a network of walking and bicycling trails that runs parallel to the Trinity River in the city where I live. The sunlight is amazing when you don't get to experience it everyday.

    I also take OTC vitamin D3 supplements since I do not get daily sun exposure.
  5. by   MereSanity
    Quote from MereSanity
    Yes...been several years and I am ready to get off night shift! Also, make sure you get your bit d levels checked regularly...mine were in the toilet. It really makes a difference.
    Errrr....darn autocorrect meant vitamin d levels!
  6. by   marycarney
    I have the same experience about once a month. Kind of feels what I imagine waking from a coma feels like( the kind of coma they awaken from in the movies- all at once an with your hair clean and make up applied)

    Having worked nights for nearly all of my 30+ years in nursing- it's a special topic to me. Did my MSN thesis about night shift, and am currently involved in a GIGANTIC study about how institutions impact the sleep of night employees. I have a third and fourth study planned out in my mind, too!
  7. by   Morainey
    Yes. I live in New England and it gets awfully gloomy. We've had a very pretty spring so far!
  8. by   tewdles
    we use the spectrum of lights in the cabin that are similar/same as sunlight, here in Alaska.
    There just is no sun for several months of the year.
    3rd shift is difficult for many of us...
  9. by   CrazyCoconut
    I'm a vampire and I don't like the sun. It burns me. And I hate garlic too.

    I'd get your vitamin D3 levels checked and be sure to contact your PCP for the correct dosage of IU Vit D3 supplements. Make sure it's cholecalciferol, as it is more potent and has a better bioefficacy than other forms.
  10. by   salvadordolly
    I worked nocs for a long time too. The winters here in the midwest are long and dreary too. I used an Apollo light therapy box during the winters. It really kept up my moods and motivation. apollo light therapy
  11. by   greenbeanio
    Reading this thread reminds me - we use lightboxes on our (inpt. psych) unit for some of our patients. Maybe I could ask if I could use one of them while I am charting!

    And thanks for the reminder in general, about sunlight and vitamin D levels too. I have been so obsessed with just getting enough sleep that I'd forgotten all about getting enough sunlight!
  12. by   Sweetpeamama
    Any links to your research results? I am starting nursing school soon and figure I might eventually work night shift when I can because it seems to be better overall for my kids and their schedules. I would love to know how and if I should even attempt this. I am a high energy person who sleeps very soundly when I am tired, but don't know how this might work if I have to sleep in the sunny daylight hours.
  13. by   joanna73
    I've been on permanent nights for almost 3 years. While I prefer nights, they can interfere with your system.

    I take a multivitamin and Vit D supplement daily. During the warmer sunny months, I make a point of getting up earlier and going outside, too. The great thing about my location is the long daylight hours in the summer months. It stays light out until 1030 pm.
  14. by   skylark
    Sell your car and bicycle to work.
    I cycle about 10 miles to work, and the run home in the fresh air is just wonderful after 12 hours of stuffy hospital air.
    A natural way to get your vit D (instead of popping pills), also clears your lungs, clears your mind, you will sleep better too : )