How do you function on little or no sleep?

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I plan on starting the LPN to RN Bridge over course This August. My concern is how I will function on only 5-6 hours to sleep at night. I hear there is about 2-4 hrs of home work each day. I usually need somewhere between 8-9 hours of sleep, if I get any less then that I need a nap.:yawn: Bringing this up may sound silly to some, but it is a true concern of mine. So is there anyone here who can relate to me, and if so how do you manage? I am thinking I will be drinking coffee around the clock. Thanks guys.



380 Posts

I can relate. Start nursing school this fall and will still b working only on the weekends. But my job is stressful. Have 2 b at work at 5am. (Dialysis tech) I never feel as though I've had enough sleep. I need 8 hours myself, but I usually sit for a while when I get n from work or doze 4 about an half hour whenever I can. My kids no I work long hours and starting school this fall, so they r pretty good about not disturbing me while I nap.


18 Posts

Sleep whenever you can. If you have a break between classes, take a nap. Pace yourself studying. If you get too tired, go to bed and try to get up early. If you don't get enough sleep, you're just going to burn out.

If napping and getting enough sleep is not an option, definately relax and get as much sleep as possible whenever you can (like weekends). You might even get used to not sleeping! I know I did, and I'm so used to it now I can't sleep more than six hours anymore. :bugeyes:

Also, coffee is everyone's best friend.

Good luck!


22 Posts

Specializes in Renal medsurg.

I woek in Dialysis as well, nice to see. As for sleep I take a nap in car c my cell phone set. Once my study notes begin to have to many mistakes I go to bed, I'm not learning anything anyways. I am worried about this next semester I have a drill sergent that expects the best of everyone all the time and will keep you at clinicals till you get everything she wants you to understand. Power naps 15 min. here we come.


38,333 Posts

When I did this I took cat naps whenever I could during the day, whereever I happened to be at the time. My car and I got to be good friends.

nkara, CNA

288 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/Pedi/Tele.

you get used to it. I work nights and get about 5 - 7 hours of sleep usually. Sometimes more sometimes less. But believe me your body adjusts to less sleep. Also drink ... stay hydrated.


283 Posts

The first few weeks will be tough, but you do end up getting used to it...and large quantities of caffeine don't hurt either!! ;)

Seriously, I work a full time job at a local university (not the institution where my nursing school is either), and attend nursing school in the evening/weekend program. Right now it is summer and I'm getting all kinds of sleep - it's fantastic!! However, when classes are in session, I average 3 maybe 4 hours of sleep a night, and sometimes less than that. My body just adjusted after the first couple weeks. I also buy diet mt. dew by the case!!! :D


Welcome to the 'brutal days insomniac nights' fraternity :yawn:. No nursing programs in the college match up to the actual experience of the crazy shifts and long hours. But then you'll get used to it soon. And the satisfaction of work well done will just beat out all fatigue.


180 Posts

Specializes in Neuro.

The best advice I received was take care of yourself first. I still manage to get my eight hours, but I had to cut out TV Shows except on weekends. And if you have any downtime at all (getting your oil changed, in between classes, waiting for your kids to get outta school etc.) study. Bring your study materials with you everywhere.

Good luck.


247 Posts

I don't do well. I structure my whole life around ensuring I will get a good nights sleep. I hit the ground running first thing in the morning and when dinner is over, I am done with my day. I ususally go to bed right after we tuck the kids in between 7:30 and 8. I always end my day reading a bit for pleasure, always, then it is lights out. If I have an exam, after reading, I put on my lecture and fall asleep. And, I rarely answer the phone past 7 unless it is my mom.

Even when I had my 3 babies, when they slept, I slept. The phone was off, the note was on the door to not ring it, the shades were drawn. I would just make sure I worked really hard during my other hours and I always managed to get it all done.


77 Posts

Thank you to everyone who posted a reply to my thread. All of your comments were so encouraging. It's so good to know I'm not alone on this one. Now that I have an idea of what is working for others, I can see myself doing the same and being able to manage my sleep schedule well. I wish you all the best of luck!

Thanks again!;)



155 Posts

Do not drink AMP or other types of energy drinks!! I consumed a massive amounts of AMP last semester and it did leave me awake, but I had little to no concentration at 3a.m. I also gained weight because of it. It has lots of sugar in it.

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