Insomnia, night shift, and 6 on???

Nurses General Nursing

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Hi, night shifter. My body has had a reaction of 4 hours of sleep feel amazing anymore feel like crud. Can't fall asleep till 1200 - 1500 after a shift now. Has anyone transition to nights and can't sleep anymore?

Also, wondering. I was contemplating a 6 on shift. Done 4. Plan to do 5 next schedule. If I can get through 5 thinking try 6. With 4 I feel like I want a new load of patients by the 4th day and reset. Curious if anyone has done 6 on 8 off before pro's or con's? Did it work for your children if you have children?

 

Appreciate the insight!

 

Have you checked your facility's safe scheduling policy?  Three of the last four facilities I worked would not allow you to schedule more than 60 hours in a rolling 7 day period.  And the fourth would not allow scheduling more than 3 consecutive shifts.

Best wishes.

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health.

Many years ago I did do 7 on 7 off which was common in the UK in prehistoric times. It was an 11 hour shift 21h - 8h (10 hours paid with an hour's break in which you could nap officially). 

I found as the week went on it got easier as your body slipped into night mode - you slept better in the day and you seemed less tired at night. Night 7 was less tiring than night 1 or 2. However the re-adjustment to day mode on your week off was then more tedious than if you'd just done a short stretch. However, if you're talking overtime, I.e. doing a 6 stetch just to have 2 or 3 off - yes that is very tiring! 

I now do 12s and we never do more than 3 in a row. You never really get into night mode so even just having 2 or 3 off is OK, though you can end up with 4, 5 or 6 off depending on the rota (basically 3 12's a week with 4 off). I prefer this now I'm older, but the 7 on 7 off was great when I was young, free and single - especially the 7 off for travelling etc. 

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

When I was a new nurse 20 years ago, I did 6-on/8-off on nights. I was newly divorced, sharing custody of elementary-school aged kids, and this worked best for our custody situation.  It worked well for me, because I just completely flipped my sleep schedule for a week at a time.

Now I'm 50 and about to embark on a travel nurse gig, where I will again be working 12s on nights, and I'm contemplating asking for the same schedule so I can go home for a week at a time to be with my wife. We'll see if it's harder or easier to do it at 50 than it was at 30.

As for your particular situation - if you are not able to sleep more than a couple hours after working a night shift, I do not think that working 6 in a row would be safe for you or your patients. The sleep deprivation will catch up to you.

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.
chare said:

Have you checked your facility's safe scheduling policy?  Three of the last four facilities I worked would not allow you to schedule more than 60 hours in a rolling 7 day period.  And the fourth would not allow scheduling more than 3 consecutive shifts.

Best wishes.

We are only allowed to schedule ourselves 3 days a week.  When there are needs in the schedule we're allowed to pick them up with no apparent max.  Recently a night shift nurse picked up 11 in a row but fell apart by the 9th and management made her stop.   She really needed the money apparently.  

To the OP while it sounds nice to have 8 days off every other week, consider the cost to your physical and mental well being.  Also I agree with the above, if you have insomnia by the end of the sixth shift even though you say you feel good after four hours of sleep it might catch up to you.  I'm an insomniac myself and can only do two in a row.  I'll do three if I'm making overtime and it's my choice.  

Good luck.

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