Night Shift Advice

Updated | Posted
by lily41 lily41 Member Student

tips-night-shift-nurse.jpg.faa78610e9f1f58f45359dac3295708d.jpg

Just got a job as a new grad and its a night shift. Was wondering if you guys who are night shift nurses have any advice on what to expect, what comfortable shoes to wear and especially how to stay awake for night shift, and also how to adjust new sleeping schedule!

Thank you!  

gewmac

gewmac

9 Posts

Lily.

I have been a night shift nurse for 7 plus years. While in nursing school I worked as an aide on the overnight.  


My advice for sleep hygiene is as follows. 

1. I try to never be awake more than 20 hours in any period. 

2. The night before my shift I stay up late, usually until 1 or 2 am.  I will sleep until 10 or 11 am.  My shift starts at 1900 and goes to 0700. Overnight 12's. This way I won't violate rule #1. 

3. After my shift I have a snack and go right to bed.  Staying up can mean that I catch a "second wind" and could possibly not be able to get back to sleep.

4. While at work I keep the lights on so to fool the circadian rhythm.  I also drink coffee early in the shift and PRN if I feel tired. 

I hope that this helps. 

Mac

YouCanCallMeFrank

YouCanCallMeFrank, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 1 years experience. 44 Posts

I've only been working overnights for the past year and a half, but here's what I found works for me:

Invest in some blackout shades and/or curtains. They are a lifesaver!

I also stay up until 0100-0200 the night prior to my first of three shifts, and I try to sleep in as late as I can.

Also, try to work your shifts in a row--it will feel tough at first, but I guarantee it'll feel better then spending all of your days off sleeping.

I don't drink caffeine after getting to work unless absolutely necessary, otherwise I'll end up sipping it all night and won't get any sleep the following morning. Of course, by night three I'm usually dragging, so by that point, anything goes. 

I try to avoid sleeping for more than a couple hours after my last shift. That way it's easier to transition back to a more normal schedule (it's also why I don't mind drinking caffeine as much on night three)

As far as shoes go, Brooks have been a total game changer for me. I know a handful of other nurses on my floor who swear by them, as well. Also, compression socks can really help alleviate foot and leg pain if the shoes aren't cutting it.

And nightshift is a great place to start as a new grad--the first three hours or so will feel like a total nightmare at first, but 0200-0400, in my experience, is a great time to learn. Hopefully, you're as lucky as I was to have some really helpful charge nurses who don't mind sharing their wisdom during down time.

Also, night nurses are superstitious--please don't utter the Q word (quiet) aloud, you'll jinx it.

Good luck!

 

Edited by YouCanCallMeFrank

lily41

lily41

25 Posts

Thank you Frank for the advice! I will be trying those out once I start my job! Also, I prefer not to drink coffee. Do you have any recommendations on what drinks you usually drink at work? 

16 hours ago, gewmac said:

Lily.

I have been a night shift nurse for 7 plus years. While in nursing school I worked as an aide on the overnight.  


My advice for sleep hygiene is as follows. 

1. I try to never be awake more than 20 hours in any period. 

2. The night before my shift I stay up late, usually until 1 or 2 am.  I will sleep until 10 or 11 am.  My shift starts at 1900 and goes to 0700. Overnight 12's. This way I won't violate rule #1. 

3. After my shift I have a snack and go right to bed.  Staying up can mean that I catch a "second wind" and could possibly not be able to get back to sleep.

4. While at work I keep the lights on so to fool the circadian rhythm.  I also drink coffee early in the shift and PRN if I feel tired. 

I hope that this helps. 

Mac

Thank you Mac for the advice! 

14 hours ago, YouCanCallMeFrank said:

I've only been working overnights for the past year and a half, but here's what I found works for me:

Invest in some blackout shades and/or curtains. They are a lifesaver!

I also stay up until 0100-0200 the night prior to my first of three shifts, and I try to sleep in as late as I can.

Also, try to work your shifts in a row--it will feel tough at first, but I guarantee it'll feel better then spending all of your days off sleeping.

I don't drink caffeine after getting to work unless absolutely necessary, otherwise I'll end up sipping it all night and won't get any sleep the following morning. Of course, by night three I'm usually dragging, so by that point, anything goes. 

I try to avoid sleeping for more than a couple hours after my last shift. That way it's easier to transition back to a more normal schedule (it's also why I don't mind drinking caffeine as much on night three)

As far as shoes go, Brooks have been a total game changer for me. I know a handful of other nurses on my floor who swear by them, as well. Also, compression socks can really help alleviate foot and leg pain if the shoes aren't cutting it.

And nightshift is a great place to start as a new grad--the first three hours or so will feel like a total nightmare at first, but 0200-0400, in my experience, is a great time to learn. Hopefully, you're as lucky as I was to have some really helpful charge nurses who don't mind sharing their wisdom during down time.

Also, night nurses are superstitious--please don't utter the Q word (quiet) aloud, you'll jinx it.

Good luck!

 

Thank you Frank for the advice! I will be trying those out once I start my job! Also, I prefer not to drink coffee. Do you have any recommendations on what drinks you usually drink at work? 

YouCanCallMeFrank

YouCanCallMeFrank, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 1 years experience. 44 Posts

4 hours ago, lily41 said:

Thank you Frank for the advice! I will be trying those out once I start my job! Also, I prefer not to drink coffee. Do you have any recommendations on what drinks you usually drink at work? 

I really enjoy Celsius energy drinks! 

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,722 Posts

This thread has a lot of advice on staying awake on night shift.

amoLucia

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

Lots of info there also on how to manage your sleep sched.  LOTS & LOTS of good recommendations.  Staying awake when working was never a problem for me, but ensuring I got enough sleep was iffy occ.

Good suggestions there to read.

Checkers08, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Urgent Care, Emergency Department. Has 10 years experience. 36 Posts

I don't have any great night shift suggestions, but for shoes, I love wearing Oofos. Even before I discovered Oofos, just having a properly fitted insole was a total game-changer for my feet.

amoLucia

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

I used to rotate between 2 pairs shoes. Gave one pair time to aerate and dry bet the 2 pairs.

HiddenAngels

HiddenAngels

Has 8 years experience. 546 Posts

Hourly rounds sksksks

I guarantee you someone is about to get up....or someone has gotten up and the alarm hasn't gone off...LOL

Bluepen

Bluepen

Specializes in Med Surg/Observation. Has 1 years experience. 17 Posts

Day 1: Sleep in during the morning.

Day 2 & 3: Sleep from 9 or 10 am-5 pm. 

Tips on Sleeping. 

- blackout curtain 

- alarm clock that plays beach sounds

- eat breakfast and if it was stressful shift then get breakfast from McDonalds (carbs make you sleepy.)