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Night shift help- so tired on days off

Nurses   (189 Views | 0 Replies)
by emtrn13 emtrn13 (New) New Nurse

26 Profile Views; 1 Post

I’ve been working nights (12s) for last 10 months. My hosptial is a big city hosptial, pays well, w coveted jobs and hard to get into, so I expected to work nights, and I don’t want to leave system. Many people I started with who are on other units have gotten to day shift by now but I really have no end in sight with my unit situation. I also want to transfer units after I hit one year, and of course be back to bottom of barrel on nights again. My constant tiredness on days off and always pushing myself to awake for at least some of a normal day is making me depressed. 

At first for a few months I really had no issues with nights. I never have a problem sleeping before my shift or during the day after a shift, and I don’t feel tired at work. I actually feel the most rested days I work bc I sleep a full 7-8 hours. My problems is my days off I feel like I am jet lagged all the time. My SO, who I live with, is a normal 9-5 job and I miss them all the time being gone at work.  I want to be awake when they are on my days off. My main problem is no matter how tired I am, if I go to bed at night- even late ish like 1-3 am on days off- I CANNOT sleep for more than 3-4 hours. If I go to bed at midnight, I’m up at 4 am and I can’t sleep again even tho I am still tired. I’m then a zombie until 1 pm and I nap again. I’m still tired after that. I can’t get more than 4 hour chunks (often less) of sleep on my days off and it’s killing me. No energy to do things in between. And what good is being awake at 6 am on a Saturday? I have never been good at falling asleep quickly or taking naps.

I sometimes take melatonin days I work but I don’t want to have to always take it to sleep through a night ....but maybe I just should always be taking Benadryl or a sleep aid so I can switch over and get >4 hrs?

Any advice on switching back and forth to be able to do some normal people things ? I have to work nights again bc I want to  transfer - want more critical care for my career goals as NP in future. But I legit want to take a boring outpatient job rn bc I can’t enjoy the days off and feel like work is controlling everything. Also worried abt my lack of sleep effect on my health 😕

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