Night shift nurses...How many hours of sleep do you get?

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  1. Night shift nurses...houw many hours of sleep do you get?

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grammyr

321 Posts

Unplug the phone in your bedroom, close the door and turn on a fan. I use a box fan sitting on the floor year round. It will drown out some of the road and kid noises. If all else fails, do like I do. I take 50mg of Benadryl when I get home at about 730 and by the time I read the paper and get ready for bed, I am sleepy and I can sleep hard for about 6-7 hours and I'm good to go after that.

You may have to start with a teaspoon of Benadryl liquid so you don't feel druggy when you get up.

RN4NICU, LPN, LVN

1,711 Posts

Another princess here. I get at least 7-8 hours. I turn my phones off and let any calls go to voicemail. I leave my cell on with the knowledge that the only people who have the number know only to wake me for a dire emergency. Needless to say, the hospital does NOT have that number.

Ruby Vee, BSN

17 Articles; 14,027 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.
i realized that was kind of a silly thing to ask--what kind of phones......i am just trying to be prepared......these fancy at&t phones we have do not have turn offs on them![/q

i have an older phone with a ringer that turns off -- i turn off the ringer in the bedroom and turn down the volume on the answering machine in the kitchen just below my bedroom. i have black-out shades on the bedroom windows and two large "industrial strength" fans for white noise. i take 50 mg. of benadryl when i get home from work, and then eat a little something, shower and by then i'm sleepy. the first time i wake up to go to the bathroom (generally about 3-4 hours after i go to sleep) i take another benadryl. i can get 6-8 hours of sleep this way.

when i'm working days, i'm lucky to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

ruby

nursescar

47 Posts

i realized that was kind of a silly thing to ask--what kind of phones......i am just trying to be prepared......these fancy at&t phones we have do not have turn offs on them![/q

i have an older phone with a ringer that turns off -- i turn off the ringer in the bedroom and turn down the volume on the answering machine in the kitchen just below my bedroom. i have black-out shades on the bedroom windows and two large "industrial strength" fans for white noise. i take 50 mg. of benadryl when i get home from work, and then eat a little something, shower and by then i'm sleepy. the first time i wake up to go to the bathroom (generally about 3-4 hours after i go to sleep) i take another benadryl. i can get 6-8 hours of sleep this way.

when i'm working days, i'm lucky to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep.

ruby

okay, but don'tyou wake with a "drug" hang over, taking benadryl like that ?

Ruby Vee, BSN

17 Articles; 14,027 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

okay, but don'tyou wake with a "drug" hang over, taking benadryl like that ?

sometimes -- i have one right now. but a drug hangover goes away in a few hours -- and i've had 7 hours of sleep! the way you feel on 45 minutes of sleep a day is way worse than a drug hangover!

ruby

nursescar

47 Posts

sometimes -- i have one right now. but a drug hangover goes away in a few hours -- and i've had 7 hours of sleep! the way you feel on 45 minutes of sleep a day is way worse than a drug hangover!

ruby

i see what you mean.

Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I usually get about six hours, but that's the same amount I get when I'm off as well. My body just wakes up after about that much sleep. I don't have kids or anything, so I don't have anyone else's schedule to deal with.

I don't go to bed until 11am or noon. I run my errands after work, go home, have a snack, watch some TV. When Gilmore Girls is over at 11, it's bedtime. I don't get up until 5:30 or 6:00, and leave for work at 6:30pm.

I much prefer to do this than to go straight to bed when I get home. This way, I'm not completely falling asleep as I leave work at 8am because my "bedtime" isn't until 11. Many of my coworkers report almost falling asleep on the way home, getting in the house, and collapsing on the bed to pass out. Then they'll get up at 2pm and do a ton of stuff before work. To me, that's totally backwards. "Normal" people get up, go to work, run errands, eat dinner, watch TV, and THEN go to bed. They usually don't wake up at 2am and do a bunch of stuff, then come home from work and fall dead asleep.

Just what works for me.

Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Though I am a big fan of Benadryl (for everything from allergies to insomnia to motion sickness to plain old anxiety), I try not to take it too much for sleep. A GREAT alternative, though it may sound silly, is Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra tea. My mom gave the original Sleepytime tea to us as kids to help us sleep when we were sick, so I guess it's very nostalgic for me. The "extra" ingredient is valarien, and I'll tell ya, it knocks me on my butt every time. Plus, it's so relaxing to sit in bed or on the couch, reading, and sipping a cup of tea in the morning.

A good alternative for someone who wants to try something more natural.

Rose B

37 Posts

:sleep: I'm a night shift person by choice. I find the "quieter" nights are easier on me physically. Right now I work the "baylor" hours 2/12's on Sat/Sun. My room is darkened, the ringer on the phone is down, I have a beeper for emergencies, and the hospital does not have my cell phone number. I also don't have little ones to worry about, and a husband who totally supports my sleep habits. I do stay up late on my days off, and sleep later in the morning, but I'm also on call many nights for L&D. I get 7-8 hours of sleep without sleep aids. My biggest problem is when I go somewhere on vacation, you have to totally change your sleep habits. That's where benadryl comes in handy.

JeannieT

15 Posts

I worked a job that was graveyard and this is what I did to get 8 hours each night:

-Blackened my windows in the bedroom

-Took melatonin pills

There is scientific evidence that night workers have a higher incidence of breast cancer (due to the lack of a melatonin produced by their bodies when they sleep during daylight hours).

Melatonin pills are an effective antioxidant and are the natural sleep pill (you don't wake up groggy and disoriented).

Hope that helps :)

Jeannie

nursescar

47 Posts

I worked a job that was graveyard and this is what I did to get 8 hours each night:

-Blackened my windows in the bedroom

-Took melatonin pills

There is scientific evidence that night workers have a higher incidence of breast cancer (due to the lack of a melatonin produced by their bodies when they sleep during daylight hours).

Melatonin pills are an effective antioxidant and are the natural sleep pill (you don't wake up groggy and disoriented).

Hope that helps :)

Jeannie

so when do you take the melatonin? when you go to sleep or when you are awake?

thanks.

sazeyplus2

6 Posts

Frankly, it sounds like working night shift is a nightmare! :eek:I'm freakin' out a little because I just accepted a position in L&D working 3 (12's) each week. I have 3 kids- 5, 8, 10. planned on doing all others said, in bed by 9am, up by 2:45 (to pick up kids from school), darkened room, no phone, etc. I've oftened wondered about the sleep-aid thing. Many night nurses seem to rely on Benadryl. Is this ok on a regular basis? I mainly want to be safe for my patients, and not torture myself and my family by being exhausted all the time; am I asking too much??

Also, how crazy is it to have to work one night, have the next day or two off, then work 2 nights in a row- and never have it be consistent, ya know? How does your body ever adjust?

Any words of wisdom would be great :uhoh21:

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