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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Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.
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?

From what I can tell by talking to coworkers...

If you don't have problems sleeping during the day, then it's usually best to work your night shifts all in a row, then have a bunch of days off in between. If you CAN'T sleep well during the day, then it's best to space your night shifts out so you get good rest in between. Does that make sense?

It's really hard on most people's bodies to switch from daytime sleeping to nighttime sleeping all the time. That's why I much prefer working my own night shifts clumped together, and if I only happen to have one night off in between shifts, I'll stay up most of that night so I don't screw myself up.

nursescar

47 Posts

From what I can tell by talking to coworkers...

If you don't have problems sleeping during the day, then it's usually best to work your night shifts all in a row, then have a bunch of days off in between. If you CAN'T sleep well during the day, then it's best to space your night shifts out so you get good rest in between. Does that make sense?

It's really hard on most people's bodies to switch from daytime sleeping to nighttime sleeping all the time. That's why I much prefer working my own night shifts clumped together, and if I only happen to have one night off in between shifts, I'll stay up most of that night so I don't screw myself up.

I wouldn't really worry about depending on meds---see how tired you are. Personally,

I have never had trouble sleeping in the day time. I have a situation similar to yours

but I will be working 2 8's and 2 12's monday through thurs. nights. It was really for me, being an LPN, the only way to get back in to L&D (I had worked there years ago)

so I took the offer......I am still really excited- because they have a great preceptor

program, and are also training me to scrub in the OB Or. Let me know and keep in touch.

mstigerlily

433 Posts

I am a new grad and chose nights even though I am not really a "night" person. I like the slower pace at nights.

We work 3 12's, I schedule myself for 2 days on, 3 days off and it seems to work well for me. 2 nights in a row is enough to get in the groove (and have charge give you the same patients!) but not enough to get wiped out.

Typical schedule for me: this week I worked Sun/Mon night so Sunday I took a nap in the afternoon with my son for about 2 hrs, ate a leisurely dinner with my kids and left about 6:15 for work. Got home at 8am, nursed my son, fell asleep about 8:30, slept until 3:00 (waking once at 12:00 to nurse my son again). Another dinner with kids then went back for Monday night. Now Tuesday I only slept until noon then got up. Why sleep all day when you're just going back to sleep?

I felt a bit hung over the rest of Tuesday and Wed morning but by Wed afternoon was back to normal. Today, Thursday I feel fine. Tomorrow (Fri) I will do Fri/Sat night then be off until Wed/Thurs then off until Mon/Tues.

I have always been able to fall asleep anytime, anywhere. I don't need to take any sleep aids. I just come home, take a quick 60 second rinse in the shower, put on my sweats and climb in bed with my son to nurse him and fall right asleep. My husband or mom take care of him when I'm sleeping and do the pick/up drop off of my other two kids at school. I have blackout curtains on my windows and put earplugs in and turn my phones off. Voila! I sleep like a rock.

Melissa

sazeyplus2

6 Posts

Thanks so much for the info. I feel better knowing people are managing. I guess just like anything else, it will be an adjustment-hopefully not too rough. I'll keep you all posted! :)

KimBear182

4 Posts

My hospital shift is 8p to 8a and I usually get home around 9ish watch a little tv and then get sleepy and will sleep until around 4ish to get ready again for the night.

Wynne77

8 Posts

How many hours of sleep do you typically get each day??

I used to have such a hard time sleeping after night shift because of the constant switch between days and nights. Last October I started working pernanent 12 hr nights and am loving it. I work from 7-7. I get home by 8 am and usually stay for an hour or so. I sleep soundly from 9am to 5pm; maybe getting up once to use the bathroom. I don't think it's the nights that make people sleep-deprived, it's the switching back and forth between days and nights.

Alicia18

126 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics.

I try to at least sleep from 7am-12pm, but usually my body won't allow me to sleep much longer than that. My sleep is REALLY cut up by tossing-and-turning, probably because I'm only working nights part time, and living days the rest of the time. I can't wait until I'm out of school and am able to just LIVE on a nightshift schedule. I might actually get some real sleep when I work then! :chuckle

So, yeah, I definitely agree with you, Wynne! :rolleyes:

Zoey65

9 Posts

I worked nights only 4 weekends and QUIT! I only slept 2 hours when I first got home, or not at all. I would be up 36 hours with no sleep. I am now going back to the only job I could find after being out of nursing for 10 years and the only one open is nights. I only hope I can hold out.

tat

2 Posts

I have been working nights for over 13 yrs. I generally sleep from 8:30am-4pm. I go to the gym before going to work. I've tried going to the gym when I get off in the morning but I am just too sluggish.

suebird3

4,007 Posts

i just got off my 3rd round of 11-7's......yes! the first 2 times.....usually 8-8 1/2. this time, varied from 5-7 hours. just couldn't sleep to save myself.

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[color=#483d8b]now to adjust to working 3-11's again.....

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[color=#483d8b]suebird :p

New CCU RN

796 Posts

Right now I sleep like a log from when I get home til 5pm - so usually 8-8:30 til 5p. I work 36 hours so three twelves. I am nervous about what will happen come July - we are having our first baby. So things should be interesting then. Luckily my husband has a flex schedule so most weeks he works 830a-530p four days a week. Usually he has fridays or mondays off. So we are going to try and work around that.

We don't have any family in town & infant care is ridiculous - so we are going to try w/o a babysitter.

Specializes in LTC/Peds/ICU/PACU/CDI.
10:00am to 5:00pm.
sounds 'bout right :p.

cheers,

moe

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