Normal to be so tired on my days off? (I work day shift)

Nurses General Nursing


Sleep has been a struggle for me since I was a teenager. I was convinced all through middle school, high school, and college that mornings were the devil and I was meant to live by the moon.

Fast forward to becoming a nurse... I started off on nights and loved it at first. I was wide awake when my shift started, and dead tired and ready for bed when my shift ended. I would get home at 8-830 in the morning and immediately pass out until 5 in the afternoon without issue. Slowly, but surely though, I fell into the groove of not being able to fall asleep until noon, while still having to wake up at 5 PM for work, just like when I lived by the sun- could never fall asleep until at least midnight and would have to be top at 5 or 6 AM to start my day. So I made the switch back to days, because if I was going to constantly sleep like crap, I at least wanted to be on the same schedule as the rest of society.

So now here I am, still dragging my feet to get up in the morning for work, being tired all day, for some reason not being able to fall asleep until midnight no matter how exhausted I am, and on my days off I will literally sleep until 2:30 in the afternoon and have absolutely no energy to do anything. I just got a full blood panel ran on me, and everything came back completely perfect. Not one blood cell or chem level was out of place. My TSH was perfectly normal as well.

I tell myself everyday that I should drag myself to the gym or just do SOMETHING, but I don't want to. I am exhausted. I just want to sleep and lay in bed all day. I know that it is wrong, but I don't know what to do about it or where to turn. Anyone else feel this way? Or has anyone else felt this way and found a solution? Please let me know.

Every time I tell my PCP about fatigue, they do thyroid checks and tell me nothing is wrong. When I was anemic, they could not say that. I would certainly bring the subject up with your PCP, as long as you are bothered by fatigue. Meanwhile you can work on self help measures.

BTW, force yourself to go to the gym or just walk around the block. I found that daily exercise helped a lot.

I've said this on a few threads, but the Phillips light alarm clock has been a life saver! They vary in costs, but the general purpose to gradually wake you up by mimicking the sunrise. I worked night shifts for 5 years and now work still a night owl but the gradual life got exposure before I wake up fully really helps me feel less groggy, supplemented with going to bed early and using melatonin. This helped me but really you need to get assessed by your PCP if you are still having issues.

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes.

I'm going for labs and a PCP visit this week. I am exhausted. Granted, I am perimenopausal, but I can sleep anywhere, anytime. I make it through work all right, but when I am home. I can sleep literally the whole day if I don't force myself to get up. It sucks.

Specializes in CVICU, Critical Care Transport, PICU,.

Have you tried Melatonin?

Its available OTC and safe enough to give to kids (we use it in the PICU) I use 5mg tabs (NOW brand) and helps to get the sleepy feeling started.

Also do you have a "blue light" filter on your devices? The back light on electronic devices have been found to screw up circadian rhythms.

Prescription wise Trazodone is supposed to be one of the safer sleeping meds-its actually an antidepressant at higher doses, but is frequently used at low doses (50-100mg) as a sleeping aid. I have used it before with no side effects and I am usually super sensitive to any sleeping or pain meds.

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych.

Sleep apnea can make you feel like you can never get enough sleep. Just an idea.

A an evaluation for sleep apnea couldn't hurt, but it seems like you have general issue with sleep.

I found the afternoon shift was perfect for me. Get up when I want, go to bed when I want.

Sweet dreams.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I appreciate them! I actually used melatonin at one time, but I quickly built up a tolerance to it and it didn't work for me anymore. I think my next step is a request for trazadone. I will look into the phone lighting thing, and the gradual alarm clock!

also, not sure sleep apnea is an issue with me. I'm of normal weight (I know, people still have sleep apnea even if they're not overweight- but it's not as likely), and my husband reports that I only snore when I am sick.

I'm a night owl, but I seem to do best with a late morning/or afternoon shift. When I worked nights I found that I was ok in the winter but couldn't get to sleep in the summertime. I finally figured out that it was getting home after the sun was up. I also find I'm more exhausted/less motivated the day after I work. So I try to schedule my work days in a row.

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

I haven't read the other replies yet, but I am a night owl as well. I don't like Rx sleep aids because most of them leave me groggy the next day...except for Ambien, which doesn't work at low doses, but makes me goofy at higher doses. I do take OTCs like diphenhydramine or dimenhydronate (sp?? generic Dramamine).

If I fall asleep before 2230 though, I WILL wake up by 0200-0300. Added to my sleep patterns, in my experience day shift is the busiest.

I love 1500-2300 shift from the sleep perspective.

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.
I'm going for labs and a PCP visit this week. I am exhausted. Granted, I am perimenopausal, but I can sleep anywhere, anytime. I make it through work all right, but when I am home. I can sleep literally the whole day if I don't force myself to get up. It sucks.

Perimenopausal? Research (not giving medical advice!) Progest cream by Emerita. I use it for sleep and incarceration prevention.

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