Starting 3rd shift tonight...

  1. I'm off orientation on the 18th, so with that I'm happy. Looking forward to being on my own. (But not EVER afraid to ask for help, to ask questions etc...). I haven't worked 3rd shift in about 9 months. I liked it a lot when I worked this shift before, but the days following my 2-3 days in a row I was like a zombie. I have no problems falling asleep once I get home and usually feel refreshed when it's time to get up for another shift. But....any advice as to not be so much of a zombie the days I'm NOT working? For 2-3 days I'm exhausted and just want to sleep. Are you like this too? If not, what do you do to feel like a normal human being?

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    About jenrninmi, MSN, RN

    Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 1,980; Likes: 95


  3. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    Try getting up early after your last shift. Sleep maybe until 12 and get up and get busy. I find that if I don't get up and get fully dressed and do stuff that I feel like a slug. Getting up early could help you sleep that night.
  4. by   33-weeker
    I find that Melatonin helps me sleep when I need to, which helps me be awake when I need to. It's cheap and it doesn't require a script.

    If I am feeling like I might not sleep well (esp. sleeping at night on my off days) I take one at bedtime. I sleep much more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed.

    You can find Melatonin with the vitamins in your local store. It comes in 1mg and 3mg doses. It is great for kids, too. They'll be out about 45 min. after they take one. With the ADHD and autism at my house, my kids have trouble sleeping sometimes. We give it with their doctor's blessing.
  5. by   33-weeker
    I agree with the other poster who said get up and get busy. Even so, some days even when I've slept well, I still want to nap. LOL
  6. by   ICRN2008
    I spend two years working full-time 8 hour nights. I found that trying to keep a relatively consistent schedule helps tremendously. However, that is not always possible, especially on the weekends. On the days I had to get up early, I made sure to go outside and get some sunlight on my face right away. My husband also bought some full-spectrum bulbs, and when I first woke up I turned on all the light in the bedroom, bathroom, etc. There's some research to suggest that certain wavelengths of light are important in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, and most artificial light bulbs do not mimic natural light effectively.

    I am kind of wary about trying melatonin. I would like to see more research about the long-term effects before giving it a shot.

    I'm scheduled to start back on nights (12 hour shifts) in March or April, so we'll see how that goes...
  7. by   RainDreamer
    Good luck, Jen!! I know you must be excited and ready to be on your own!

    Personally I LOVE night shift and hated every minute of my day shift orientation, I couldn't wait to get to nights.

    You've already got great advice above. After I work 2 or 3 days in a row, I go home and sleep quite a bit when I get off that last morning. I know a lot of people will either stay up all day or they'll just take a nap for a few hours. I've tried only sleeping for 2 hours once I get home that last morning, but I end up being so tired the rest of my stretch of days off! So now I get home, eat something (so hard to sleep well when you're tummy is grumbling), then lay down for about 5-6 hours. I'm usually always tired enough to go to bed at a decent hour that night too, just because the last few days of working has worn me out! If your schedule allows you to, I would definitely recommend doing that. Don't try to cheat yourself out of sleep that last morning. I mean when you're working dayshift, that last day that you work you go home and go to bed ..... you don't just try and get by with a couple hours of sleep that night.

    And I'm with 33-weeker about the melatonin ..... great stuff and works like a charm!

    I wish you all the best, let us know how it goes!
    Last edit by RainDreamer on Jan 10, '07
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    So how is it going for you?
  9. by   jenrninmi
    3rd shift is going fine. It's not as fast paced as it was when I was doing 3rds in Neuro/Trauma. I find myself being pretty tired by morning because I'm not constantly moving like I was before. Otherwise, no problem getting to sleep when I get home, no problem going to sleep at night either. Thanks for everyone's advice! :spin: