Post-shift headaches?


I am in my last semester of NS, doing my residency and following the shift schedule of me preceptor. She works 2 12's in a row. For the past 3 times I have worked, I wake up with a major headache the morning after my second 12. It is nice becuase I have that day off, but I still have tons of papers and other homework for school. I LOVE my preceptor and the unit I am on, love nursing and everything is going fabulous, so I do not think stress is an issue. I get enough rest, try to eat OK, and drink H2O. I do get migraines but these are not like those headaches, no nausea, light sensitivity, just a dull ache. Excederin and HeadOn takes the edge off but it does not go away usually all day. Has anyone experienced something like this? Not looking for medical advice, just wondering if this is common.



206 Posts

I work one dayshift Friday, and day-evening doubles Saturdays and Sundays, and I usually have a headache Monday morning too. I think it's just that I'm so tired by 11 on Sunday night, that I fall asleep w/o eating properly, and also, I snore pretty bad, so I'm usually so tired it doesn't wake me up when I'm snoring, which always makes for a headache when I wake.

Specializes in Palliative Care, NICU/NNP.

Work is stressful which used to cause neck tension which lead to a migraine. Also, I didn't get enough water during the shift.

muffie, RN

1,411 Posts

Specializes in cardiac med-surg. Has 25 years experience.


8-12 glasses of h2o

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 37 years experience.

Do you drink more or less caffine when working? Maybe caffine withdrawal.

Also - when did you have your eyes checked last? Maybe you need change in presciption - working all day could be straining your eyes if you have wrong presciption

Finally - how much fresh air do you get? Are you inside all 12 hour shift? Maybe the constant re-cycled air is bothering you. Try to get outside for a quick walk once or twice a shift.

This topic is now closed to further replies.