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Sleep-night shift

Nurses   (2,627 Views 17 Comments)
by Vtachy1 Vtachy1 (Member)

Vtachy1 has 25 years experience and specializes in BNAT instructor, ICU, Hospice,triage.

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I doubt it. I was occasionally, to too frequently, taking various sleeping pills. Got home from a vacation and could not find my sleeping pills that I had taken with me anywhere!

I stopped taking them cold turkey and have felt much better in many ways.

I stopped obsessing about sleep. I stopped "counting" how many hours sleep did I get. I go to bed, read my Kindle, if I don't feel sleepy I simply relax and accept (half seriously, half jokingly) that I am not going to sleep at all, no big deal, and read. I do eventually fall asleep. When I wake up 2 - 4 hours later I can tell it is still early, but I don't look at the clock, I get my Kindle and think...okay that is all the sleep I am going to get, and usually do fall asleep again.

I have gotten 3 - 4 hours sleep and if I am honest with myself feel fine the next day, as long as I don't obsess over how many hour I slept!

I have gotten 6 - 8 hours solid sleep and felt lousy all day.

Yeah when there is 4 - 5 nights in a row where I don't sleep well it isn't fun, but those times are rare.

It is like someone trying to diet and thinking all day about what food. They are obsessed with food and the diet won't work. People to often obsess about their sleep hours and make themselves crazy.

That is so true! and helpful!

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What worked for me was a whopping 300 mg of Seroquel. Should have put me down like an elephant, but nope...I got about 6 hours of sleep and felt fine. Your mileage may vary of course.

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience as a ASN, RN.

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Not all of us are meant for night shift. I am doing it now and tolerating it ok because getting up at 4:30-5:00 in the morning is NEVER going to work for me. I cannot wait until I can go back to more "regular" hours of 8-5. As much as I hate working 5 days a week, these 12 hour shifts are killing me right now.

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I worked 18 years on the night shift. For the last 8 years, I have worked day shift. So at noon today I have an interview for a night shift position.

My question is this: Is there a sleeping pill strong enough to help me sleep, if I do take this position? I struggle very badly with sleep. When I was younger I could do it on no sleep. But the older I get the harder it was to work night shift, I am a terrible sleeper.

Any success with a sleeping pill strong enough for night shift workers? I tried everything in the book, when I worked nights, so try not to give me all the advice "make your room dark, cool, sleep hygiene." because I feel like I have tried every single thing on the planet. I tried melatonin for years, may as well take a sugar pill, it does nothing.

i used to have very bad insomnia. I also work nights 2x per week and long shifts. Now, I sleep 6 hrs on my long shifts (purely because of no time to sleep more) and on days off i sleep 7-8+ hours. And i had BAD insomnia.

Light regulation is crucial. At the end of my shift i wear blue blocking glasses. You can go on amazon and research this. Buy the sunblock + blueblocking kind for the drive home. The regular blue blocking without sun blocking can be used on days you dont work.

Thats another thing - you have to stabilize your lifestyle patterns. You can NOT live in the daytime anymore if you accept a night position. Every day you have to sleep approximately the same time. Iin my case, on my long shifts i hit the bed around 7:45-8am. On day off work, i sleep at about 6am. I never ever live in daytime and every day i wake up at 2pm. The stability of patterns is as crucial to maintaining a circadian rhythm as light control.

You know to keep room dark which is good, but is it REALLY dark? I have 3 layers of black out curtains. I have a red curtain, a heavy brown curtain, and a normal blackout curtain. My room is dark when all the shades are drawn, literally black.

Waking up at the same time every day, like going to bed the same time every day, is crucial. As stated, I wake up about 2pm, every day. My body does this naturally now, buti also use a sunrise alarm to assist on work days when doing shorter sleep/longer shifts. Upon waking make SURE you see very bright light, especially important in the dark months as a nightshift worker because the sun will start to set sooner than you can go out to see it to program your body rhythm. So, you will also need to buy a light box. Super bright light upon waking, as in a light box, is just as important to cement your circadian rhythm, as the regular wake+sleep times, and the darkness while sleeping.

Finally, there is meds. I use low dose seroquel, which has helped extend my sleep from 6 hrs to 7-8 hrs. Almost all people find seroquel to be like MONDO for sleep. However, i bet if you do the above protocol I describe you probably won't even need it.

The bottom line is, if you are night shift, you're NIGHT SHIFT. You cant ever live in day, not even on your day off, not even because you want to go to lunch with your friends. It will royally mess your body regulation up and you will never sleep.

Night shift can be done but it takes a big commitment to controlling light and sleep times like a nazi. Most people are unwilling/unable to do this and just end up sleep deprived forever.

Edited by NooNieNursie

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1,944 Visitors; 91 Posts

What worked for me was a whopping 300 mg of Seroquel. Should have put me down like an elephant, but nope...I got about 6 hours of sleep and felt fine. Your mileage may vary of course.

300 of seroquel is pretty massive. I find with seroquel the sleep benefit stops after 75mg, then it becomes stimulating with no further sleep benefit. It is after all, an antidepressant at low doses (like 150- 300mg) and only becomes more of a downer at much higher levels where its antipsychotic.

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