Saturday, November 29, 2008

Calling All Night Nurses

For those of you that work the night shift, share with us your strategy for getting a full night's sleep the next day. Do you go to sleep immediately when you get home and then wake up with a few hours before your next shift? Or do you stay up a few hours after getting home, then wake up right before your next shift? Do you block out all the light? Do you use any type of white noise? Ear plugs?

My wife comes home and gets ready for bed immediately. Sometimes she could stay up a couple hours, but most mornings she's pretty worthless by the time she gets into her PJ's and brushes her teeth. Then she gets up about 1530 and spends a few hours with the fam. We have heavy felt curtains for the windows in our bedroom, and she uses a oscillating fan for white noise. Most days she's sleeps pretty well. Sometimes not so much.

How about you?


  1. I work the graves at the local er. Basically I am always a day behind in sleep. I come home and sleep for a few hours, then I get up and do some school stuff, then take a nap from 7pm-9pm. I get about 6 hours of sleep broken up throughout the day.

  2. Hey- Home by 8AM, I get my kids off to school and eat some breakfast, in bed by 9AM, sleep by 0930, then up at 4PMish to greet my kids at the bus at 1615, make dinner, out of the house by 6 PM. I feel well rersted with this schedule but after 3 nighst in a row I usually have a sleep-a-thon.

    Good luck to your wife!

  3. For me it depends on if I work the next night or not. If I do I usually come in, strip the MRSA infected scrubs off, take a benadryl, shower, bed until 5 pm then do it all over again. I have blackout shades and a ceiling fan. I sleep ok, but it's more like a long nap than a good night's sleep. I always wake up extremely groggy. If I do not work the next night I will sometimes stay away for as long as I can, maybe take a nap, sometimes not and get to bed early. I require a lot of sleep, so I may sleep 12 hours after working a night shift. I can't hang. lol

  4. I am not yet a nurse, but I used to work the night shift for several years as a network operations center engineer. I had to use a lot of tricks and sometimes I had to take the Unisom.

    I used foil to cover up my windows or I bought cheap black sheets and nailed those up. I usually tried to watch a little tv to get my mind off things or, the best of all, listen to a book on tape that was really soothing that I'd heard many times, such as the Lord of the Rings or anything by Garrison Keillor.

    The main thing for me was maintaining my routine - if I changed things up on my weekends it just ruined me. And alcohol always made it worse, so I avoided that. I'm sure exercise would have been the best thing, but well. Everyone knows how hard that is to keep to.

  5. i'm lucky if i get 5 hours of sleep; usually it's between 3-4 hours before another night. it's crazy i know. that's why my brain is fried. ear plugs work, but with 2 kids never having the sense of full understanding why mommy has to sleep at daytime, it IS hard when they are back from school.

  6. I worked nights for 6 years, thought I was "made for night shift." If I had my 'druthers I'd sleep till about 10, then stay up till about 1-2am. But the world doesn't work that way.

    I got to the point where I'd HAVE to take Benadryl to sleep, then wake up with a Benadryl Hangover: groggy and disoriented (which isn't much different than my usual just-waking state, just lasted longer!).

    Then I went to days. Holy crap, I felt like a new woman!! Never, never, will I do that to my body again.

    Coincidentally, I developed Crohn's while on nights, and it has since gone completely into remission....hmmm?