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Posted: 1/24/2006 5:19:40 AM EDT
I work 3 12hr shifts a week from 7pm-7am. My job can be stressful at times (nurse) and sometimes it takes me a while to wind down in the mornings and get some sleep. Problem is I need to get a good rested sleep so I can handle the next 12 hr shift. I usually work 2 days on and off 3 days. I sleep normal night time hrs on my off days.

I have resorted to taking 25mg of benadryl some days when I can't seem to get tired. Its much easier to sleep on a cloudy day than a sunny one even if its really dark in my bedroom.

Any better ideas? I do not want to rely on benadryl/ambien/restoril or any other med as a sleep aid. Looking for natural remedies or techniques that will help me get to sleep and be able to work well another shift.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:36:01 AM EDT
About a shot, shot and a half of Wild Turkey did it for me. Don't use beer, that will make you want to get up and pee halfway through the "night."

Also, run a fan right next to the bed. The fan produces white noise which helps block out other sounds (cars, etc) that might disrupt your sleep.

Lastly, I found that making the transition to mids properly is pretty important too. The night before, I would go to bed at 10pm, get up at 3am, then stay awake as long as I could, usually 12pm. I would then go back to sleep until 5pm, get up and go to work. Made it seem more like a normal "morning," though the sun was going in the wrong direction.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:36:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 5:37:16 AM EDT by DOFCOD]
9 Mike-Mike... I too, work the 7 pm - to 7 am shift, and almost have the same schedule you do...I'm a Sheriff's deputy and patrol a rural part of the county. For me, I don't like taking any kind "sleep aid" what I do though is try to keep my sleep schedule close to the work schedule. I've found that after a night of fighting crime and suppressing evil that I can go right to sleep provided I haven't drank too much coffee. One thing I do is on my third night off is stay up real late so I will sleep longer during the day before returning to the vampire shift.

Also after having done 20+ in the Army I can just about go to sleep anytime, anywhere on command...

+ on the fan as mentioned above by LX

I would recommend speaking to you doctor...
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:41:03 AM EDT
Working offshore, I also do 12 hour shifts, most often 6pm to 6am. I rotate my schedule to nights when I go to work, and switch them back around to days when I get home. The easiest way I've found to do it is to get a normal night's rest before you switch, then stay up by whatever means necessary until the end of your shift...go to bed naturally wake up and go to work as normal. Works for me, YMMV.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:46:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By limaxray:
About a shot, shot and a half of Wild Turkey did it for me. Don't use beer, that will make you want to get up and pee halfway through the "night.".



Grown men don't "Pee" dude.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:46:24 AM EDT
Simple, i lay down and go to sleep. After 13 years of shift work i can fall asleep any time i want. But the biggest thing that helps is stay on nights, and maintain simular hours on your days off. I sleep from 7AM to 3PM during my work week. So on my days off i will adjust it only slightly to sleep from 4AM to noon. works better than flip flopping your work week and weekend.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:47:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:

Originally Posted By limaxray:
About a shot, shot and a half of Wild Turkey did it for me. Don't use beer, that will make you want to get up and pee halfway through the "night.".



Grown men don't "Pee" dude.



Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:51:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 5:52:48 AM EDT by Dave308]
I work a 12 hour shift, I swing from days to nights. When working nights I only get about 4 hour of sleep during the day. I have been doing this 25 years and I will never get use to it. My built in body clock will not let me sleep during the day.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:05:24 AM EDT
Black-out curtains, white noise generator....and all my closest neighbors know that I am one of our tactical team leaders.


Sheep
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:15:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 6:16:23 AM EDT by limaxray]

Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:

Originally Posted By limaxray:
About a shot, shot and a half of Wild Turkey did it for me. Don't use beer, that will make you want to get up and pee halfway through the "night.".



Grown men don't "Pee" dude.



Sorry, been around the toddlers too long......
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:28:36 PM EDT
Heavy curtains to block light and outside noise, air filter in the bedroom to generate white noise and a good belt of scotch.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:32:43 PM EDT
Lay my head on my pillow.... The issue I have is staying asleep... I wake up every hour two....
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:32:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SheepDog_556:
Black-out curtains, white noise generator....<snip>


Sheep


+1

That's what I did when I worked overnight
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:33:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Simple, i lay down and go to sleep. After 13 years of shift work i can fall asleep any time i want. But the biggest thing that helps is stay on nights, and maintain simular hours on your days off. I sleep from 7AM to 3PM during my work week. So on my days off i will adjust it only slightly to sleep from 4AM to noon. works better than flip flopping your work week and weekend.



+1
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:43:05 PM EDT
Some people are not ever able to fully adjust to shift work, others are. It's all chemistry, afterall. Melatonin either affects you or it don't.

But, even a "good" off-shifter has to maintain some kind of regular schedule with it or the sleep cycles get really messed up.

I maintain it by doing several things. First, routine. Always come home, relax for a half an hour (sit and watch TV, don't fart around or do things). No caffeine close to sleepy time, no food. Then, I black out the lights (light-blocking curtains), put on some white noise (fan noise is what does it for me), and lay down and snooze.

I also am very careful not to cut my sleep short, even if its tempting to get up early and do things. I maintain my 7 hours of sleep daily and try to at least partially retain this schedule on my days off.

If I do all those things, I sleep very well and always have. Screw with it enough, and I start to really suffer which can be dangerous for your health and those you might treat as a nurse.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:48:49 PM EDT

Black-out curtains, white noise generator....



Pretty much the same here. I work 12+ hours every night, no days off. I usually hit the gym before bed time in the morning though. Company provided trailer is home and I have the windows blacked out and turn the fan/ac on for noise wether it is needed or not.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:52:31 PM EDT
merlot
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:57:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 9mm4me:
I work 3 12hr shifts a week from 7pm-7am. My job can be stressful at times (nurse) and sometimes it takes me a while to wind down in the mornings and get some sleep. Problem is I need to get a good rested sleep so I can handle the next 12 hr shift. I usually work 2 days on and off 3 days. I sleep normal night time hrs on my off days.

I have resorted to taking 25mg of benadryl some days when I can't seem to get tired. Its much easier to sleep on a cloudy day than a sunny one even if its really dark in my bedroom.

Any better ideas? I do not want to rely on benadryl/ambien/restoril or any other med as a sleep aid. Looking for natural remedies or techniques that will help me get to sleep and be able to work well another shift.



I work four 10-hr shifts, 10p-8am, and I try to keep my sleep pattern as close to the same on a day to day basis as I can. I'm up on my days off about the same hours that I am on my work days. The body WILL adjust to the routine, after a bit the body becomes used to going to sleep at the time you want it to. On some days, If I am too wound up, I may stay up awhile on the PC to wind down...or pop a couple tylenols and then go lay down.

HArdest part for me is our bedroom curtains are not light blocking...so I may have to get a sleep mask cause sometimes it's not comfortable burying my face in the pillow to block the light.

No Expert
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:57:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SheepDog_556:
Black-out curtains, white noise generator....<snip>



I've been working midnights for more than half of my 18 years on the job and this works for me. Still, 6 hours straght is about all I ever get. On a weekend, I may be able to sneak in a nap for another 1.5 to 2 hours.



Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:59:08 PM EDT
I have been working mids for the past 2 1/2 months, 12 hrs, 3 on 3 off then 4 on 4 off. I take Melitonin and it does the trick. I also use soft foam ear plugs and have one of those "sound machines" that simulates, streams, waterfalls, rain, and ocean, really helps.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 10:59:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 11:06:08 PM EDT by ecgRN]
There used to be a place here we would go for "breakfast". Pool hall with greasy spoon kitchen.

Steak, eggs, pitcher of Fat Tire...good times. The only problem is that it would be noon before you knew it.

Seriously though, I never really had trouble after 12's. I was usually beat(en) when I got home.........


........especially if I had been out drinking till noon. The wife never really liked that much.


What kind of nursing do you do?
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:06:09 PM EDT
I keep the same schedual on my off days. I go to bed at non and get up at 7 or 8. Consistancy works best for me.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:06:25 PM EDT
I'm a 6pm-6am guy also, I agree with what others have said regarding your body and its sleep schedule. I think that some folks just don't ever get used to night shifts, I was made for it it seems.
The main problem I've had is when I try to go back to a traditional schedule on my off days. No matter what I do I always have trouble getting to sleep at night so I just stopped fighting it. Now when on days off I just stay up when I'm not tired and sleep when I am. During my work week, I can pound caffeine all night and still rack out by 0830. I usually get home, chit chat with the wife when she gets up and watch a little TV and just clock out by about 0830. Hope you can find a solution, fatigue can really make your job difficult. I've tried the booze method on days off but just end up plowed and playing music at 4:30am anyway.

Good luck
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:17:28 PM EDT
I have been working midnights for the last 2 years in my job, the maintaining of similar hours on your days off helps a lot. I know ther are time you need to change back to regular hours, but I try to stay as close to my hours as I can. I also do the modifying by a little bit on my days off, going to bed about 3 or 4 and getting up around 11 in the morning. I get a semi normal weekend tht way and it's easier to get back into work mode.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:35:17 PM EDT
I work 11pm - 7am

I sleep noon - 8pm

by noon, sleep ain't a problem.

On Saturday morning after work, I sleep 2 or 3 hours as soon as I get home and I am up for the day and back on normal time.

On Monday when I switch back to bat time I might take 2 tylenol PM pills to help me sleep.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 11:54:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 12:57:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Bear:
Only thing I would add is unplug your phone or turn off the ringer. Man I hated telemarketers when I worked nights.



I used to answer the phone the first time it rang with a telemarketer. As soon as they started talking, I said "Can you hold on for just a second", then I'd put the lay the phone down and go back to bed. Just leave them there, wasting their time for a few minutes before they figure it out.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:35:12 AM EDT
I have been in law enforcement for 24 years. Mostly on midnights.

I have been working 1830 to 0600 for the last five years. Three on/ four off, four on/three off. Then you have court during the day.

I can sleep anywhere and any time. I've trained myself to get sleep when you can. Most of the time I work with 2 to 3 hours sleep.

My bedroom if almost as dark as death. Just alittle light to see with if I have to go to the bathroom and "PEE".

I love my job.


___________________________




Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:40:55 AM EDT
I use melatonin. for me i have to take it rt when i lay down. its got about a 1/2 hr window. works great. get it at any pharmacy/drug store.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:44:07 AM EDT
Easy - work hard and long enough - go home and crash!
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:44:25 AM EDT
I can pass out real quick at 7:00 AM after working all night. The problem is staying asleep for more than four hours.
What works for me is to take 2 Excedrin PM or Tylenol PMs and then I usually can sleep for 7-8 hours. Give it a try.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 1:46:59 AM EDT
CSPAN

No Really
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 2:25:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:06:05 AM EDT
I have around 0 ability to sleep at night unless I've either gone a day or so without sleep already or I've done something to make me really really tired.
Sometimes I can be really tired during the day after a day or so of no sleep and when it's night I'll be much more awake and alert again. For some reason I'm just nocturnal, it started in the army and progressed to being up all night most of the time. I love the night.
Sleeping in the day, particularly the morning is easy for me. It's also warranted to mention that a lot of my sleep is more long naps, rather than a full 6 or 8 hours sleep.
As I type this I'm gonna be going to bed for 1 of those in a few.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:33:20 AM EDT
Well i work 1600-0400 and when I get out, I will go home and watch TV and unwind until 530 or so. Then I hope in bed and I can sleep right through until 1500 or so. Wake up, shower and get ready to eat to work agian.

If it is my last night shift, I got right to sleep and get up around 11 so I still have some time to do something on my days off.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 3:28:55 PM EDT
I work 6pm to 6am, four days on four off. I sleep like a baby during my work week....It's the off days that kill me. My schedule is all screwed up for those days.
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