Night Shift Nurse: Finally, A good night’s (day’s) sleep!

Night Shift Nurse: Finally, A good night’s (day’s) sleep!

Many night shift nurses have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  Check these tips to help you get a great night (or day’s) sleep.

Insomnia:  Insomnia is trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. Episodes may come and go (episodic), last up to 3 weeks (short-term), or be long-lasting (chronic).

Create Darkness:

Two great ways to create darkness to help you sleep better during the day are to use Sleep mask like this one by Sleep Master or to create a dark room by using some sort of Black-out shade or window covering like the one pictured here by Shift Shade.

Limit Noise:

Turn off your cell phone, and any other items that may distract you from sleeping.  White noise is useful for some to block out any external noises like the neighbors lawn mower or kids playing.  Try this White Noise: Sound Therapy by Conair

Herbal Sleep Aides

An occasional use of sleep aids may help get you to sleep if you are having trouble on a particular occasion. Get the lightest dose you can, and don’t use daily. Using sleep aids daily can cause dependency and drowsiness during your shift. Check with your physician and make sure that there aren’t any contraindications with any prescription medications you are taking. Check these Natural Sleep Aides

Other Tips:

  • Get plenty of regular exercise

  • Set a sleep schedule and try to stick to it even on your days off.

  • Set regular meals times.

  • Make an effort to get a moderate amount of sun.  Sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet.

[hr] What do you do to ensure a good ‘day’s’ sleep when working night shift?  Give your tips in the Comments! [hr]

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As a travel nursing educator, Candy aka Gypsy Nurse, RN has worked in healthcare for nearly 20 years, working up the ranks from CNA to LPN to RN. For the past eleven years, she’s worked as a travel nurse, allowing her to practice and live in 15 states throughout the U.S. Candy still works occasionally as a travel nurse but spends most of her time providing a supportive information and resources through and it's affiliated social networks.

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One Response to Night Shift Nurse: Finally, A good night’s (day’s) sleep!

  1. Vicki Rollins says:

    I guess I am one of the lucky ones and I usually don’t have much trouble sleeping during the day. I do make my bedroom dark and have a fan running for the white noise. If I come home too hyped up from work I will take a benadryl or a xanax to help fall asleep. I don’t stay in night shift mode on my days off either. My hubby works days and I stay more on his sleep schedule. On my first night shift I will just sleep in late and I usually can’t take a nap. Doing this makes me tired enough to sleep when I get home, although most of the time it’s just until 2:30 or so. Then after the second night I sleep really well, usually until 5. After my last shift I only sleep until around noon or 1so I can sleep that night and be back in day mode. Probably not the best for my body, but it’s what makes me happiest. I hate sleeping the day away when I’m off. We like to explore and keep active when we aren’t working.

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