How to sleep during the day

  1. I have been working nights for a little over 1 week. I figure it will come to me eventually. I have done a search for "sleeping during the day" and didn't find anything to fit.
    I have found that many times when I come home after working nights I am exhausted, but still can't sleep. I can't afford all new drapes yet, so any other suggestions for sleeping? Currently I sleep on the couch with covers over my head (it takes forever for me to get to sleep like this because I can't breath - clausterphobic) I finally fall asleep with the aid of xanax. If it wasn't for xanax I don't think I could sleep. I have tried melatonin (didn't work), valerian (foot stink) root (didn't work), taking a bath - still didn't work.
    Please PLEASE help me figure this out.

    Also - I have noticed that on my first day (DAY) off, ya know the day AFTER you have come home and slept that when I get up in the morning I feel soooooo nauseated that I feel like puking. This is coming from someone that can count the times on 1 hand that I have puked in my entire life (I NEVER got morning sickness) and NO I can't be pregnant. It only happens on THIS day. It lasts for about 2 hours and then goes away - but still feels like I have a rock in my stomach for HOURS after.
    What is with this?

    I can't switch shifts, it's not an option, I do like working nights, I just can't figure out the day sleeping thing. So PLEASE help!!!
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   luvmy2angels
    I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but I wish you much luck!! I worked night shift for 3 years and NEVER got used to it! It really messed me up!! Even if I did fall asleep it was never a restful sleep, know what I mean?? I finally got on day shift, I don't know how much longer I could have done it!!
    I do have a friend in my nursing class that works full time nights so I will ask her if she has any advice for ya. I don't know how she does it, works full time nights and full time school in the evenings!! Hope you get some rest.
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    Use blankets and cardboard boxes to cover your windows if you have to...I know its tacky but hey...better than NOT Sleeping

    Coming from someone who had insomnia for almost six years straight, I feel your pain.

    It will take your body 2-3 weeks to adjust to the sleep schedule and even then you may find it hard to wind down after work. Establish a routine, come home, take a shower, read a book...avoid tv, caffeine, and anything physically stimulating.

    Lay off the coffee and cokes during your shift at night, they stick with you for hours. Get one of those masks to cover your eyes without suffocating yourself beneath the blankets.

    If all else fails, see your doc. They make some pretty good sleep aids that are not too addictive. I used Elavil (which is pretty addictive and potent) but in a small dose for about three weeks and I have been sleeping like a baby ever since. Now my body is on a schedule and I am not worth anything if i stay up past my bedtime
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    6 shots of Crown Royal will do the trick everytime
  6. by   JentheRN05
    LOL Well - I'll skip the crown royal but I did go to the doc today. He gave me ambien. So I guess I will try that on Friday
    Hopefully it goes well.
  7. by   gauge14iv
    Paint the room a dark color
    Cover the windows
    Turn off the phone
    Drink some Good Earth tea for sleep
    Turn the ac temp down to quite cool
    Wear an eye mask
    Sleep naked (if you can)
    Take a hot bath before getting into bed while drinking your tea
    Lavander oil on your pulse points
    Ear plugs - the little soft one so the lawn mowers and birds don't wake you up

    A benadryl when you are too keyed up to sleep

    Those are all the things that helped me!
  8. by   gauge14iv
    You can cover teh windows with foil and scotch tape - that is affordable!
  9. by   JentheRN05
    I am seriously considering the scotch tape and foil thing. I LOVE all of your other suggestions. I live for lavender, use it ALL the time, at work, at home in my candles, I just LOVE it (shampoo/conditioner is the best with long hair ) I did buy some eye cover things and a lavender eye cover as well before I got home from the doctor. I think I will have to go to the store tomorrow and get more lavender stuff, bath bubbles maybe, more shampoo/conditioner and LOT AND LOTS of foil for the windows (my room has 6 very large windows!)
    Wish me luck for the weekend I work Friday, Sat, Sun off Mon, work Tues & Wed
    I'm gonna be dead in the water till next Friday!
  10. by   DutchgirlRN
    The foam earplugs are definately a must, they work great. I used them when I worked nights. I put the foil on the windows when I was sleeping and I unplugged the phone, put a small sign on the door, day sleeper, do not disturb. I kept my cell phone in the bed with me and my family knew to only call if it was an emergency. Got called once to pick my son up from school because he was sick. I still felt like I had jet lag on my days off. Some people get used to it. I didn't but it kept my kids out of daycare for 12 years. Now I'm on days and love it!
  11. by   RainDreamer
    I did my preceptorship on the night shift. I couldn't afford to buy new drapes either. So I went down to Walmart and bought some black sheets, folded them in half and tacked them on around the window. I had a small window, so 1 sheet was big enough for me to fold in half and cover up the entire window. It worked great though and it was cheap. NO light got through and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference of day and night in that room. I'd turn the fan on ..... it was nice and cool in there, and dark. I'd sleep like a baby.

    I hope you're able to find something that works for you so you can get some good sleep. Good luck to you!!
  12. by   Roy Fokker
    Honestly, I think it's an individual thing.

    After having slept in some of the finest places imaginable (cold mud, humid jungle air, ten million bugs, snakes, rats etc. etc), and with luck a fire (which means one half of your body stays somewhat warm while the other half freezes) or... without luck, we all just pile into a huddle (On the outside you freeze on one side while staying warm on the other... or you get to be in the middle where you are warm all over but you've got everyone else sticking their feet, elbows and body odor onto you).

    I seem to have developed a knack for sleeping anyplace, anytime.

    Things I've found that helped me sleep during the day::

    - Covering the windows. I usually fold bedsheets over.
    - Going to bed at a constant time every morning
    - Reading a light book (if I'm desperate, I'd go over my Statistics notes. Knockout guarantee. I also had saved one of my professor's lectures on tape... just that droning voice is enough! :chuckle)
    - Everyone from my grandmother to my buddies know that to waken me during my sleep is fraught with grave danger. They are good people about it anyways and don't bother me unless it is an emergency - they know that I value few things in life like I value my sleep

    Now this may sound strange, but mostly I just 'will' myself to sleep. I lie down, close my eyes and 'command' my brain to go to sleep and in about 15 minutes I'm out. I'm also able to program a 'mental alarm' into my brain. Like tonight, I'll go to bed in about 1/2 hour. I'll tell myself 'ok, need to wake up in about 6 hours' and 98% of the time I wake up a few minutes before my alarm clock at the bedstand is set to go off.

    I know it sounds wishy-washy but give it a shot. You never know

    PS: I also find sitting in a bus is an almost instant ticket to sleep. While it is ofcourse not practical to take your naps on the enarest city bus you need to recreate that environment. Something that hums - like the sound of a very muffled engine
  13. by   Jessy_RN
    You definitely need to make you room as dark as possible and avoid noise. Unless of course you like to listen to soothing music to fall asleep.
  14. by   HappyJaxRN
    Hi there. I work nights (7p-7a). I've been on this schedule for the past 4 years. What I finally figured out was, find what you can and hang it over your windows. I have to use a sheet looks bad but it's only temporary and it actually makes the room very dark. I have a white noise machine. Purchased at JCPenny. It took a couple of days for me to get used to it but it masks out all the sounds elsewhere in the house and outside. It works well! Helps me stay asleep as well. Don't drink caffeine later than 3am. I found that if I drank any caffeinated beverage past 3am, I was wired when I got home. Do something relaxing for yourself whether it helps or not when you get home. I take a warm shower. Unfortunately, I do have to take something to help me to sleep, otherwise, I too will stay awake long periods of time.

    It's not easy working nights. Your entire life will change. You'll get used to it tho.

    Oh yeah, unplug your phones....because no matter how many times you tell your family and friends that you work nights, they will still call you at 1pm, not realizing that it's 1am for you. And they will do this over and over and over. How annoying. I like the sign on the door as someone stated. I need to do that, because people ring my doorbell and what a pain when you're in a dead sleep. Good idea.

    Hope my suggestions help. Good luck.