Getting Sleep after a Nursing Night Shift
When you have just finished your nursing degree, you
may find that you are asked to work the night shift at
your new job. Many new nurses struggle working the
night shift and do not realize that the nursing
responsibilities that they have through the night are
Adjusting your sleeping schedule
More than likely, you will get paid more to be
working the night shift at the hospital that you are
working with. When you work the night shift, you
will have to adjust your sleeping schedule to ensure that you can stay away throughout the time
that you are at work.
The night before you work, you may want to try to stay up late and sleep in as late as you can the
next day. Forcing yourself to sleep in may help your body adjust and enable you to have energy
throughout your shift that is going to last the entire night.
When you cannot sleep in, get up and force yourself to be productive throughout the day. This
way, you can try to make yourself take a nap a few hours before your shift starts to ensure that
you are going to be able to have energy and be alert as you are sleeping.
Many people make the mistake of drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages in the morning
before their night shift. This can affect you throughout the night and you may find that you crash
before you even get through half of your shift at the hospital.
Sleeping during the day
Sometimes, you will find that you have to make yourself
sleep during the day. More than likely, you will have a
few night shifts in a row and you want to be able to get
some sleep in throughout the time that you are not in the
To ensure that you can do this, you should start by coming
straight home from your shift and letting yourself go to
bed. Do what you need to do before your shift to ensure
that you can come home and sleep after you are done
working your shift.
While you are sleeping during daylight hours, you are going to want to try to make your room as
dark as you can. Making your room dark will ensure that you are going to be able to close your
eyes and relax without feeling like you are missing out on the day.
Some people that are in a night nursing schedule choose to use a black out shade, other people
prefer to wear a mask while they are sleeping. Make sure that you understand how you are going
to get yourself calm enough to ensure that you are going to be able to sleep.
Try to keep your room quiet during this time as well, this way you are not awaken while you are
sleeping. To keep your room quiet, you can try using ear plugs or even playing a white noise
machine so you do not have to listen to the other noises that are going on outside of your room.
Photo credit: Jspad, Borkazo