Pro-Tips for Daytime Sleeping

Nurses, if you’ve ever had to work a 12-hour night shift, you know it can be a challenge. On top of being at work for a long time, and probably very busy, you’re also fighting your body’s natural rhythms and sleeping patterns. It’s possible to go from being alert and active for parts of the shift, and then struggling to stay awake for others. The biggest challenge for me has always been after my shift. It’s difficult to get home and fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time when I’ve been highly active in the few hours before bed. When I have to report back that night for another shift, I want to have gotten several solid hours of shut-eye so I’m not a miserable, unsafe, cranky nurse.

But how do you sleep when the world is alive and noisy around you?

Listen as I report live from my bed, with tips and tricks I count on to help me fall asleep. after every shift.

Disclaimer: I have no kids. That helps 😉

The Best Advice I’ve Got…

On days like today, when I’ve screwed up my sleep schedule heading into three consecutive overnights, the game becomes one of minimizing damage.
I tried to take a nap a few hours before I start my elaborate pre-work routine, and with only an hour left on the nap clock, I’ve given up. I won’t be sleeping before work. I won’t be sleeping til tomorrow morning when I arrive home. This is the reality I created when I didn’t nap yesterday on my day off and stay up late to acclimate myself back to the night. Nothing I can do about that now.

So, the focus now is on whatever I can do to make myself feel good before my shift makes me feel not-so-good. Since I’ve got the bed to myself, I’m stretching–paying attention to tight spots and getting a really good stretch in despite this lazy venue. I do my brow bone massage that scares away tension headaches, self-hand and foot massages, and some square-breathing for calm.
All this before I’ve even gotten out of bed.
It’s my way of apologizing to my body for putting her through another long stretch of wakefulness.

The upside is that I will hopefully be so tired in the morning that I’ll be asleep before my head hits my pillow.
What do you do when you know you’re not going to get enough sleep before shift? Share your damage control tactics in the comments.