I carpooled with a gal all through nursing school who worked full-time nights and then was in school with me three-quarter time days. I however worked full-time days and now that I work full-time nights and consistently have to switch back and forth for the family, I have a deeper sense of respect for her. I remember her telling me that she got home one morning and was so tired she fell asleep in her car…I’ve done that. Anyone else?
So when I signed up for a day shift Saturday and then a Sunday night, I really thought I could sanely pull that off. No, Amanda. Don’t try this again. I’ll be fine and drink my gallon of coffee and everyone will be fed and napped (hopefully me too!) but my body and groggy brain are going to let me know they are not happy tomorrow.
And then there will be the inevitable question Henry will ask me tomorrow:
“Do you really need to sleep?”
Yes. Yes, I really do need to sleep. He means the question half jokingly but does truly wish I could stay awake with him and the boys. And I never get the full 8 hours of sleep even if I do go right to bed when I get home.
Understanding what night-shifters go through I really hard for the rest of the non-night-shifters (yes, even if you’re married to one). And honestly if you’re a crazy night-shifter who doesn’t like that they are limited (*me*) by their own normal and natural body rhythms, you’re even worse off because you try to convince yourself that you can do the impossible. Start telling yourself you can’t. And please, know your boundaries and tell others when you can’t either. Don’t be crazy Amanda.
And what is bad is we know the effects of delirium from our crazy patients at work. Yes, they do take on super-human strength and try to climb out of bed sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you should act that way too. It’s not natural. Or healthy. It messes up your head. Read the literature.
So, all that to say protect your sleep!
Signing off for a much needed nap.