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To think I simply cannot work a night shift on 4 hours sleep?

(28 Posts)
StillSmallVoiceOfCalm Mon 25-Jul-16 17:16:23

Bastard stupid shitty night shifts.


it simply can't be done. I cannot work another 13 hours after 4 hours sleep today

Helenluvsrob Mon 25-Jul-16 17:33:03

What do you do for work?

Awful though it sounds I suspect there are many people out there who function on 4hrs or less as parents of sleepless children etc.

I think you need to risk assess a sleepless error- life or death eg you are a nurse - probably call in and explain things and go sick, vs I dunno , sorting for the royal mail where an error is a pain but not of that level of magnitude.

Long term you need to sort out with HR to not do shifts if you can't cope, that might though, mean a cut in money or ultimately a different job. Shift work is detrimental to your mental and physical health, though some people can adapt.

U2HasTheEdge Mon 25-Jul-16 17:33:39

I used to manage about 4 hours sleep after a night shift and have to go back the next night.

No fun at all. One of the reasons I went onto the nurse bank, if I do a nightshift I get to decide when and how many.

You have my sympathies thanks

Babyroobs Mon 25-Jul-16 17:34:09

YANBU It is very hard. The summer hols are particularly bad with screaming kids/ hedge cutters/ barking dogs etc. I have those hard wax earplugs but still can't sleep. I am a Nurse and i sometimes worry so much that i am going to be unsafe the second night. As I get older it is taking me so much longer to recover from nights. i ahve 3 this week and know I am going to end up with a thumping headache for days.

ElspethFlashman Mon 25-Jul-16 17:35:20

A lot of nurses do, unfortunately. It does become a bit dodgy by Night 3 though.

Imnotaslimjim Mon 25-Jul-16 17:35:36

It can be done but isn't pleasant. I did 2 night shifts with no sleep inbetween then had 3 hours sleep and did an 2-10 (we were seriously short staffed) I didn't stay in that job long, it made me ill, but it is possible.

IneedAdinosaurNickname Mon 25-Jul-16 17:36:46

You have my sympathies. I work 5 months of days (13 hour shifts) and average 4 hours sleep per night.

Then I do 1 month of nights when I sometimes only get 2 hours sleeep between shifts. It's a killer.

Babyroobs Mon 25-Jul-16 17:38:22

I can usually cope if the nightshift is reasonably quiet, but when it goes manic with loads of confused patients or crisis happening I crumble and end up in tears which isn't very professional. i don't have much option other than to do mostly nights in the school holidays or I would be paying hundreds in childcare. I asked to take 2 months unpaid leave this summer as it has been a hoeeible year ( bereavements etc) and dh has already used most of his years leave up having to sort things out, but they said no. they ahve let me reduce my hours though.

Babyroobs Mon 25-Jul-16 17:39:07

Sorry that should say horrible year !

StillSmallVoiceOfCalm Mon 25-Jul-16 17:42:35

My body hates nights. I've always done shifts and never got used to them. And D2 was a non-sleeping baby/child until she was at least 6. So it's not like I'm not bloody used to it.
And not doing nights isn't an option. Nor is calling in sick. Or hoping for s peaceful night.

StillSmallVoiceOfCalm Mon 25-Jul-16 17:42:54

I am very unhappy

Babyroobs Mon 25-Jul-16 17:44:27

Me too Still. I fantasise about a day job with regulalr hours but the money would be a big drop and I'd be paying loads out in childcare until my dd is older.

HelenaDove Mon 25-Jul-16 17:46:26

There is a distinct lack of consideration for people who work nights. I used to do it 14/15 years ago.

Angle grinders/wood chippers early in the morning.

And my personal favourite HA wanting to do the gas safety check only between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday and insisting on an all morning or all afternoon call which means i had the lovely choice of staying up and not going to bed or going to bed and having to set the alarm early after only 3 to 4 hours sleep. Because when you get home from a night shift you dont get straight into bed. You unwind a bit first ...have something to eat different from a day shift.

And you can imagine how fucking furious i was when the gas engineer was yet another no show.

Back when i was working nights i very quickly learned that night workers are treated like shit and expected to accomodate every other fucker.

Babyroobs Mon 25-Jul-16 17:46:49

To be honest though, day shifts can be much worse in terms of politics, being more busy etc. I would just like to leave Nursing altogether really.

guiltynetter Mon 25-Jul-16 17:52:39

you can do it, but it'll be hard. I really feel for you, it's horrible.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 25-Jul-16 17:55:56

I've never got used to nights and I'm 13 years in now! Only 2 more months to go before I give up permanent nights thankfully.

I have survived many time on only 3-4 hours sleep but it's no fun at all. Some cope better than others, I need my sleep.

This heat makes it so much harder to sleep and now it's the summer holidays, I can't keep the windows open.

Thankfully I only do 3 nights so by the second one I know I'm getting toward the end iyswim. 4 nights tips me over the edge!

No tips or advice but lots of sympathycake

P1nkP0ppy Mon 25-Jul-16 17:57:52

I sympathise op. I worked 12 hour nights, every other night for 8 years. It nearly killed me, no sleep during the day just the in between nights. I often think I shouldn't have been driving (hour each way) but no choice.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 25-Jul-16 18:09:01

I hated nights and never got used to them. They are utterly shitty. To ad insult to injury, the day staff where we were used to complain that we weren't doing enough. Fuckers. On no extra money as well. I offered to swap... No takers.

hotdiggedy Mon 25-Jul-16 18:11:26

yes, night shift is awful.

whois Mon 25-Jul-16 18:13:51

Yes you can.

It's shit, and will feel horrible but you can do it.

Have a strong coffee and something nice to eat and get your game face on.

Have more coffee / nice food ready for when you get a caffeine/sugar crash.

raviolidreaming Mon 25-Jul-16 18:14:38

flowers flowers

TheCrumpettyTree Mon 25-Jul-16 18:17:11

I hate nights. Four hours is shit OP, but what can you do apart from get on with it? Caffeine caffeine caffeine.

First night is the worst, being up all day with the DC then going to work.

HippyChickMama Mon 25-Jul-16 18:19:15

Third night shift in a row for me tonight. My weekly pattern goes: Up at 7am on Saturday (dh works from 6am most Saturday mornings so I have to get up with dc), stay up all day, work 7pm to 7:30am, 5 hours sleep, work 7pm-7:30am, 5 hours sleep, work 7pm-7:30am then stay up all day on a Tuesday with dc (no child care on Tuesdays). It's crap isn't it? Counting down to September when dd starts nursery and I can get a few hours sleep on Tuesdays and then to September 2017 when she starts school and I never have to do another night shift ever again!

TaliZorahVasNormandy Mon 25-Jul-16 18:53:30

I did awful shifts when I worked at an airport. My body just couldnt cope and nearly fell asleep at the wheel once. It put me off for life.

Butteredparsnips Mon 25-Jul-16 19:02:25

Used to do 13 hour shifts too days and nights. By 7 am I could barely put a sentence together, never mind give handover. Then someone had the bright idea of night staff doing breakfasts at the end of their shift.

I left for the community soon after that. But I appreciate OP that even the community does shifts now, so that option might not be viable.

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