Insomnia? Irregular work hours, sleeping too late & always feeling tired even after 11hrs sleep!?

Ok, I work irregular hours, so there is no way to get on a set schedule. I may work 3-11 a few days, I may work 8-4 some other days. These shifts are never on the same days of the week, and days off change. I work in hospitality. I am beginning to go back to school also, I am worried I am going to be too tired to do well! I go to bed sometimes at 2 am the latest, waking up sometimes at 11a-12p if I work @ 3. I do this because I never feel rested, and always go back to sleep. It takes hours to fall asleep, and when I do I wake up a lot. It's 5a right now and I work @ 7-I haven't slept,, I tossed and turned for 4 hrs until I gave up. I worked until 11pm last night. I thought trying to wake up by an earlier AM time would help but I can't get myself out of bed since I never feel rested. I always feel tired throughout the day also, regardless of amount of sleep or quality. I am not depressed, yes I am stressed and this def. isnt helping.


I am not overly happy with my job but I have to keep it through school so I can pay for school, and the bills. The amount of $$ I make is enabling me to not get student loans for a while so taking a new, lower paying job isn't the best solution.

I have looked into trying Valerian Root to help sleep. I have tried tylenol PM and it rarely helps. I have to get back into an exercise regimen, though I always feel too tired to get to the gym because of what has been going on. It's a never-ending cycle and it has become very difficult to fix.


Update 2:

I must add I am not sure Nyquil or other medicines are the best solution. I do not want to always have to take something to sleep. I have taken lots of Tylenol PM and Night Time Sinus (i've had a lot of sinus pain lately), which the Sinus stuff makes me feel completely drugged up and out of it when I wake up (at noon!) So I think that made it worse.

I like the exercise suggestion.. I really need to try that but it's hard for me to feel the motivation to get there when I feel tired so much.

In fall 2009 I will be in Nursing school (right now I am doing pre-reqs) so at that time I will be working part time and taking lots of schooling so I will be sure to sleep! But.. in the mean time.. is a whole other story!

Update 3:

Sorry to hear Niki :(

Added Details: I am 24. I am only taking 2 classes right now, and 1 in the following 3 semesters. Then it's full time study for that point I will only be working part time.

I work in hospitality management. Well, I am a supervisor, so I am lowest on the totem pole. That is all I know really, and in the town I reside that is the type of jobs available. The only other thing I would look for is probably an office job.. as a secretary or something. But all the open jobs for that require something I just don't know.. man i need to learn quick books!

Thanks niki for the herbal suggestions. I will look into them!

Update 4:

AH! I'm sorry I forgot to add that I do drink a lot of coffee... but I never feel like it gives me energy. I drink multiple cups a day. Perhaps has something to do with it, or at least isn;'t helping.. but I always say coffee does nothing for me energy wise because I never feel energized or anything from it.. I just like to drink it.. ugh

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello there! I know exactly how you feel as I'm in a similar position. My shortest shifts are four hours and longest 13 - Over recent months I've been working 29 hours one week and 65 the next, and my body clock is all over the place as a result. There's little hope of me getting out of bed on my days off, let alone doing anything as mentally taxing as studying. Until last summer I was at university and found I couldn't handle more than 18 hours' work a week, and even that left me mentally and physicallly fatigued pretty much all the time. It was a push but I managed it. Along side full-time study, ten to fifteen hours is the recommendation, we're just expecting too much of ourselves if we push any harder than that.

    It's got to the stage now where I'm making myself ill through lack of sleep and doing that horrendous catch-up (I slept for 17 hours one day last week and of course it made matters worse.) I'm on the look out for a new job, I can't handle it anymore. I would suggest you do similar. I'll stay in my job for as long as it takes to find something more suitable but I can't keep taking risks with my health for the sake of my job. If nothing else, it's making me so tired I can be a liability to myself when performing the simplest of tasks.

    Just be careful and try not to push yourself too hard.

    P.S. I can recommend Bach Rescue Remedy for when it gets too much - it's completely herbal and just helps you unwind a bit in order to relax, and if you have trouble sleeping at all, again totally herbal, Kalms Sleep tablets are pretty good for me. I try not to rely on the tablets but most nights I have a few drops of Rescue Remedy before attempting sleep!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, you wrote a helavu lot. For one skip the coffee -what makes you think coffee gives you energy???

    Coffee is a stimulant that may make you feel more alert (for a very brief period) but caffeine can stay in your blood for more than 6 hours (more if you're a heavy drinker. This can add to anxiety and tension and definitely hinder the ability to fall asleep.

    Shift work sucks, I worked in hospitality and I know how you feel. Waking up early for morning shifts and working evening shifts can really disrupt your sleep patterns.

    Working late also makes it hard to sleep at a reasonable time. Your minds always in alert mode so it's hard to shut off.

    You are sleeping way too much - 11 hours isn't healthy. Try and cut back. I know you say that you need it - because you feel tired. But it's really quality sleep rather than quantity that will improve your energy.

    If you wake up late and work a late shift, you will find it difficult to sleep early. The best thing to do is aim for around 7 hours and try and wake and sleep at almost the same time everyday (if at all possible).

    When you get home try and have some chill time to wind down. Meditation can help relax the muscles and mind. It will help with your stress too.

    Check out for more tips

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  • 1 decade ago

    I know the feeling. I use to have a similar work schedule, i would sleep 11 or 12 hrs (when i could) but most of the time got less than 4 or 5 hours of sleep. After a while my body did get use to it the down side of that is I am no longer on a schedule like that and i still can't sleep right, i get about 4 hours a night. and haven't worked like that in about a year. And more stress with going back to school could make it worse, have you tried sleeping pills? Sometimes they do help.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You absolutely have every reason to feel depressed. You are not getting adequate sleep and I have no clue how you would be able to do well in school if you keep going like that. I'd suggest a job change is in order, but you already know that yourself.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Perhaps you need a more comfortable, relaxing sleep environment. Try to separate your other activities from bed, that way when you lie down, your body will more naturally feel that it is time to sleep. If all else fails, there is always NyQuil or Sominex, both keep me adequately knocked out for hours when I need it!

    Source(s): I work a swing shift too, it sucks :[
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i have the same problem now.i wake up at 5 pm and go to sleep at 8 am...the only thing thats helping is working out alot it get me really tired,. i get so tired i fall asleep earlier and wake up really early as well...besides that im starting again. i have no idea what to do about it ether so sorry i couldnt help you there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    do yoga or some stress reducing exercise before going to bed or get a deep tissue massage on your day off

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