Catching more ZZzzzs

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Do you have trouble sleeping the night before clinical? Are you worried about waking up on time? Or are you stressed because you forgot to check the doctor’s orders or you missed a lab result? Do you spend the night tossing and turning in that kind of sleep where your eyes are closed, but your brain just won’t shut up? Sound familiar?

If you suffer from these symptoms, I have one thing to say. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We’ve all felt like this at one point or another. Even your classmates that always seem so cool and collected have likely had their share of sleepless nights as well. Have no fear. Here are some tips and words that will hopefully help relieve some anxiety, relax your mind, and help you sleep.

  1. Remember that you are not alone! I know I said this before, but it helped me feel so much better once I knew that I had other classmates that didn’t sleep well either. You’re in this together!
  2. Let your mind relax. There is often a LOT of pre-clinical work to get done, I know, but you need to let your mind unwind before getting some shut-eye. It’s often better to close the books an hour early, get to bed, and wake up refreshed (even if it’s a little earlier) to finish up the final details.
  3. Have some you time. This goes along with the number two. Give yourself a break from the work, take a bath or a shower, go for a walk, do SOMETHING for YOU. You need a break from the hard work!
  4. Have a glass of tea. Peppermint settles the stomach, and chamomile relaxes the mind. It’s warm and soothing, perfect for bedtime.
  5. Don’t stress over that last little detail. I remember the night before my first clinical day giving meds. I was flipping out about looking up all 20 something meds. I panicked, I cried, and I didn’t sleep. The next day, turns out half the meds were not on my shift, and I had plenty of time to look them up. If you’re really missing something you need, get to the floor a few minutes early and look it up. You’ll start the day a bit more rested, and you’ll get it done in plenty of time!
  6. Lastly, remind yourself that you can do this! Getting into nursing school is no easy task, and you made it! They wanted YOU! It’s not always easy, but you have what it takes to make it through.

They’re not guarantees, but they’ve helped me. The one thing I’ve learned is that you will be nervous before you get out there. It’s new, it’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s scary. But these days (and long nights) are limited. One day, they will be a distant memory, and you will look back and laugh, remembering those early days when you were just getting started.

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.

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3 Responses to Catching more ZZzzzs

  1. annie

    Thank you so much for this! Your stories are always inspiring, especially the first year nursing students like myself! Keep the good advice coming, i know i really appreciate it!

  2. Leona

    ha ha I seen this as I am sitting here trying to hold my eyes open with tooth picks. had clinical today and was up late doing all the prep work. reading this wondering if the writer is looking in my windows at night because it sounds just like me. BOY am I glad I am not the only one. Now just to stay awake with 4 kids till hubby gets home! Thanks for this! I hopefully graduate Dec. of this year! and I hope all this hard work pays off

  3. Nancy

    Thank You Thank You Thank You! I have the worst time getting to sleep before my clinical! This really helps!