Working 12 hour nights as an RN! Help!

  • Hello everyone!

    I am on week 2 of BFL and feeling great. Just working out the quirks with my odd-houred job! I work 12 hour nights as a nurse. (usually Wednesday night-Saturday morning). My shift starts at 7pm and I get off at 730am (usually home around 8am). I am questioning 2 things...

    #1 when to workout between shifts, and

    #2 How to eat when working these long shifts. Particularly my first shift (because I am up usually from 9am wednesday morning, until 8am Thursday morning... long day). And also my first day off being Saturday. I usually sleep from 8am-1pm then I am up until 10pm saturday (short day). Just wondering if I should keep to eating every 3 hours even though on long days it may be more than 6 meals, and short days it may be less than 6 meals???????? Please Help!!

    Thanks, Angela

  • Angela...

    I have a simular situation! I work 12 hours shifts also, 6pm to 6am.   Here is an example of my work shift:

    M           T          W     T        F          S         S

    work    work    off    off      work    work    work

    The following week is the opposite, I only work Wed. and Thursday.   I have the same concerns as you do!   I am also in my second week, started Sept. 6th.  (first timer)

    This may not help and any suggestions from you and anyone else would be greatly appreciated.

    On Monday- I worked out upon waking up. I eat my 5-6 meals through out the day as instructed, usually ending about 9ish. I also bring an extra protein shake with me to work for that 2am snack just to keep me going.

    On Tuesday- I sleep from 6:30am and wake up at noon. Upon waking up I go workout then start my meals from there usually my meals take me to about 2am.

    On Wed- almost the same as tuesday, but i was off that night so it was hard getting all my meals in becuz i'm not up all night....this day i only got 4 meals in becuz i went to sleep early, i really dont know what else to do?

    Thursday- work out when I wake up, with the meals through out the day.

    Friday-workout in when wake up, with meals through out the day, plus that extra protein shake/snack sometime durning the night.

    Then my weekend is like the other days I work.  I dont know if that helps or not but that is what I have been doing. I guess time will tell if it will work?!?  

    Any feedback from anyone would be greatly appreciated!  Good luck Angela and if you find something different that is working for you let me know and I will give it a try.  


  • Your schedule is like mine with the AM and PM switched. I would say workout before your shift.

    You can sleep from 9am to 5pm then workout. Cardio days will give you extra energy. I work 7am till 6pm. You could try workouts at 8am but you might mind you are tired.


    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”

  • I am also a RN working 12 hour nights.  I've tried BFL in the past and got frustrated due to my work schedule. I had the same questions as you.   I now started again 9/20/10 and going into my first week.   I am going into like this.  I plan on eating every two to three hours on those long days to help keep my blood glucose at a even level, so cravings don't kick in.  Then in the  a/m I stop eating at least 3 hours before bed.  On those short days I kick up the protien.  I haven' t figured out a good way to fit  in the exercise part..  12 hour shifts back to back, 40 minute drive to and from work, then squeeze a 45 minute work out in, as well as family needs,  it really cuts into me trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep.  I don't know, I guess I sacrafice the sleep those days.  

    Most reports say  exercise as soon as you wake.  So after I wake up  in the afternoon, work out before I go into work.   I hope this helps.  I may need to make adjustment as time goes.  I really want to finish this time.  Good luck.