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Old 02-18-2010, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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staying awake on 3rd shift

hey guys i work 3rd shift 12 hour days 12am-12p. my problem is no matter how much sleep i get i still end up getting so sleepy that if i set down i about fall asleep. I was wondering if any other memebers had this problem and could give me some advice

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Old 02-18-2010, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Keep the same sleep schedule through the whole week. Make sure you get enough sleep, and get some blackout curtains.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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get some sleeping pills and use them 2 nights before. not the night before as you will be groggy in the morning. I used to do this when working nights and it would give me a full 8-10 hrs of dead sleep and on the 2nd day I felt great! How are your eating habits during your shift?
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I work Midnight to Noon on Saturdays and Sundays. I'm usually off on the Wed/Thurs/Fri before. I go to bed around 6pm or so Friday night, sleep till 10:45pm or so, then head into work. Get home at 1pm, take a nap, usually till 4 or 5, then go take another nap around 8pm till 10:45 or 11ish, head into work, Get home at 1pm Sunday, take a nap, then stay awake till I go to be at 10pm Sunday night. Sometimes I'll stay up a little bit when I get home, then try to nap around 6pm if I work Mid-Noon the next day.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I occasionally work night shift (7PM to 7AM) for long periods. In January I worked 18 nights in a row and last year I worked 2 months of 12 days on 2 days off.

What works for me is I don't sleep the night before my first night shift. I stay awake doing what ever I can. Go for a walk, stretch, do housework, stay moving. Don't watch movies or play video games, they let your body relax too much. Also stay warm. Your body's temperature cycle dips at night and it is related to sleep, staying warm will help fight that sleepy feeling at 2 AM. Then I go to sleep at 8 or 9 am and get atleast 8 hours of sleep.

The first 2 or 3 nights are usually pretty bad. Just try to stay busy at work. I am an engineer so I do a lot of office work, I try to minimize that work in the first few days by doing a lot of field checks.

You have to make your body change schedules. I switch everything and just pretend I am working a normal schedule. I have breakfast in the evening. I have supper in the morning after work.

The most important thing: If you only have a few days off between night shifts, do not switch back to days. Keep your night shift schedule. It's all about keeping a good schedule. You body can take weeks to truly adjust to a different schedule so if you keep changing it you will never be able to stay awake when required.

Also, don't take sleeping pills to get some sleep and don't use coffee to stay awake. You are only going to make it harder on yourself in the long run because your body won't be able to adjust properly.

On a safety note don't do anything too risky at around 2-3 am for the first few days. That is the time when most people get really sleepy and accidents happen. I once pushed the wrong lever on a forklift, when I was getting something off the top of a stack, not good.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I work swing.

2 weeks on first (5am - whenever)
1 week on 3rds (10PM - 8ish)

Dark curtains are a must. It doesn't matter how long you sleep during the day. GOOD sleep is the key.
Wake up the same time every day.
Eat healthy.

Other than that... I've got nothing. It sucks until you get used to it. Even then it still sucks. People were not meant to work all night.

Stay active like you would if you were working days. 3rd shift will age you fast due to being lethargic.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I worked 3rd shift for the last 6 months I was in school (had worked 2nd shift prior). My body never adjusted to the schedule. I walked around in a daze the entire 6 months, never felt rested, and fell asleep any time I was still including while driving into work. Although I didn't wreck my truck, falling asleep while driving made me realize that night shift wasn't for me. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've found highly irregular sleep patterns work well.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I worked 7pm to 7am 4-7 days a week for 8 years. I found the best thing for me was to come home and go straight to bed and wake up mid afternoon. Alot of people that I worked with would stay up for a few hours after work and most of them would be tired all night long. Good luck you have to find what works for you.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You're not a TTC employee by chance are you?
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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x2 on the dark room. I double foiled my windows, covered the display on my alarm clock, and even stuffed a towel under the door. I needed pitch black to sleep. If you can cool the room down some that works too. I worked 10P to 7A in college. I went to class in the morning and slept from 2-9. If you drink cokes or coffee, break the habit, or only use them on the first half of the shift. Good luck...
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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staying awake 3rd shift

nope don't work for ttc. i work for presto products company. thanks for the advise guys. now i can't sleep i have to be in at 12 tonight and its 6 now. but friday is my last day for 3 days i think that is whats messing me up, going to bed at night on my days off
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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i used to work a day shift and a night shift. day shift was from 5am to 3pm and the night shift was from 3pm to 1am. at that job i worked 2 weeks of each shift. i personally liked the night shift over the day shift just because im awake half the night anyways.

im usually awake half the night anyways and there was only a few days that i would be tired.. day shift get up at 4am make lunch and coffee, and sometimes breakfast then drink the coffee on the way to work and finish it when im working.. worked 10 hour days and had three 15minute breaks. night shift i would get up like 10am-11am head to work at 2:30pm (its a half hour drive one way) then work 10 hrs until 1am then sometimes would go over to a friends house (we worked at the same place and same shift) and have a couple beers then head home.. if i didnt go to the friends house i would come home right after work and eat dinner, watch tv for an hour or so then go to bed and sleep till 10am-11am again and repeat the process.. i worked four 10hour days and got fri/sat/sunday off..


i just worked 2 long ass days assembling carpet display for a new carpet store, we had 3 days to do the work, first day we worked from 7am-7pm then the second day we worked 7am-6pm, hit the closest beer store on the way home haha.. i had to get up at 5:30am both days... it was fairly hard for a guy that hasnt worked in over a year..

my dad works five 12hr days monday-friday, 5am-5pm everyday.. i couldnt do it.. geez mind you he's a pencil pusher but goes onto the floor (he manages an assload of people building aluminum boats) and helps out sometimes and shows them how little time it should take to get that specific job done.. haha

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Old 02-19-2010, 01:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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3rd shift is a bitch, especially if it's 12hrs. I can't do it. My body just shuts down around 4am regardless of how many energy drinks and whatnot I load up on. It sucks too, because there have been times when the company I work for has offered me rediculous bonus money to do it when we've gotten really busy My boss says back in the day coke used to work like a charm, but doesn't advise meth
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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15 odd years of working graveyard shifts and the best advice I can give you is to stay active. Especially around 4-5am when your circadian rythmns are telling you to sleep. Push ups, power walks, star jumps, anything to get your heart beating faster (not jacking off) will keep you awake.

On the nod? go for a walk or whatever. This may have to happen every ten minutes or so depending on how you handle sleep deprivation, but IME it's the only way to go.

Shit, take the oppotunity to be proactive and do the 100 push ups course. Get paid to better yourself!
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Foshiz! up all night ... Pirate is the best for killing time during the night shift.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white99chevy5.3 View Post
nope don't work for ttc. i work for presto products company. thanks for the advise guys. now i can't sleep i have to be in at 12 tonight and its 6 now. but friday is my last day for 3 days i think that is whats messing me up, going to bed at night on my days off
I dont know how people do it. I have a hard enough time sleeping at night. My GF is a nurse and works 11pm-7am 7on7off and on her off weeks she is on my schedule. Then switches back a day before she heads in for the new work week. I agree on the getting good sleep, she does mention that she usually feels a lot better on the nights where she sleeps opposed to the days she sleep. She does exercise as soon as she gets home in the morning and then usually showers and hops in the bed from around 10am-6:30 or 7pm.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:57 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Do the same thing every day. Breakfast before work, dinner after, then sleep. People were not meant to work at night. Your screwy half and half schedule will never be easy to work with. I'm 6A to 6P for 28 days straight right now and as soon as the sun sets or I slow down, I'm asleep, hell the keyboard is spinning right now. Time to go for a walk.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:59 AM   #22 (permalink)
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3rd shift? 12 hours? How many hours in your day? We can only fit 2 12 hour shifts in a day here.

I work a swing shift, have been doing it for 20 years. I don't have any trouble staying awake at night, but I do have trouble sleeping the night after a 12 hour nightshift. It doesn't get any easier.
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