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  1. #1
    Pudge's Avatar
    Pudge is online now Site Admin
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    Shift Work and Jet Lag

    I know a lot of folks here, especially LEOs, have to move between day shift and night shift periodically. How do you manage to do that while getting enough sleep to stay awake and alert during your shift?
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  2. #2
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is offline Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    When I go back to nights I try to get a nap in right before my Monday. A few hours worth and I'm usually good to go. Duringthe shift I try to stay active. If it's dead I'll do physical activity (foot patrols) or exercises at the office to keep me up. If I'm really dragging ass I may have a cup or coffee or a soda.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
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    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  3. #3
    Pudge's Avatar
    Pudge is online now Site Admin
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    I used to work a shift where I rotated through every shift we had. I'd work the shift for four weeks of 4 on, 3 off, then change to the next. There was a progression from days, through afternoons, to evenings, then midnights. I always found myself about one month behind on my sleep clock.

    Midnights were the worst, because my first shift of the week I'd never have enough sleep because I'd opt to spend more time with my family. After my last day of the shift for the week I'd stay up all day, until the following night so that I could sleep "normal" on my days off with everyone else. On the days in between I would only sleep a few hours because I couldn't fall asleep until noon or 1 because no one was home, so I'd take the chance to do work around the house so that I wasn't forced to do it in the evenings when my wife and kids were enjoying their evening. Once I'd get to sleep around then, I'd essentially nap until it was time to wake up and go pick up the kids after school. I'd get 3, maybe 4 hours a day. Physically and mentally, I can't handle midnights unless it's an occasional shift filling in.
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  4. #4
    Xiphos's Avatar
    Xiphos is online now I Void Warranties
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    I work 5 days of 0000-0800 and then I get 2 off. The first day is always the worst. Do you sleep all day and stay on the same schedule but not see family? Do you stay awake all day and fell like a zombie? Or do you sleep a couple hours and try to feel like less of a zombie?

    It always sucks.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

    Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman

  5. #5
    luckyme's Avatar
    luckyme is offline The bastard you love, the hero you hate
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    I've been on straight nights for about 2 1/2 years now. Love working nights, more activity, cooler weather, less "cold" reports, admin not looking over your shoulder. But it is really hard with the family. I take a nap for a couple hours on my monday. Sleeping actually works out OK during the school year, I can get my kids on the bus then sleep till they get home. It gets rough if my first day off is a Sat. or Sun., I've tried sneaking a nap (hard to do with kids), I've tried staying up all day (miserable by 6pm).

    What do you guys use to cover your windows? I'd rather not go the aluminum foil in the window route, since you can see my bedroom windows from the road.

  6. #6
    Pudge's Avatar
    Pudge is online now Site Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyme View Post
    What do you guys use to cover your windows? I'd rather not go the aluminum foil in the window route, since you can see my bedroom windows from the road.

    I picked up some heavy duty dark colored curtains at Lowe's, then supplement that with some heavy, dark blankets on the inside. At noon, my bedroom looks like midnight.
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    www.twitter.com/SecondChance122
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    www.twitter.com/ORGIB

    The opinions given in my posts & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Pudge" on Officerresource.com

  7. #7
    Xiphos's Avatar
    Xiphos is online now I Void Warranties
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyme View Post
    What do you guys use to cover your windows? I'd rather not go the aluminum foil in the window route, since you can see my bedroom windows from the road.
    We tin foiled all our bedroom windows. Of course it's still daylight all night long.

    You can get pull down shades at Lowes or Home Depot that have an internal foil that blocks light. They look like regular decorative shades on both sides but completely block the light. A guy came out and measured our windows and when the shades were delivered he came back and installed them. The price wasn't bad.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

    Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman

  8. #8
    jmur5074's Avatar
    jmur5074 is offline Moderator
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    I work a 6-3 rotation of nights.


    On my first day off I stay up all day. When I get home from work I make a list of chores/errands that need to be done, and I do them all day long. If I sit down, I fail because I normally fall asleep.


    By 4,5,6 pm (sometimes later) I'm dog ass tired and go to bed. I sleep ALL night long (no kids) and wake up with the sun on what is now my second day off. I can then live like a normal person for my 2nd and 3rd days off, AND my first day back because I don't work until that night. On my first day back I'll normally take a nap in the evening to freshen up for work.


    Works great for me.


    Also, I bought some insulated drapes from Menards. They're a heavy material with some sort of backing to keep out heat in the summer, and keep heat in in the winter. They "form fit" over the window to provide that insulation, and in the process they block out light.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  9. #9
    ChesCopPodz's Avatar
    ChesCopPodz is offline Wandering son
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    I work straight nights, 4 on 3 off. On my first day off, I take the kid's wake up so my wife can sleep in, then take a 3-4 hour nap at 11. Then we go to sleep at around 0100-0200. She takes the kid in the morning the next two days while I sleep in and recharge. Then on my last day off, I wake up early with the kid, and take a nap from around 1500-1900, then I go in to work.

    That first night working kind of sucks, but with the nap it's tolerable.

    As for my windows, my house faces west for the beautiful mountain views, but takes the full brunt of the afternoon sun. I have regular blinds, then brown butcher paper completely covering the inside of the window and the entire window frame, then blackout curtains as the innermost layer. Works extremely well, and since the normal white blinds are the outer layer, people outside the house can't see the butcher paper behind them.
    The world would be much cleaner if blind people carried brooms instead of sticks.

    At communion, when the priest says "Body of Christ", I say "Thanks, I've been working out", then I grab the cracker and run back to my seat

    An amateur practices until he gets it right. A professional practices until he cant get it wrong.

    They've got us surrounded? Good. Now we can fire in any direction. Those bastards won't get away this time.

  10. #10
    Trojan 42's Avatar
    Trojan 42 is offline Retired Ninja
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    We used to have a shift pattern that changed every week and included several what we called 'quick changeovers' and sometimes 'double quick changeovers'.

    Earlies 6am to 2pm.
    Lates 2pm to 10pm.
    Nights 10pm to 6am.

    So we'd finish nights at 6am and then start again at 2pm! In those 8 hours we travelled home, slept, fed, showered and travelled back. My travel time to one station was 1 1/2hrs each way.

    Same from lates to earlies, finish at 10pm and be back for 6am.

    And then the fabulous Double quick. Finish nights at 6am. Back in for lates at 2pm, finish at 10pm and then be back for 6am.

    Happy days.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



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  11. #11
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    We rotate days to nights or vice versa every other week. And our work "week" is pretty split up. On my first "day" back on nights, I try to nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon, before I go to work. When I get off, going into a day off, I generally sleep till noon or 1 PM. I'm OK with a couple hours if I have to do something that day, but otherwise, it's largely a lost day. Going into the weekend before I rotate to days, I'm busy trying to shift my sleeping to let me actually get to sleep early enough that I get a good night's sleep before I get up at oh-dark-hundred... And, for me, that's often the hardest part.

    Way back when I was single, and working straight nights as a guard, life was simple. I lived backwards!
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

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  12. #12
    121Traffic's Avatar
    121Traffic is offline Just Us
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    We bid for our shifts once for the entire year. The year is split up into three rotations...you pick your shift for each of the 3 rotations.

    I've been on straight graves for a couple years now....2030-0630, Wed-Sat. I usually just stay up late on my nights off til maybe 3 or so. Get 7 hours of sleep and am up and about at 10ish, still plenty of the day left. It's easier to move back into an overnight mode when the workweek rolls around.

    The only thing that dicks it up is training on Wednesday once or twice a month. 0800 start time.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  13. #13
    Cidp24's Avatar
    Cidp24 is offline Tempus Fugit
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    I have never been able to nap unless I was totally exhausted. When we rotated, I would just try to adjust my sleep schedule accordingly and I learned to like coffee. LOTS of coffee.

    Now that I'm on a fairly regular shift, I love coffee. I bet if Lew and I put coffee down stocks would fall.
    *************************
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    to another life somewhere in the sun."
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    "There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)


    Any statements or opinions given in my postings or profile do not reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employer or anyone else other than me. They are my personal opinions or statements only, thereby releasing my employer , any other entity, or any other person of any liability or involvement in anything posted under the username "Cidp24" on O/R.

  14. #14
    Ducky's Avatar
    Ducky is offline Enforcer General
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    I picked up blackout curtains from Walmart, brand is Eclipse. I chose black curtains but they have all colors. I use one panel per window, and thumbtacks around the window to make sure it's tight against the wall. That does the trick to make it nice and dark. There is also something called the Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask. They don't press on your eyes at all, are very flexible and lightweight, and comfortable. Bed, Bath & Beyond carried them for $10, but I found them at TJ Maxx the other day for half that. I've been using them for years.
    \\
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  15. #15
    Motorwaycop's Avatar
    Motorwaycop is offline Retired Plod
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    I do 2 days 7-7 followed by 2 nights 7 -7 then have 4 days off.(5 days every 5 weeks)
    I find that it largely depends on how busy we are. If it's really slow then its hard to stay awake on nights. The bosses recognise that as our job is driving all the time they would rather us catch 20 mins of shut eye than crash and burn!
    However it has to be said nowhere is that written down!!
    Oh but did I mention - only two night shifts left to work..........oh yeh!!
    the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
    ( Baltasar Gracian )

 

 

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