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Posted: 3/13/2006 2:47:31 PM EDT
I'm on spring break this week and as it ends up, the Sgt that usually works nights during the week needs a few days off. I told him I'd take his shifts for him so the next three days I'll be working the 11-7 shift (starting tomorrow night), then on Saturday and Sunday I'll be on the afternoon shift.

Any tips on adjusting schedules like this? I'm 21 y/o and I've never worked overnight shifts before. I did a ride along on 3rd once and I could only sleep for two hours the next day.


Any tips from the nightcrawlers?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:48:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AJE:
I'm on spring break this week and as it ends up, the Sgt that usually works nights during the week needs a few days off. I told him I'd take his shifts for him so the next three days I'll be working the 11-7 shift (starting tomorrow night), then on Saturday and Sunday I'll be on the afternoon shift.

Any tips on adjusting schedules like this? I'm 21 y/o and I've never worked overnight shifts before. I did a ride along on 3rd once and I could only sleep for two hours the next day.


Any tips from the nightcrawlers?



A variety of pills can help you with your problem.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:49:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 2:50:05 PM EDT by Bama-Shooter]
Diet Mt. Dew.

Get in the bed as soon as you get off shift.

ETA: Get out of the car every couple of hours and do a foot patrol. Always helped me.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:55:25 PM EDT
There are some buisnesses downtown that can be checked on foot, so I'll be sure to get out of the car for that.

I'm really hoping it stays as warm as it says it will be too, that will help.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:58:40 PM EDT
When you get off your last 2nd shift before you start your first 3rd shift, stay up till about 0500. It will help you make the transition.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:05:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AJE:
There are some buisnesses downtown that can be checked on foot, so I'll be sure to get out of the car for that.

I'm really hoping it stays as warm as it says it will be too, that will help.



Stop in to ANY 24 hr place....Stop N Rob, etc. In fact...if it's a small town, stop into all of them...more than once.

It gets you out of the car, you get to know the folks working thrid shift and most late-nite places don't mind having a copper stop in and yap.



BC
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:06:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BlueCrusader:

Originally Posted By AJE:
There are some buisnesses downtown that can be checked on foot, so I'll be sure to get out of the car for that.

I'm really hoping it stays as warm as it says it will be too, that will help.



Stop in to ANY 24 hr place....Stop N Rob, etc. In fact...if it's a small town, stop into all of them...more than once.

It gets you out of the car, you get to know the folks working thrid shift and most late-nite places don't mind having a copper stop in and yap.



BC



One of the gas stations is open all night so I'll be sure to do that. Never thought of that one, thanks.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:17:07 PM EDT
I worked third shift in a factory for three summers.

It sucks.

Coffee is your friend but not for the whole shift, as is gum, jerky, other chewy things. Music too.
If you can get to bed before the sun comes up, great. If you see the sun it'll be harder to get to bed.

Since it's only three days you really don't have time to do the brutal "change my body schedule" stuff, so just tough it out. Also, if you live with people, they will make noise. No matter how many times you ask. They may even HANG PICTURES. Throwing things at them makes you feel better, but you still won't sleep.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:19:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AJE:

One of the gas stations is open all night so I'll be sure to do that. Never thought of that one, thanks.



No problem.

Also, might want to swing by the bars. If any of them have guys outfront at the door, checkin IDs and whatnot, stop and yap with them too.

After 3AM....turn your radio up REAL LOUD....ya know...just in case.


BC
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:19:56 PM EDT
I only live with one person and she'll be quiet. Actually she'll be at work all day, so I'll have the house to myself for 8 hours.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:32:06 PM EDT
I worked hoots for 3 years straight, always felt sleep deprived, never really adjusted. I felt OK on duty, but when I was home all I wanted to do was sleep..............good luck
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:34:07 PM EDT
Having worked nights for the better part of 10 years:

Make sure you have a comfortable, DARK place to sleep for the day. Preferably facing AWAY from any noisy environments. Hang a heavy blanket over a window if necessary.

I used to take naps and break up my sleep...5 hours in the AM, and a couple of hours before starting the shift. Not the best way, but with kids it worked.

Shut the Phone OFF, and turn the answering machine down.....very hard to sleep when people call in...I lost track of the times "Oh, were you sleeping? was the start of the conversation".

You will find that it is very hard to get BACK to sleep if something wakes you up. Better to eliminate the distractions BEFORE going to bed.

Cut off the Caffeine towards the end of the shift. Makes it a PITA to sleep.

Keep Moving (physically, not just in your car).

AFARR



Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:34:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
When you get off your last 2nd shift before you start your first 3rd shift, stay up till about 0500. It will help you make the transition.



+1 Welcome to the the night shift suck. Enoy!
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:41:08 PM EDT
I work the 10 to 8 shift, when I get off work I run errons or whatever, then sleep from about 2pm till 8pm, get up, get ready and get something to eat before going back in.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:24:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
I worked third shift in a factory for three summers.

It sucks.

Coffee is your friend but not for the whole shift, as is gum, jerky, other chewy things. Music too.
If you can get to bed before the sun comes up, great. If you see the sun it'll be harder to get to bed.



Sunflower seeds (salted, in shell) always worked for me, + copious amounts of Dr Pepper or < crappuchino <I AM CORNHOLIO!!! caffiene/sugar buzz>

Dogwatch isn't bad at all. It takes some getting used to but it's great for getting stuff done after work (bank, DMV, etc).
2nd shift blows though. I could never get used to working it. Nothing's open when you get off work (other than stop-n-rob minimarts, etc) & there never seems to be enuff time to get stuff done before going to work in the afternoon.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:29:36 PM EDT
Jerky, diet wild cherry Pepsi, gum and getting out of the car help a LOT. When you feel tired get out into the cold weather and it'll wake you up - even just opening the window when driving. The heater is your enemy.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:33:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RiffRandall:

Originally Posted By Spade:
I worked third shift in a factory for three summers.

It sucks.

Coffee is your friend but not for the whole shift, as is gum, jerky, other chewy things. Music too.
If you can get to bed before the sun comes up, great. If you see the sun it'll be harder to get to bed.



Sunflower seeds (salted, in shell) always worked for me, + copious amounts of Dr Pepper or < crappuchino <I AM CORNHOLIO!!! caffiene/sugar buzz>

Dogwatch isn't bad at all. It takes some getting used to but it's great for getting stuff done after work (bank, DMV, etc).
2nd shift blows though. I could never get used to working it. Nothing's open when you get off work (other than stop-n-rob minimarts, etc) & there never seems to be enuff time to get stuff done before going to work in the afternoon.



If I was on permanent full time shift I would rather have the graveyard... it seems like it would be alot better. Right now though, since I do police work part time, have another part time job, go to school part time, and try to relax every once in awhile, 2nd shifts rock.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:33:57 PM EDT
Drink the blood of virgins. It's how I learned to be a night person.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 4:38:28 PM EDT
I liked the D shift, 2000 to 0400.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:00:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I liked the D shift, 2000 to 0400.



2000 to 0400?? Wow, that's like 1600 hours! I don't think I could stay awake that long.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:01:23 PM EDT
Try some Melontin from the health foodstore, it can help with adjusting your body to the time change.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:09:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
0400.




0400 would be way better time to end, since you'd get home before the sun was up and will sleep better.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:11:28 PM EDT
Get some of the soft foam earplugs for sleeping during the day.

I did third shift at a factory for three years.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:14:36 PM EDT
Meal at the end of shift. DARK room. AC or something to block out the noise of all the daywalkers. Marsona (Google) makes a "sound conditioner" that makes a rushing air sound that helped me. OT hounds all love graveyard.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:29:35 PM EDT
To echo most of the posts here--taking meletonin pills helped me establish a normal sleep pattern. In this case 7AM-2PM.

Try to sleep and eat at the same time every day, you'll find yourself getting sleepy when you are supposed to after a while.

Lie down for a 45 min nap before your shift, no more than 45 minutes or you'll mess up your sleep cycle.

Make sure your sleep area is dark, wear sunglasses on the drive home, avoid caffine the last couple hours. Make sleep a priority, the wife, kids, the phone, everything else comes second you need that six hours straight. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 7:06:34 PM EDT

In my 24 years on the roads, I've been on mids approx. 75% of the time. I've been on a 11.5 hours shift (1830 till 0600 hrs) for the last few years. I get about 4 to 5 hours of sleep. It seems to work for me.

I have one lost day every month. I sleep all day and only get up to go to the bathroom and eat. Court sucks. It screws up your entire sleep pattern.

If your make it on mids, you'll make it on any shift. Mids can be a lot of fun. The night people are a strange group.

Turn the car engine off and listen. You can hear for miles. Remember, if you can hear for miles, so can the bad guys.

Try to have fun. You might actually be a midnight person.


_________________________________



Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:50:30 AM EDT
Make sure you block all the sunlight out of the bedroom. One little beam and you'll be awake.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 7:56:16 AM EDT
Midnight work is great. Drunks, drugs, and domestics. Know the 3 "D"'s and you can handle 99% of midnights.

The hours suck, though. All you guys who manage it without feeling sleep deprived--I hate you all.

Link Posted: 3/14/2006 2:02:09 PM EDT
Worked mids for 8 years, 1800 to 0200, alcohol enforcement. Dark, cool room, limit distractions. I've been on days for 12 years now in a regular job and I still miss the night Jeff
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 2:07:41 PM EDT
Keep the lights on. I work 5 nights a week from 9pm - 6am. All that is needed is to keep on the lights and move around.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 2:33:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I liked the D shift, 2000 to 0400.



2000 to 0400?? Wow, that's like 1600 hours! I don't think I could stay awake that long.




You might want to check your math! But I'll work that shift if you pay me for 16 hours!


Travis
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 2:38:54 PM EDT
I sympathize with you. Last year, for the first time in my 21 years of aviation maintenance I had to work the night shift, 6PM to 6AM. I hated it! Just barely got used to it and was able to bid a day shift. Now that day shift slot is being eliminated and starting April 1st I’m back on the night shift.
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 2:39:51 PM EDT
Be aware that some people just can't do certain shifts. I never had a problem with the evening or night shift (network ops center). However, there were colleagues that just couldn't handle the evening shift, they couldn't sleep at all, or got sick.

It takes about a week to switch over to the new shift.

As others have stated, find a dark quiet hole to sleep in during the day. And lock the bedroom door to keep spouse/kids OUT.
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