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  • Rotating Shifts/Trouble Sleeping

    Hey I just wanted some advice on this topic. We work two shifts: Days or Nights. Day shift (6a-3p or 7a-4p). Night Shift (2p-11p or 4p-1a). I'll work nights Wed. through following Tue. and have off Wed. and Thurs. Then come back days Friday till folowing Thurs. and then have 5 days off then back to nights. I have been in LE for 1 1/2 years and have had a horrible time trying to get good sleep! I have always woke up 2 to 3 times a night to shift positions or look at the clock. I have never actually gone to bed and slept the whole night w/out waking up. I have no problem falling alseep, I just find myself waking up frequently!! It gets frustrating. It's hard to go to bed at the same time everynight b/c of work schedule so I cant get my body into a routine. When I have my 5 day weekend, I always have trouble sleeping.

    Does anyone else have this problem?? Does anyone have any personal suggestions they use to help have a good nights rest? I am not interested in drinking Nyquil or getting on some kind of prescription. Thanks!!
    "...I'd never let you down, even if I could. I'd give up everything if only for your good..." 3 Doors Down

    "Strength is when your body gives out and your heart and your mind take over"

  • #2
    What usually works for me is a cold pack across my face (soothing, helps me fall asleep faster) and a sound machine. Personally I prefer the "ocean waves" sound. And make sure the room you are sleeping in is Dark. It's hard to convince your body to sleep when you have sunlight streaming in.

    Another thing that is highly recommended by some researcher somewhere is if you work a night shift, on the way home wear sunglasses (as deeply tinted as you can stand, and obviously only if its starting to get light out) As getting even a little bit of sun in your eyes triggers some chemical response in your brain and makes you more awake; and therefore harder to get to sleep.


    One thing I just noticed...who works between 1 am and 6 am?

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    • #3
      I'm fortunate enough to only have to work the 7pm-3am or 10pm-6am shift a couple times a year. When I worked graveyards all the time I found it helpful to put foil on my bedroom windows to keep it dark. But that was in a small apartment. My bedroom now has too many windows to do that so I grab my wifes sleep mask when I get home. I also brought home some foam ear plugs from the range. The combo of the mask and the ear plugs have been working great for me this month.
      Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PTI
        When I worked graveyards all the time I found it helpful to put foil on my bedroom windows
        Hmmmmm - yeah, that explains so much...........








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        • #5
          Originally posted by krj
          Hmmmmm - yeah, that explains so much...........








          Not only did it help me sleep it kept the aliens away and the cops couldnt' catch me on radar!!!
          Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

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          • #6
            Drugs. My doctor perscribed sleeping pills for when I come off mids. I have to take pills yet I also have to pass a physical for my "health" every year because our health is a top priorty according to the chief. Chief also says that rotating shifts are "good for the city" and are more important than our health and being able to work effectively which is just about impossible every time we rotate.

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            • #7
              i have a sleep sounds cd that i play at a low volume that works ok. i have dark curtain but i need to find a way to seal the edges better so light doesn't get in.
              -Sean

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              • #8
                Your obviously too new to be proposing changes in the shifts but it would seem to be much better for the city if they would rotate less.

                That said, I worked more than my fair share of rotating shifts in the Navy and found it best to have some white noise in the background and to black out my room. It worked a lot better on the ship than at home though. If you can find some black out curtains buy them and try to soundproof your room as best you can. The wave machine works wonders as does reading some boring book like the tax code.
                "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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                • #9
                  You may not be interested because you said no Nyquil or perscription, but if you go to the health food store, there is a product called Melatonin. Its an herbal sleep aid, non-habit forming. I've used it a few times when i've been too restless to sleep, and it seems to work well. Doesn't leave me groggy in the morning either (and non-drowsy meds put me out too... )

                  Just my 2 cents.
                  Started POST Sept. 6, 2005

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                  • #10
                    I have taken that and while it works you will build up a tolerance to it like any other substance. I use it only in emergencies so it works well for me.
                    "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                    For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pkagel
                      The wave machine works wonders as does reading some boring book like the tax code.
                      LOL....Never thought of that. What I've done is bought heavy black paperboard at Staples or Office Max, and cut them to size for my windows in my spare bedroom. Then I just use tape to hold it to the edges. It works great. That along with the drone of a fan or air conditioner shuts out most outside noise.

                      I read once about wearing dark sunglasses once the sun comes up. Apparently it fools the brain into thinking its daytime. I guess the brain releases chemicals that make it difficult to fall asleep once daylight is perceived.

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                      • #12
                        wow, 0100 isn't what I consider *nights*... I work 16-02 and call it 'evening'

                        I used to rotate two evenings, two overnights (20-06). Then of course you have to reverse it somewhat for the days off. Right now I'm evenings x4 a week and days x2 or 3 at job(s) 2 & 3.

                        For me the day shift days are the worst. I can go to bed early, fall asleep no problem, but like you, *staying* asleep is the issue. Benadryll helps if I haven't slept for a couple of nights in a row (because then you start to panic about it and that makes it worse) Melatonin hasn't really helped me, but I'm about to try it again.

                        The thing that helps me the most, believe it or not, is keepign the bedroom cold. Something about cold outside the covers and warm underneath helps me to sleep better. If the room is too warm, I'm awake tossing & turning.

                        I am diabetic, and blood sugar levels can wreak havoc even with non-diabetics. A small snack before bed--protein and slow-release carbs (peanut butter, cheese, etc.) can help tremendously. I'm old now and don't drink coffee after 2200 on work nights, and usually not after noon on days off. I avoid soda too late in the day.

                        Physical activity helps, outdoors seems to help the most. I know how hard it is when you are exhausted and rotating shifts to even *think* about moving around *extra*, but it does help.

                        Good luck. I think it's a vicious cycle. You are exhausted, and stressed about not sleeping, so you sleep less...

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                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone for the advice!! I am going to try some of the suggestions. Its just frustrating b/c I would love to just be able to sleep w/out waking up 5 times a night!!! I forgot to mention one thing...does anyone have the alarm clock problem?? Kinda like you know you have to get up early and you are afraid you are going to oversleep so you keeping waking up to make sure you have time to sleep?? When I work days I always wake up and look at the clock thinking I am going to oversleep . I guess I am weird. I think a big solution would be to be on the same shift all of the time. I believe that would help. But we'll see. Thanks everyone for your good suggestions!
                          "...I'd never let you down, even if I could. I'd give up everything if only for your good..." 3 Doors Down

                          "Strength is when your body gives out and your heart and your mind take over"

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                          • #14
                            Rotating shifts bite. I am on permanent midnights and I love it. I do not want to change shifts anymore. I actually sleep more now than I did on other watches because my selection of gin-mils are quite slim. There are only 2 or 3 that I know of that are open at 0700 when I get off.
                            "I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky

                            "An Englewood Ranger is no stranger to Danger.." -Unk

                            Good Night Chesty Where Ever You Are.

                            A Good Friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you in the cell saying, "That was Awesome."

                            Second City Cop

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                            • #15
                              Melatonin and Sportscenter.. It puts me out every time.

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