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  • Night shift troubles..

    I've always loved working nights and getting into the things that night shift entails, but recently I am finding that I am increasingly reactive on nights and have a hard time getting motivated to be proactive. I feel tired more often, and some nights it seems like a chore to even do my building checks and take my calls, much less proactively get into anything. I know its a motivation problem and I feel it on day shift also (we rotate), but even more so on nights. Where is this coming from?

  • #2
    Are you eating right? Working out? Maybe you need a vacation or something. It's called getting burned out, we all feel it. You don't even have to take a trip anywhere just maybe a few days off at the office. Take the family out and spend some time with them, to me it sounds like you're a bit fried from a lot of work.
    "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

    "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

    Originally posted by JasperST
    I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

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    • #3
      I agree with USMARINE... eating right and exercising is essential for feeling good, both mentally and physically.

      Also, if it's possible, try to team up with another officer that you get along with. Someone who likes being proactive and enjoys investigating the same crime(s) you do.

      Not trying to bad mouth anyone, but there are quite a few officers on my squad that are not proactive. It can be pretty hard to stay motivated when everyone around you isn't. Over the past two years, I discovered that I love drug enforcement and I've found another Officer on my squad that enjoys it too. We've unofficially teamed up. When we're not on calls, you can guarantee that we're backing each other on traffic stops, pedestrian stops (we call them subject stops), or walking foot patrols in our city's apartment buildings and motels. Every now and then, when I don't feel like working, he gets me motivated... and vise versa.

      I also suggest setting a goal for each month, year, etc. It may help to keep you motivated. My 2011 work goal is to make 50 quality drug arrests. I'm at 19 right now.

      Hope this helps a little.
      Last edited by Street_Cop50; 03-26-2011, 11:20 PM.
      Look sharp, act sharp, be sharp.

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      • #4
        How long have you been on nights?
        Originally posted by Ceridwen
        Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

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        • #5
          I have been on the night shift for going on 5 years. I feel your pain. There are nights where I just want to drive around and be seen. I work for a small department where we have one officer on at a time. Grant you we have county deputies on duty too but most of them stay in the largest city in our county. You just have to find a good routine that keeps you motivated. I enjoy going bowling and spending time with my family. But I also started eating right i.e. laying off the fast foods. I workout at least 3 times a week sometimes more and I try to go and play basketball too. I would also have to agree with street cop, find another officer that likes the same intrests in law enforcement that you do. That will definately help out too.

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          • #6
            Oh, and one thing I figured out quick on night shift: just because you can run on 6 or 7 hrs of sleep on day shift doesn't mean you can do it on nights. 9 hours of day sleep is equal to about 7 of night sleep. You body will wake up easier and fall back to sleep harder when it is exposed to daylight, plus no one takes into account you are a day sleeper when they are doing laundry, working outside, or just going about their day. I went so far as to put a note on my door (pre-leo days when I was working nights at an ER in college) that I would be sleeping between the hours of 8 and 4 but would still get knocks and door bell rings, not to mention people (mostly the day working admin) calling through out the day.
            Originally posted by Ceridwen
            Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

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            • #7
              RED BULL, it gives you wings!

              I have worked nights for 8 years except for about 3 months of days (which killed me) I found an overall motivator is to make it a game, find some type of violation you have never stopped a car for, some obscure section like length of mud flaps or something stupid. You spend more time looking at vehicles driving around trying to find the specific violation and end up seeing some good stuff in the process. 1 or 2 really good arrests always picked my motivation level up as well.

              What kind of day/ night rotation do you do? I have heard of several NC depts doing some screwy platoon type schedule that makes you work 2 weeks days and 2 weeks nights back and forth. That alone is enough to kill you by stressing your body. I never ever ever found a person who could tell me a good reason for having guys work on that type of schedule. It takes your body a while to adjust to sleeping certain hours so flipping back and forth can cause extra stress and make you more tired.
              Originally Posted by VegasMetro
              maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

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              • #8
                I was that way. Of course it didn't help that most of my shift (10 other guys) was comprised of a holes who spent the night at the P.D. watching tv with the dispatchers.

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                • #9
                  I say it's about time to use up some of your stored up annual leave hours, and hit the road for a vacation!
                  Leave your radio behind, and focus on enjoying yourself a little. See something new, spend time with the family, and relax.

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                  • #10
                    Vitamin D. Seriously. Most night shift guys has a very serious deficiency in Vitamin D that leads to all of the symptoms you've described. Start taking 1000 units twice a day and I'll bet you'll start feeling better in a couple weeks.
                    Originally posted by kontemplerande
                    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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                    • #11
                      I've been working our schedule (4 nights on, 3 off, 3 days on, 1 off, 3 nights on, 3 off, 4 days on, 7 off) for a few years now. It is true that I never really get adjusted and we change every few days so I am tired. Also, my platoon dynamics have really changed over the past year and a half. I work with a bunch of really good people, but they are almost all slugs now for various reasons. The supervisor is awesome but very old school, and basically believes that after midnight you should only be answering calls and doing property checks. I am not lazy as I consistently answer the most calls and take the most reports, which I am fine with, but dont have the fun that I used to with my old shift. I still love law enforcement and trying to mentor the brand-new officers, but it seems like I have to force myself to stop cars and such.

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                      • #12
                        Note: That schedule sucks. The day to night flip is too damn hard on the body. Take the vitamins as suggested. Take a vacation as suggested.

                        Platoon dynamics always did affect me. I enjoyed having something with a similiar drive to stir mess up or at least those that would gladly run behind me while I stirred it up . I briefly worked with a team (6 months) where the guys in the projects with me were considerably older and were no longer interested in proactive work...and a female that was too scared to get out of her car half the time. It frustrated me. I need to MOVE. I need to get into something. I need to turn over all the rocks just to see what happens. I was grateful to return to my team.

                        It's rather funny with my position now. I have worked 1500-0300 for a couple of years. I'm the nighttime Detective and since the road flips from days to nights every three months at my agency, I work with both teams. One team is mostly rookie (less than five yrs on) with some veterns peppered in to hold back the reins. They are CONSTANTLY in something, making me work harder...more interviews, more search warrants, run run run run run. For three months I'm hauling butt with BOTH hands and I love it. The new guys get exposed to more and more. I get to teach search warrants and interview techniques. It's just fun.

                        The three months is up and here comes my other shift. I adore them all. The median age is 45-50. They are steady. Competent. No frills. Those three months give me all the time in the world to catch up on the paperwork from the previous three .
                        sigpic

                        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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                        • #13
                          I work nights, and I feel drained a lot of the time. It's that I wake up at a certain time and just can't get back to sleep. Same time, every day. It helped me a LOT to move to a mid-shift, getting off work at 2 AM. I have a partner that is as proactive as I like to be. That really helps a LOT. I find that as I get older, the harder it is to work until 6 or 7 in the morning. I prefer a PM shift, and my body prefers days....but my heart and mind do NOT like day shift....too much traffic on the streets to and from work. But at my current station, we have the BEST supervisors, partners, and staff so it makes it a complete joy to work any shift.
                          sigpic
                          Originally posted by Smurfette
                          Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
                          Originally posted by DAL
                          You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

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                          • #14
                            I ALSO AGREE WITH USMARINE.. BUT THERE IS NO BEST ADVICE. EVERY BODY DIFFERENT.. BUT WHEN U GET OFF LAST OUT, TRY TO EITHER EXCERSISE OR EAT OR VISE VERA before you go to sleep.. also a half hour before work.. do a quick work out.. sit-ups, push ups, etc.. ( 15-20 min ) if you can get your cardio runing prior to heading into work.. you might feel better..

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                            • #15
                              It's just not natural to be awake at nights. Your body produces several hormones based on night time deep sleep stages. Also the lack of sunlight effect vitamin absorbtion.

                              Exercise does help as does decent nutrition. Very dark blinds along with deep dark curtiAns. Some form of sleep schedule.

                              What killed me is our 2/3 3/2 days on days off. What in the sam-hell am I going to do for three days off in rural county? Nice wife in bed and I'm watching tv or come saturday and I sleep a few hrs in the car as we drive somewhere... If I go back to nights I will get a second job and just work 7 days a week.
                              Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

                              nom de plume

                              This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

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