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Start 3rd shift tonight - any advice!

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  • Start 3rd shift tonight - any advice!

    Hey guys,

    I start 3rd shift tonight, and I was wondering if you guys had any advice as far as sleeping goes. Do most of you come home after shift and goto sleep, or do you stay up for awhile then go to sleep? Also, would it be good to come home and go to sleep, then take a nap later on in the day? I've done very few 3rd shifts (with my internship), so I'm not sure what the best method to follow will be now that I'm going to be doing them for quite awhile.

    Also, what are some good things to drink during the night if you start feeling drowsy? Do those 5 hour energy's work?

    Thanks much!

  • #2
    I work evenings. When I get home I usually stay up for at least three hours then go to bed. I wake around 10a.m. and take a quick nap (less than an hour) prior to reporting for work.

    Btw, good luck!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MPDCjock View Post
      I work evenings. When I get home I usually stay up for at least three hours then go to bed. I wake around 10a.m. and take a quick nap (less than an hour) prior to reporting for work.

      Btw, good luck!
      So, you work 3-11pm? When you worked midnights, how did your sleep pattern consist of?

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      • #4
        I work 2200-0600. What I've found works best for me is to go to sleep around noon and get up around 7 or 8. I tried going to sleep right after I get off, but then I wake up around 2 or so and by the time shift is over I'm falling asleep in the car. I get off at 6, go to the gym, unwind for a couple of hours, and go to sleep around 11.

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        • #5
          I work 11p-8a (5 on 3 off). I can't fall asleep right after work, I get home about 8:30 or 9:00 and stay up until 10:30 or so. I get up at 4 or 5 when the kids come home, and then I take a nap from 7-9:30. It isn't ideal, but it works. On my days off, I end up switching back to a daytime schedule just because it's easier with the family. This makes my first day back pretty rough. I have been picking up a few OT hours from 1am-4am on the day before I go back to work, so I can sleep all day before I go in on my first day back.

          We are pretty slow this time of year on third shift, I go to Sam's Club and buy big bags of Dum-Dum's and Tootsie Pops. Sucking on a sucker will help you stay awake. Some of the guys I work with are asleep by 8:20 after work, and get up at 4:30 and are good to go until the next morning. That doesn't work for me.
          "My faith, my country and my family will guide me; nothing more, nothing less" -Gen. Tommy Franks

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          • #6
            When I worked midnights (11-7), I would go to sleep at around 9:30 and wake up around 5:30. It worked in the sense that I wasn't tired at work, but I HATE sleeping all day.

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            • #7
              STAY AWAKE!!

              Develop that graveyard 6th sense. If things don't quite feel right, they probably aren't! Be safe and go home to the family in one piece.
              Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

              [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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              • #8
                I work 9p-7a, 4 on 3 off. I stay up for a couple hours after work, til 9 or 10. I'll sleep until 5-6 ish. I'll drink an AMP every now and then if I didn't get much sleep. I will also get out of the car and walk, we are required to do some walk beat.

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                • #9
                  Doesn't even matter what we do, really. Your body will quickly figure out what works best for you. I know some people that wake up and stumble right into their shift staying up hours and hours after their shift is over. Others are up most of the day and go to sleep as soon as they get home.

                  Physiology and trying to have a life will dictate how and when you sleep. Unless you wake up and go straight in to work, be prepared to fall asleep in court.
                  NRA Life Member

                  The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                  Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

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                  • #10
                    This topic comes up quite often on the forum.......................


                    Here is 5 pages of discussion on this topic from last year

                    http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...ight=melatonin


                    and a shorter one
                    http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83463


                    12 yrs and counting of midnight shift
                    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 11-04-2009, 03:09 PM.
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                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JLH81 View Post
                      Also, what are some good things to drink during the night if you start feeling drowsy? Do those 5 hour energy's work?
                      If you get drowsy, that's when you get out of the car and physically check your businesses. This will wake you up especially if you catch an "in progress".

                      I've never had any success with the energy drinks. For me it was 4 No Doz caplets followed by plain water, all the caffiene and no sugar, PLUS you don't have that bloated feeling that you can get from drinking a whole pot of coffee!

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                      • #12
                        Yep, those 5 Hr Energy shots can work. I prefer them to a whole can of the fizzy stuff.

                        I'm on nights right now (we have only two 12-hr shifts). I get off at 6am, get home and let the doggie out to pee, then shower, re-crate the dog (because he does not understand sleeping during the day and will wake me up by 930a), and am in bed and asleep by 730a. Up sometime in the afternoon depending on if I have appointments, I try to sleep til 130p, then work by 530a.

                        Some people on nights will go home, sleep some, then up for a few hours, then nap before work. Some stay up for a few hours, then sleep and get up before work. Depends on what works for you. Even when I'm on shift (I work a cover 9a to 9p instead of 6-6), I'm programmed to go to bed as soon as I get home. I do the same if I work the regular day shift, and am in bed by 8pm.

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                        • #13
                          I absolutely HATE working the night shift. I hate it so bad I get into a bad mood a week ahead of time. I become a miserable, sleep-deprived, short-tempered ogre when I have to work nights. I don't sleep well during the day, and all other bodily functions are not working right either.

                          If there is one thing that will cause me to retire, it's working nights. You know, if we made prisoners in jail constantly change their sleep pattern, advocacy groups would call it cruel and unusual punishement. We make our people do it all the time.
                          You can now follow me on twitter.

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                          • #14
                            I worked graveyards (2130-0730) for the first 6 years of my career. I would usually go to bed by around 0830 and would get up by around 1500-1600.
                            My last year and a half on graveyards was increasingly difficult. More and more often I was becoming very tired during my shift. It eventually got pretty bad and I became pretty concerned. Fortunately an opportunity to transfer to a new assignment came up and I took it. The new assignment also came with new hours (1700-0300) which has worked better for me.
                            Anything worth shooting is worth shooting 3 or 4 times.

                            M-11

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                            • #15
                              Nothing is better than having a bourbon at 0800 hours! (after youve worked all night that is)

                              Get some really good blinds or one of those sleep masks things to block out all light.
                              I would rack out at 0830 and only sleep til around 2...then nap from 2000 til 2100....drank lotsa coffee throughout shift when needed, especially @ 0400....killer
                              good luck...you will get used to it
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