1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face Going on the night shift...how do you adjust your sleep?

    Well, accepted a new job today...lot less stress than the last...but the catch is it's 4 12hour nights on, 4 days off, 4 12hour nights on, 4 days off, etc...

    Kinda an unusual schedule for computer gurus, but hey, major corporations need someone to keep an eye on their networks overnight. And my Deputy Chief got a big grin on his face when I told him I'd be in town at least sleeping every weekday...he'll have to enjoy it while it lasts 'cause hopefully I'll only be on graveyard for a year or so.

    Anyway, since that's a similiar schedule to firefighters (at least the 4 platoon systems up here in the Northeast -- but I won't have the option of sleep time if no calls :P) how to do you adjust your sleep between the "work period" and the "off period" ?

    I'm thinking sleep a little late on Day 1 but basically pull a 24hour day going in, sleep during the day Days 2, 3, 4; and pull a 24 hour day and stay up till the early evening after the last shift to get back on a "sleep at night" schedule...

    Any ideas or tips?

    Matt "The Night Owl Dalmatian"

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I pull a 24 going in too, you get used to em after a while. Last one I usually take a nap in the afternoon for just a few hours.

  3. #3
    Ken Hanks
    Firehouse.com Guest



    24 hours awake gets harder as you get older. I used to be able to do that in my teens and twenties. Really close to 40 now and I find it difficult.

    BFD (before fire department)I worked 3rd shift for a while. I would get home between 6 and 8 AM. Have a small breakfast and sleep untill 2 or 3PM. On days off, I'd go out until 2AM and stay up until the sun came up.

    Trying to adjust back to 'normal sleep' and back to up all night will play havoc with your bodies internal clock.

    I work 3 on/3 off. If we have a busy night (and that seems to be the norm lately!)I'll take an hour or so nap in the PM.

    You will probably have to try a few schedules to find the one that fits you.

    Good luck in the new job.

    Ken Hanks
    Naugatuck FD
    IAFF L1219

    Connecticut Fire Academy

  4. #4
    Aerial 131
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I worked a job 8 year ago (did it for 11 years) where we worked a reverse rotation, 7 days of swings, 2 off, 7 days of days with a rotating weekday off, 1 day off (always Friday, then 7 days of graveyard. Killer shift schedule, proven to take years of life off you. To move from days to graves at the time many of us watched what we eat, (no fatty foods, low protein the last meal before starting shift that night), working out every day after work for at least 2 hours, heavy curtains to block light, during summer keeping it cool in house, kids knew to keep it fairly quiet until about 1400/1500, neighbors were advised of night worker, and note went up on door to shut down the door bell, phone ringer turned off. All this helped in some fashion or other to stay awake, sllep better and have some home life. almost forgot, first day off I would try to stay up unitl at least 1700 to turn back around for the family, worked most of the time. I would not want the back shift ever again, Detroit 56 is much better. Don


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I work 12hr shifts and I go about it a little diffrently than the others who have replied. The night prior to the first night out I stay up late and try to sleep in late the next day. I don't try the 24hr deal, and everyone that I work with is glad...LOL. I only sleep a couple hours after the last night, and then go to bed at a "normal" time that evening.
    There are a lot of things that will help you sleep. A dark room is a must, and something to block outside noise. Fans and white-noise machines are the most popular devices with the people I work with. I hope this helps. Good luck with your new job :=)


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