Does anyone experience sleep deprevation? Could not find much research on this subject in respect to the fire service. I tend to take naps when I get home after my 24 hr. shifts since I don't work on my off days. Just curious how other FF's deal with it. My family seems to be concerned that I take naps all the time.
IAFF L 1511
Maybe you should get a blood test for hypothyroidism. I never heard much about it before but when I started at my dept. I found out that about four or five guys out of a class of thirty have it.
Aside From the Medical Issues that are possible. I am usually dog-tired at the end of the shift; I don’t sleep a wink ever at the firehouse. I have been in career staffed Firehouse since the ripe old age of 17. ”This Includes Military”. What I do is go home drink a few cups coffee then head to the Gym. The Key with me is to not stop moving; when I sit down I am out like a light. I use to go home and sleep Three to Four hours after every shift and That Charged by Batteries back up. I felt that I was sleeping my life away. Now I go Fishing or Hunting or work on the house. It’s hard to break the habit but you will feel much better about yourself.
I go home and take a 2 hour nap. Then I'm ready to go!!
Most of the guys I know do!
You can't really be a firefighter and not experience this. I don't know how many guys I have known through the years with work related sleeping problems, myself included.
I work a 10/14, 2 day, 2 night, 4 off roster, I find that even if I can get to bed at 2300 on a night shift, I usually don't sleep too well even if it is a quiet night (dos'nt happen too often!). The 2 to 3 hour catch up in your own bed after getting home seems to do the catch up though. :)
I used to have the same problem!
Heres the solution I came up with:
1) Wake up
2) Drink some coffee*
3) Clean trucks
4) Drink some coffee*
5) Drive home
6) Drink some coffee*
7) Go to the gym, no matter how tired you are.
*(remember to to leave room in your schedule for frequent pee-breaks)
Like Neman said, don't stop moving, and you'll be wide awake before you know it.
BTW- how're things down in Adrian? (I used to work for the private ems down there about 5-6 years ago)
Uck, I am exhausted after a 24, worse if I get a 24 ot and end up working 48.
There are occasions when I feel rested after work, but they are few and far between. As for not napping, keeping in motion, etc, I personally don't think thats very healthy. There aren't too many guys that live very long after retirement, and I feel that sleep deprivation (sleeping at the firehouse is usually not resting) contributes to that more than we know.
The biggest problem as I see it is depts that run Fire and EMS, which seems to be widespread (including the dept I work for). The 24 hour shift was not designed for EMS. A local firefighter took approx 25-30 runs in a 24hour shift at a busy station. After his shift, he drove to his parents house for thanksgiving dinner, fell asleep behind the wheel, kissed a tree, and is currently struggling to remember faces, let alone speak.
We have to take care of our bodies people..
It hasn't been all that many years since I was in graduate school, working 24/48 at the F.D., working a second job 30+ hrs a week, and had a baby to help care for. To this day I don't know how I survived.
Sleep is not a luxury, it is critical to physical and mental performance. If your problem is that you can't sleep at the station, try working on some lifestyle changes (less caffeine, changing the timing of your workouts, no TV while lying in bed, etc.). Rule out medical causes of sleep disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and others (bad news here - lots of health insurance policies exclude sleep disorder diagnosis).
48 is almost impossible if you have any ammount of runs, I have been there before I was like a bag of &$#%@ for several days thereafter
quick question for you guys before i put my sense in
how many of your departments have a nap for y'all
my career dept 11:30-1:00 is our time nap usually unless of calls are sometimes public relations
Years ago (in the late 60s and early 70s) firefighters at my dept. were allowed a "two to four" nap, but not anymore.
One more thing I'd like to add to the discussion: If you've had a busy shift, and you have to take a nap, but you're worried about sleeping the whole day away, drink a TON of water before you lie down. In a couple of hours, you'll wake up beacuse you have to pee really bad. Once you get up and see the sunlight coming in the windows, you'll be all set.;)
Um, Fergus, what about alarm clocks to wake you up, I mean even in your neck of the woods you must have alarm clocks??? :)
Yeah, but my alarm clock stops ringing after about 60 seconds. It's pretty easy to ignore when you're tired. But a full bladder (or a big wet puddle) will get you up and out of bed.;)
sorry to but in - however all these tricks are a bit like drinking coffee to remove alcohol etc. A few years ago I had a job (non fire service) where I was put on call for 7 days. Started on Thursday by Monday I had a total of 4 hours sleep. Felt OK been going all weekend. Had previously been booked into the blood bank to donate at lunch time Monday. Blood pressure was 80/50 - I was stuffed and did not even know it. Coffee is great a covering the symptoms and you need to keep in mind that driving in this condition is equal to driving drunk - only its legal.
I will look for the article (I can't seem to find it at them moment). The article said that a great majority firefighters working shifts where the sleep at night rarely, if ever, reach the point of complete REM sleep because even those of us who are most calm and laid back tend to "sleep with one eye open".
I will look for the article again but just so you know, you are not alone and there IS a study somewhere out there as to why.
More than a couple calls in the overnight mess me up later that day. I will generally wake up for shift change after a 24 (we change at 0600) and be ready to go for the day. If I'm active, I stay pretty alert. Generally by 15-1600 I'm kinda sleepy and will nap, rendering me fresh for the evening and returning to a normal night of rest.
I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I rode a 24hr shift on one of the aerials, and I felt horrible the next morning. We did'nt run one call, but the beds are WAY uncomfortable. I am a heavy sleeper and I would have not had a problem getting up. P.S. I am a explorer.
explr985, welcome to the Fire job! It's like that for everyone. Sleeping other places besides your own bed isn't all that great. You sleep, but don't rest.
I worked Wednesday a 24. Came in at 18:00 for a trade. We ran a medical and two fires Thursday night. I slept from 0200-0400. I had to work my own shift on Friday. Of course, we did weekday work, cleaned up from the fire (reloading hose, washing & hanging hose, checking fire and stuff). By the time 17:00 rolled around I was ready for my bed! Didn't get in until 21:45 though. Then it seemed like a dream again. Started running calls after bedtime. Ran another fire. Then get off this morning and come to 2nd job for 10 hours. Then back to the Fire Station in the morning agian for another 24.
I can definitely relate to the sleep deprivation feeling. We made 13 runs yesterday, with 5 of them after midnight. What little sleep I did get was in such an interrupted manner it didn't seem to do much good. Thankfully we don't get nights like that to often. I usually just go home and crash after a night like this, but I was not able to do so today. Also, when I do get to sleep at the station, it is sleep, but not really very much rest. Just glad I don't have to go back for three days.