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3rd shifters...lend me your ideas!

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Old 09-12-2008, 08:06 AM   #1
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3rd shifters...lend me your ideas!

I rotate shifts every 4 weeks and I absolutely hate 3rd shift. Some months on 3rd are OK, while others are horrible! It takes me a good 2 weeks to get into the 'groove' and even then, I always feel tired.

Whatta you guys do to help you get to sleep and/or stay asleep?

I work in a factory and it's physically involved. It takes me atleast 2-3 hours to *wind down* after my shift (shift ends at 8am). I sleep when I get home so I'm awake at night to spend time with my husband. I can get myself to sleep (sometimes) but rarely stay asleep for a full 7 hours unless I take DRUGS (laugh - Unisome, Excedrin PM, etc). I'll sometimes have a beer to help get to sleep... My room is about as dark as I can get it. Ringers are off. I wear a pair of those goofy eye-mask things to further block out the light. I take meds at night to clear my sinuses so I can breathe better while sleeping.

But I guess I'm looking for some magical miracle cure to get my ass to sleep and get a full night sleep so I don't feel like a zombie when I get to work.
Even with a full 7-8 hours of sleep, after 6 hours at work ....if I sit down somewhere for longer than 5 minutes, I'd fall asleep!

It's like living in a constant dream state..... I'm usually a very high-strung-get things done- kinda person. On this shift - I don't feel like doing a damn thing!!

Has anyone tried (or use) Melatonin supplements? I've read they can help...
Or any other suggestions - let me know!
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:26 AM   #2
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Melatonin does work, having worked graves for many, many, too many years I know. It ONLY helps you fall asleep and does not keep you alseep if that makes sense. If your issue is falling asleep I say try it. If your issue is constantly waking or restless sleep Ambien is amazing. melatonin is cheap at any health food stor and most drug stores. Also, dont drink coffee or soda after 4pm. As much as people like to say they can drink coffe and go to sleep...I dont buy it ...good luck and good night
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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well the only advice i can give ya is quit changing shifts so damn much. i have always been a night shifter with the occasional moving around but never changed that much. it usually takes me a couple weeks to adjust. y do u change so much???
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montgomery_30824 View Post
well the only advice i can give ya is quit changing shifts so damn much. i have always been a night shifter with the occasional moving around but never changed that much. it usually takes me a couple weeks to adjust. y do u change so much???
Believe me, if I didn't have to....I wouldn't. But I have to.

I'm an Operator of a machine. There's 3 Operators for this machine (one per shift). It's up to the 3 of us to cover all shifts. We can't agree on a system because we can't all get what we want (in shifts) - so we rotate. It sucks....
The one person likes to rotate. If the department would just move her to another machine and put someone in there that likes 2nd shift, then I could get 1st shift permanently. Wishful thinking....

rwcfrank - you need a prescription for that Ambien don't you? I'm kinda worried as it says it may cause allergic reactions (I tend to have issues like that). I generally avoid all caffeine anyway and buy decaf sodas. But on this shift, sometimes I need that caffeine as a 'pick me up'. I do avoid it after 4am on this shift.... I know a pharmacist locally, I wonder if I can ask him for a sample.

Thanks guys!
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:41 PM   #5
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ive been in the navy for a touch over 10 years, and if i can say one thing, i can sleep anywhere, at anytime, any lighting, any noise!! i guess you just get programmed that way after a while. take for example, a couple of months ago, i had to wake up at 2:15am to get to work at 2:45am, and then work until about noon. come home, take an hour or two to recharge, then be ready to spend time with family and stuff until around 9:30pm, at which point i would go back to sleep. so all in all, i am completely used to 5 or less hours of sleep a night, usually less. your body gets used to it, well, at least mine did anyways...... i guess just try to make your daytime the night and vice versa until you find something that works. i think the difference between us, is that i can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and for that, i do feel sorry for you!! hopefully you can get it going
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
I rotate shifts every 4 weeks and I absolutely hate 3rd shift. Some months on 3rd are OK, while others are horrible! It takes me a good 2 weeks to get into the 'groove' and even then, I always feel tired.

Whatta you guys do to help you get to sleep and/or stay asleep?

I work in a factory and it's physically involved. It takes me atleast 2-3 hours to *wind down* after my shift (shift ends at 8am). I sleep when I get home so I'm awake at night to spend time with my husband. I can get myself to sleep (sometimes) but rarely stay asleep for a full 7 hours unless I take DRUGS (laugh - Unisome, Excedrin PM, etc). I'll sometimes have a beer to help get to sleep... My room is about as dark as I can get it. Ringers are off. I wear a pair of those goofy eye-mask things to further block out the light. I take meds at night to clear my sinuses so I can breathe better while sleeping.

But I guess I'm looking for some magical miracle cure to get my ass to sleep and get a full night sleep so I don't feel like a zombie when I get to work.
Even with a full 7-8 hours of sleep, after 6 hours at work ....if I sit down somewhere for longer than 5 minutes, I'd fall asleep!

It's like living in a constant dream state..... I'm usually a very high-strung-get things done- kinda person. On this shift - I don't feel like doing a damn thing!!

Has anyone tried (or use) Melatonin supplements? I've read they can help...
Or any other suggestions - let me know!

takes some getting used too. some people can adjust some can't. I change shifts every week. and it can get pretty tuff.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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Hey Janster: I work a really wierd schedule too. 2 12 hour days followed by 2 12 hour nights, then 4 days off. I need to sleep during the day 3 time during each 8 day stretch. You seem to be doing everything right (dark room, no coffee for a few hours before sleeping etc). The problem I have is I am able to get to sleep but can't sleep for more than about 3 hours during the daytime. I have been on this shift rotation for about 8 years and I have never really adjusted to it. I don't really have any good ideas for you, just sort of letting you know you're not alone. This job is the best job I have ever had so I just do the best I can, but I only need to stay up for 2 nights in a row, then I can sort of catch up on sleep. Trying to sleep days for 4 weeks in a row must really be tough, especially if you have weekends off and want a normal weekend with the family.
good luck. One more thing Janster, wearing sunglasses on the drive home, even in the rain will help you sleep a little better. Don't let the sun get in your eyes, it will make it harder to get to sleep. Sorry for the long post.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:37 PM   #8
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I had two different methods to my 3rd shift sleeping schedule. My sleep habit rotated around what time the gym was open and more convenient to go and work out (Hate the busy times like 6pm). I would sleep about 4 hours when I first got home, do my thing during the day, and sleep 4 more hours before my shift started again. That worked fairly well for a while. The other thing I tried was to go for a quick run right after work and then try sleeping for 6-8 hours. I would then get up and start my day. Unfortunatly, I was single at this time and didn't have to worry about spending time with anyone during the afternoon/evening.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:23 PM   #9
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I have been on 3rd's now for a year straight. And have worked it on and off for the last 20 years.

When I was single I loved 2nd shift, but it doesn't work with a family.

Working graveyard has actually cured me of tossing and turning that I did when I worked dayshift.

I sleep when I get home and set my alarm for 3ish (PM). I have the evenings and then go back to work. By the time I get home the next day I am wrecked. Some of my shift comrades take a nap before going in, but it does not work for me.

I have 2 sets of blinds on my bedroom windows, but when I covered them with black window tint from Lowes it finally drowned out the little beams of light sneaking around the blinds.

Sorry no majic here...good luck.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:38 AM   #10
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Working 3rd shift for a few months now, and i sleep the day away before my shift, and when if i need to adjust to "regular" hours, just stay awake as long as possible. before the graveyard change, im sleeping from 8a-7p and im ok to work the gravy train, after i usually manage to stay up till 4p or 5p and i crash and dont wake up till 7am in the morning. hope i didnt confuse you, but nyquill and a shot always helps me
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:00 AM   #11
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hardin083 - you change weekly? My gawd... how the heck do you cope with that? I just can't imagine... and if you have kids & working around their schedules? You probably never feel 'relaxed' in a sense that you can never build up a rythm.

Oldtacomaguy - thanks for the idea about the sunglasses! I know on those days when it's rainy and cloudy, they're referred to as *good sleeping days* by most folks on 3rd shift. I'll definately give that a try...

I guess this is just outta my comfort zone. I'm able to cope, but it puts your body through a rollercoaster for sure. This weekend I worked till 8am on Saturday. Went home and took a 3 hour nap. I was good for the rest of the day mostly till I my stomach kinda got upset and a 'tension' headache towards 7pm at night. Went to bed at 9pm - fell asleep just fine but it was the weirdest night of sleep. Got outta bed at 8am but just didn't feel refreshed and my entire body was sore. Tonight I'll try to catch a nap on the couch before going in at midnight.... During the week (3X), I'll go to the gym at 10pm before work which tends to help *wake me up* but by 6am when I take my 2nd break at work, you can find me cat napping in the break room (regardless if I go to the gym or not)

It'll probably take me a good 2 weeks to get used to this again (it's only been one week) and then i'll be changing back to first shift. These first two weeks are just so hellish on your mood, rythm, and ya never really feel 'awake' and/or refreshed.

Thanks for the thoughts /tips gang! It's a chance to vent!
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