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Thread: Civilian question for cops who are shift workers.

  1. #11
    Lowly Production C-Class olstyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithH View Post
    I've worked a swing shift for years in a factory and have been on this desperate quest for improved sleep quality.
    Not a cop, but I did a 10 PM - 8:30 AM shift 4 days/week for ~8 years. The biggest thing that helped me with sleep was blackout curtains in my bedroom. It helped me with tricking my body into thinking it was time to sleep even though I had just driven home in bright sunlight.

  2. #12
    I did 17 years midnights patrol with the last 5 years 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts. I never had a problem with 8hrs but the 12's were much harder. I didn't have kids to deal with and for a number of years lived alone as my wife worked out of state for the school year so even less obligations. That said I used caffeine from coffee and soda plus large Monster energy drink to stay alert and awake every shift. Benadryl and good sleep hygiene practices for rest. I used room darkening shades but also cut paneling to the exact size of the bedroom windows so no light came it. Shades make it darkish but the panels make it as dark as night. A fan or A/C for breeze and white noise to drown out daily activities like grass cutting,traffic,kids playing etc. Keeping the temps cool and a ritual of going to sleep and waking up the same times every day helped.

    Regardless of how much I liked the work and it worked OK for me I had health issues like high BP,gall stones,kidney stones that probably were exacerbated by the diet and shift. If not they were likely not helped. After retiring I lost 67 lbs, got off all medications and have had no health issues. I also am off all caffeine except an occasional diet cola.

  3. #13
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    Eye opening read. Sobering and a bit frightening as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    My sons a fixed wing aviator for the Coast Guard and they have some pretty strict rules on flight time limits and mandatory recovery time when limits are reached. Looks like cops and the rest of us have no such protection. My employer expects world class performance from exhausted and compromised employees and refuses to listen to modern research on the impact shift work has on cognitive functioning. They continue to emphasize that we need to get more rest and that we arenít trying hard enough.

    Thanks for the read.

  4. #14
    Member Trooper224's Avatar
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    I worked midnights for the last twelve years of my career. I did it because of the people I worked with and I considered the day schedule even worse.

    Unfortunately, there really isn't anything you can do to totally compensate because you're working when you should be sleeping, there's no way around that. I would typically get off shift at 0700am and would try to get to sleep immediately thereafter. I never had a problem with ambient light. I put a shade up on the bedroom window so the sun wouldn't shine directly in, but I never required total darkness. But, no matter how much sleep I got I always felt tired. I didn't fully comprehend the extent of that until I retired and started to live like a normal human being. It then became apparent I'd been walking around fatigued for the last decade. Unfortunately, there's really no way to compensate that I know of.
    We may lose and we may win, but we will never be hear again.......

  5. #15
    THE THIRST MUTILATOR Nephrology's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper224 View Post
    Unfortunately, there's really no way to compensate that I know of.
    There's always modafinil...

  6. #16
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    Rotating shifts (days to evenings to nights or the reverse) will take years off your life. Youíre always walking around like a zombie.

    I know people who have been day/evening or evening/night relief and liked it.

    This is a guess, but I bet about 20% of the population are natural night owls.

    I was on straight midnights (by choice) from August of 1977 to May of 2011 (except for one year) and in retirement I generally only work evening or night shifts.

    Some people just cannot make the adjustment to working over nights.

  7. #17
    Ive read a coiple of studies which found at about 17 hours awake, cognitive and motor skills were on par with a .10 BAC. I believe it

  8. #18
    As an R&D engineer, I did not have to do rotating shifts very often but when we had an extended project, it got old very fast.

    I knew one guy who volunteered to work straight midnights, he acclimated and was much more comfortable.
    Another friend accrued enough seniority to pick straight evening shift and was really well off.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  9. #19
    Member Lon's Avatar
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    Dayton, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by KeithH View Post
    My sons a fixed wing aviator for the Coast Guard and they have some pretty strict rules on flight time limits and mandatory recovery time when limits are reached. Looks like cops and the rest of us have no such protection. My employer expects world class performance from exhausted and compromised employees and refuses to listen to modern research on the impact shift work has on cognitive functioning. They continue to emphasize that we need to get more rest and that we arenít trying hard enough.

    Thanks for the read.
    Yep. I get it. My dad was a airline pilot for 34 years and I grew up hearing about how many hours he could log, etc. iím actually surprised this is not become more of a issue with some of the controversial uses of force.
    Formerly known as xpd54.
    The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions or policies of my employer.
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  10. #20
    Site Supporter Coyotesfan97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff22 View Post
    Rotating shifts (days to evenings to nights or the reverse) will take years off your life. Youíre always walking around like a zombie.

    I know people who have been day/evening or evening/night relief and liked it.

    This is a guess, but I bet about 20% of the population are natural night owls.

    I was on straight midnights (by choice) from August of 1977 to May of 2011 (except for one year) and in retirement I generally only work evening or night shifts.

    Some people just cannot make the adjustment to working over nights.
    Iím a night owl. When we first got bid I worked graves for three years straight. I worked 1900-0400 for 16-17 years in K9. I loved that shift. I never worked day shift patrol.

    I generally slept well. Every now and then your body says no and youíre awake. I usually stayed up two hours when I got home then went to bed. I closed the blinds and had an eyeshade. White noise helps too.
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.* Thucydides 471BC

    "Hey! Let's be careful out there." Sgt Phil Esterhaus played by Michael Conrad

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