Overnight shifts and health issues

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 30, 2014 7:06 PM GMT
    Has anybody ever experienced being completely exhausted when work overnight jobs. I work from 11pm to 7am. I look exhausted you can tell by the recent pictures. Im 36 feel like im 60( no offense just giving an example ) some days. Its brutal. I have been looking for a new position but here its tough. Has anybody experienced this and then went right back to themselves once they got a day or 2 nd shift job?
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Sep 30, 2014 7:51 PM GMT
    The health problems resulting from working night shifts have been well established. That is not to say that everyone is affected the same way or to the same extent.
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    Sep 30, 2014 7:59 PM GMT
    I basically sleep at 4pm when I have to work 10:30 at night.
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    Sep 30, 2014 8:10 PM GMT
    Just because you're working nights, do not think you need less sleep in the daytime. I spent many years working shifts, but I never had any problems sleeping off night shifts. If I hit the sack at 7am, I would sleep right round to 2pm. If you need to black-out the windows in your bedroom and wear earplugs, then do it, but make sure you get quality sleep.
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    Sep 30, 2014 9:28 PM GMT
    so basically i need a reg sleeping schedule whether i am tired or not. I can only fall asleep w the tv running and I think taking it out of the bedroom was a bad idea . Hopefully this will reduce the puffiness too. I am getting out of this job its still at night but its 6pm to 2 pm not all night long .
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Sep 30, 2014 9:36 PM GMT
    I used to work overnights for about 2 years. Strange considering that routine schedule put me in the best shape of my life, but I digress.

    I usually worked from 11pm-8:30am or so. I lived near where I was working so I could get up later. I'd usually hit the sack around 1:30-2:00 to give me 7-8 hrs of sleep. I do agree that investing in room darkening curtains is an investment. Or, just tack a blanket or comforter over the windows for the true night experience.

    How long have you been working nights? It takes some time to get established on this shift work.
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    Sep 30, 2014 9:50 PM GMT
    its been about two yrs ive kinda had enough . it wasnt at this job but the previous one was stocking overnight too. This job has been 6 months . I have anxiety issues normally so I cant get my brain to shut off to actually sleep anyway. I think thats why the tv helped
  • BuggEyedSprit...

    Posts: 920

    Sep 30, 2014 9:57 PM GMT
    Mike,

    Been two years working 11p-7a, then napping if lucky, before hitting day job. Usually get 6-7 hours sleep in bits through the day. When I have a day off, which is by accident or illness, I can tell the difference immediately. I'll be at this for at least another 6 months. At least, I don't fall asleep at the wheel like I used to driving home.
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    Sep 30, 2014 10:58 PM GMT
    I wonder if it gets harder to change our sleeping schedule as we get older? When I was in the Navy I worked nights on the ship when we deployed and was ok with it. The part that really amazes me is that our sleeping compartment was near the stern of the aircraft carrier, 1 deck below the flight deck, and during the day I would sleep during flight ops when the jets were landing and taking off on the "roof" of our sleeping quarters. Now I wake up if I hear a bird chirping outside.

  • Apparition

    Posts: 3521

    Sep 30, 2014 11:19 PM GMT
    I worked nights for 11 years. when i am single it is my favourite shift. The problem most people have is that they "pretend" to work nights but really are on a day schedule and work at night too...and complain that they are tired, duh.

    A normal person wakes up, eats breakfast, goes to work for 8 hours, eats when they get home and then stays up for 8 hours, and sleeps for 8.

    It doesnt matter when those hours start, as long as you keep that cycle.

    You cant sleep right after work, or at the end of your shift it would be like very late at night for normal people, not optimal working time. You have to give up friends, family, and other expectations to keep sane on nights, and make them respect your schedule. If they call when you are sleeping, try calling them back at 3am for a chat and see if they like it. I found it really easy to go to the gym at seven am, right after work, since there was absolutely nothing to do and easy to get the workout in, it also prevented after work naps which are bad.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14336

    Sep 30, 2014 11:26 PM GMT

    When I lived in Austin, I worked for Motorola for a couple years on their overnight shift. It would start at midnight and go until 7 AM. It wasn't too bad despite the fact of being up during the night hours. After I got laid off at Motorola, I than took a job at Solectron and that was brutal because their shifts were compressed 12 hour shifts. I would start work at 6 PM and go until 6 AM four days one week and three days the following week. That was very hard and I was always tired and irritated. After three and a half years I gave Solectron Texas a two weeks notice and found full time daytime work. I just couldn't take those extremely long twelve hour compressed shifts.
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    Sep 30, 2014 11:54 PM GMT
    shift work at night is especially harmful to the body :s my sister did night shifts and she has hyperthyroidism now.. Having less then 6 hours of sleep or more then 8 hours increases your risk of heart disease. The body is just not use to staying up at night because light/dark regulates your hormones.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Oct 01, 2014 12:55 AM GMT
    There are health risks with staying up fucking all night long. If you do that five nights in a row, you'll be just as befuddled as the guy who just came off five midnight shifts. It's not being at work that's the issue. It's being tired. Fatigue and stress are major cancer causes. The big ones are cigarettes and alcohol. Both equally as dangerous.
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    Oct 01, 2014 1:32 AM GMT
    Mascmike2014 saidits been about two yrs ive kinda had enough . it wasnt at this job but the previous one was stocking overnight too. This job has been 6 months . I have anxiety issues normally so I cant get my brain to shut off to actually sleep anyway. I think thats why the tv helped


    It's a long shot (I understand it doesn't work for most people) but melatonin works for me (even in tiny doses) when I am tired but can't shut my brain off, especially at odd times. Perhaps try it with and without the TV, but either way I'd suggest keeping light to a minimum (including the TV). If you do try melatonin try to take it, and go to sleep, at exactly the same times every day for maximum effect.
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    Oct 01, 2014 1:55 AM GMT
    The only " health effects" of working a third shift schedule are if you try and bounce between schedules ( 1st and 3rd). I also work an odd shift, On days off I stay up till 4am and then wake up at noon. On days I work 7p-7a I go to bed at 9am and wake up at 4pm, so I'm only ever moving sleep in 4 hr directions, and that's doable and I feel fine.
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    Oct 01, 2014 7:15 AM GMT
    People that I know that have trouble with it don't get enuf sleep. That is they try to keep a normal day schedule and also do the night shift.
  • janu88

    Posts: 346

    Oct 01, 2014 7:55 AM GMT
    besides the sleeping regime, you need to cut out the light from your room totally, because the brain knows that it's not sleeping time if there is even a little tiny bit of light.
    Just get your bedroom pitch dark somehow on the daytime and follow a good 8 hour sleeping pattern. You should be fine And since you dont get any sunlight maybe you should supplement with D vitamin or do some short 3min sessions twice a month in tanning salons. icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif
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    Oct 01, 2014 8:40 AM GMT
    I did n. spotted owl research for 8 years. March through September late 80's to mid 90' I was awake all night and split shift during the day doing walkins' on the birds we hooted up. 12 hr.+ days. To this day I am a major night owl and no old time "hooter" is a morning person. We reset out clock, kinda.

    We used to work 36 hrs. at a time. If you keep moving you can kinda do it(?). Used to drive my crew crazy dealing w/me. Combined w/the concussions I have had I am doomed I fear? Sleep deprivation is NOT advised(based on what ya read in the newspaper). I have had less sleep rather than more all my life.

    I loved hooting owls all night long though. Best job EVER!
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    Oct 01, 2014 1:58 PM GMT
    Kev1962 saidI did n. spotted owl research for 8 years. March through September late 80's to mid 90' I was awake all night and split shift during the day doing walkins' on the birds we hooted up. 12 hr.+ days. To this day I am a major night owl and no old time "hooter" is a morning person. We reset out clock, kinda.

    We used to work 36 hrs. at a time. If you keep moving you can kinda do it(?). Used to drive my crew crazy dealing w/me. Combined w/the concussions I have had I am doomed I fear? Sleep deprivation is NOT advised(based on what ya read in the newspaper). I have had less sleep rather than more all my life.

    I loved hooting owls all night long though. Best job EVER!


    Owls are awesome. Sounds like a fun job.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Oct 01, 2014 2:06 PM GMT
    I have a friend, who is also a member here, that works 7pm - 7am on Sunday's as an RN. It is very common for RN's to work 12 hour shifts. He sleeps prior to going into work. And before he goes in, he normally has a coffee. I don't think that working the night shift is healthy but, thankfully, he only does it once a week. He has two other careers.
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    Oct 01, 2014 2:53 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidI wonder if it gets harder to change our sleeping schedule as we get older? When I was in the Navy I worked nights on the ship when we deployed and was ok with it. The part that really amazes me is that our sleeping compartment was near the stern of the aircraft carrier, 1 deck below the flight deck, and during the day I would sleep during flight ops when the jets were landing and taking off on the "roof" of our sleeping quarters. Now I wake up if I hear a bird chirping outside.



    On my last deployment, I worked 12-hour night shifts, every night for 6 months. Our accommodation tent was right next to one of the main roads on camp, so there was constant noise and rumbling, not to mention rotary and fixed wing aircraft flying above all day. Luckily, the tent was pitch black inside and my earplugs did the trick noise-wise. I had very little problem adapting to night shifts.

    I once slept through a rocket attack on our camp in Iraq (earplugs again).
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    Oct 01, 2014 11:47 PM GMT
    Mascmike2014 saidHas anybody ever experienced being completely exhausted when work overnight jobs. I work from 11pm to 7am. I look exhausted you can tell by the recent pictures. Im 36 feel like im 60( no offense just giving an example ) some days. Its brutal. I have been looking for a new position but here its tough. Has anybody experienced this and then went right back to themselves once they got a day or 2 nd shift job?


    Oh damn, somehow you got to change your current job. Night shifts will kill your healh
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    Oct 02, 2014 1:34 AM GMT
    All great advice, and true. The body does adjust, IF you manage routine and sleep or 8 hours in whatever that routine is. The problem you are talking about results from circadian rhythm. Adrenal glands release corticosteroids about an hour and half to two hours before we wake. When sleep is not routine, the glands don't know what time it is. That's why flight attendants make the cabin dark and quiet on long international flights, especially across multiple time zones. ROUTINE sleep habits even on days off will help. In the end, night shifters always age faster.