Sleep Schedule?

PotatoMedic

Has no idea what I'm doing.
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A constant state of sleep deprivation with my doctor telling me I need to not work so much or at least pick nights or days and not both. Like no 36 hour shift with 12 hours between the next 24
 

STXmedic

Forum Burnout
Premium Member
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I work 24/72 in a very busy, metropolitan inner-city. We're very lucky if we get 3+ hours of straight sleep during a shift shift.

(Night before shift/Third day off) The night before I go in, I try to make sure I get a good 7-8 hours of sleep, which puts me getting to sleep between 9:30-10:30pm. Otherwise I feel miserable about 18hrs into the shift.

(On shift) While on shift, anything between 0-4 hours of sleep.

(1st day off) The morning I get off (7am) I go home and sleep until between 12-2pm. That night I then try to force myself to go to sleep by midnight, but it's often closer to 2-3am.

(Second day off) The next day I try to work myself back to falling asleep at a reasonable hour, which usually ends up being between 11pm-1am.

Repeat from top.

I actually had a conversation with a friend's friend who has her PhD in sleep patterns and sleep disorders. I was asked to explain to her my schedule and typical sleep patterns to see if she could make a class over recommendations. Her reply to my description, "You poor guy... I really have nothing for that- that sounds terrible..." I pop melatonin like its candy...
 
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Fry14MN

Security Officer/Dispatcher/FR
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I work two different shifts.1900-0500 or 0800-1800. Two very different shifts but that's what it is. After the overnight shift I have 4 hours before I go to class(2 days a week) so I either sleep in my truck or I try and stay awake but class is 4 hours long...I usually drink more coffee then I eat food. I will take Melatonin when I get home and sleep.

I'm currently waiting for a night shift line to open up so I can stop working two different shifts but in the mean time its coffee, Melatonin and sleeping in my truck that gets me by.
 

StCEMT

Forum Deputy Chief
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I've got it easyish compared to some folks here. School/work combined is what kills my sleep, 5-6 hours is my norm at the moment during the week. However once school lets up I will work a 14 hour shift (realistically 16), but get a solid 8 hours of sleep so it won't bother me much.
 

dutemplar

Forum Captain
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12 hour day, sleep. 12 hour day, try to stay up late and sleep in... flip to a 12 hour night, crash, 12 hour night... and could be a "power through the day" or "take a short nap". Theoretically four days off, but frequently there is an extra shift thrown in which can be day, night, or a peak.

Melatonin, benadryl, and scotch are my friends. I can go without sleep pretty well, but now there's no coffee here and the likelihood of... unpleasantness, not to mention reverting to a sparklingly cheerful military personality has greatly increased because of that. :)
 

res1551cue

Forum Crew Member
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I work 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off otherwise known as the Panama Schedule. After being on days for a year I switched back to nights so that I can go to EMT school during the afternoon. My shifts are from 1800 to 0730 or later depending on when my support staff shows up. Because I go to school and have a second job outside of my primary one I dont sleep much. Usually go to bed by 0900 and I am up by 1100 for class. Been doing this for about 12 years so it kind of grows on you.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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I am fortunate that our 24s are pretty slow at night, but we get one transport that's it for normal sleep. So long as I get sixish hours of sleep I try not to nap. If not, I try to nap till no later than one so I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour. I try not to work nights ever so I can keep a normalish sleep pattern.
 

WolfmanHarris

Forum Asst. Chief
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For a good crash course, borrow a toddler that doesn't sleep well for a week or so, preferably one you like, but not that much. (To simulate a pt) Be on duty for whatever they need and respond instantly until you resent them horribly. That's a set of nights. "What?! But you already have water? What's wrong with that one?! I don't care that there's dust in it." "You just remembered something scary from the movie yesterday? Well thank GOD you woke me up!"

All joking aside, I use zopiclone to help me get to a deep sleep between nights (and sometimes days, but I've got other problems lol) since it's short half-life won't leave me groggy. I plan nothing between night shifts unless absolutely vital and assume any sleep time at work will be a bonus and probably not very restorative anyways. I'd rather be wide awake at work reading because I slept too much during the day than trying to function exhausted if the night's getting busy.

You won't be able to control it at work, but practice good sleep hygiene at home. No screens (to avoid blue wave length light), fully darkened room, good noise control (I have a note on my front door advising not to knock unless urgent and time sensitive). Avoid the habit of TV or studying in bed. When people say they need the TV on to fall asleep they're confusing a habit they're used to, with actual high quality sleep.
 

BASICallyEMT

Forum Lieutenant
Premium Member
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I just nap in between calls!
 

CANMAN

Forum Asst. Chief
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Sleep, what is sleep? I currently have 3 jobs and work alot due to high cost of living, just paid for a wedding, and we are buying a new home. So I just sleep when I can but it's never consistent, which is bad. I work combinations of 12's, 24's, sometimes 36 but will often leave one job and head into a shift at another job etc. I survive off Monster's as well.
 

Remi

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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I used to work 3-4 night shifts a week, with the days varying each week.

I'd get home around 8 or so and if I had to work again that night, I'd get to sleep as soon as I could and try to sleep until 3 or 4, but often woke up around 2ish, for a total of anywhere from 4-8 hours of sleep for the day. If I didn't have to work again that night, I wouldn't go to sleep right away, and instead would just take a 2-3 hour nap from mid-morning to early afternoon, so that I'd be tired that night and could go to sleep at a normal time and be on a normal schedule for the next few days until I had to go back to work. If I was going back to work after a few days off, I'd get up in the morning at a normal time and just try to take a nap in the afternoon before work.

I was tired a lot but I got used to it and got by just fine. It would be a lot harder now that I'm starting to get older.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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Sleep, what is sleep? I currently have 3 jobs and work alot due to high cost of living, just paid for a wedding, and we are buying a new home. So I just sleep when I can but it's never consistent, which is bad. I work combinations of 12's, 24's, sometimes 36 but will often leave one job and head into a shift at another job etc. I survive off Monster's as well.
I think that is what really wears me out. When you don't have the relief of going home, it hurts the psyche. And between three services and my internship...
 
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