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Graveyard shift work

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Martin Reed 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • Author
  • #33684

    ✘ Not a client

    I Have worked graveyard shift for 18 years and skated by with around four hours of interrupted sleep during the day. On depression medicine one for my daytime (12am) and one for my nighttime. Have started eating better and sleep seems a little better but not sure, it has only been about a week of that. I black out the windows and its quiet in my house and neighborhood. Any one in a similar situation that has ideas that would help falling asleep and staying asleep?



    ✘ Not a client

    Hi Moorj,

    Shift work is super challenging sleep wise. It’s basically a constant circadian disruptor. In my experience working graveyard shifts in the past, and working with people with sleep disorder now, I feel it’s basically impossible to adapt to that schedule. This is mainly because people don’t stay on a night schedule when they’re off work. Almost all shift workers flip two days at least to some degree when they’re not working.

    When I worked graveyard shift in my 20s and early 30s (ironically as a sleep tech), I would typically sleep 4-5 hours during the day after a shift. Very simply, I used light and caffeine to try to become more alert when i needed to be, wore dark sunglasses on the way home after working, and tried to exercise before a shift. Also I stopped all caffeine about 5 hours before end of shift, and tried to not each a big heavy meal at work. These strategies helped me a bit, but honestly I don’t think it’s possible to get sufficient sleep when working graveyard shifts.

    Any chance getting on day work?

    Good luck to you!



    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    As Mike suggested, it’s hard to get good sleep when you work overnight or on shifts. You might want to consult with someone who specializes in circadian rhythm sleep disorders and has experience in helping shift workers. Good luck.

    The content of this post is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, disorder, or medical condition. It should never replace any advice given to you by your physician or any other licensed healthcare provider. Insomnia Coach LLC offers coaching services only and does not provide therapy, counseling, medical advice, or medical treatment. All content is provided “as is” and without warranties, either express or implied.
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