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    volotek's Avatar
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    Night Shift Sleep Disorder

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    Shift work sleep disorder is the medical terminology for it. I know that my body can't adapt to the constant change from 12 hour night shift work to the days off when I revert back to sleeping at night and being "normal."
    I have tried to stay up late even on my off days. This still doesn't really work with my lifestyle and wanting to enjoy those wonderful daylight hours. Is there anyone else that has this problem or have any tips? My diet and exercise levels are on par with the primal lifestyle. I feel great, but I also feel like I am not letting my body recover from stress and exercise properly.

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    the night shift. A fiber optics engineer in El Paso, Texas, Brewster, 50, has been clocking out and going to bed past dawn for the last 30 years. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

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    Try melatonin. That stuff knocks me out real good, and you can buy it anywhere. I've gotten it at Trader Joe's. It might help you adjust to a new sleep schedule (for me, it just helps me *get to* sleep, but I fall asleep within 30 minutes of taking it regardless when I actually take it). You've probably been sleeping at night your whole life so I can imagine it would be hard to adjust.

    I had some coworkers on night crew back when I worked at a grocery store. They would go home and go to bed at like 8am, then wake up at 4pm when their kids got home from school and/or spouse got home from work. Morning was apparently the best time to sleep to accommodate with the 'normal schedules' of their families. They would stick to this schedule on their days off.
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    I posted a link to a podcast on body clock recently, the prof. explained why night shift is so hard, all of the hormonal and body cycles stay fixes to the light-dark cycles including core temperature, urine production, all kinds of unexpected stuff.

    I wondered if you could be really hardcore with your light/dark managment, make the entire house utterly blacked out during the day when you try to sleep, and get real quality bright blue light in your eyes at night while you try to work. i.e. simulate the reverse 24hr day night light cycle by using blue light to stimulate the body-clock cells in your eyes.

    Listen to the podcast, you will at least get an insight into what your body is doing!

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    Thank you for the replies. I do take melatonin on a regular basis. I does help with falling to sleep. The main problem is waking up after only 2-3 hours of sleep.

    I have black out curtains on all windows and you can hardly see your hand in front of your face in my bedroom. I also have a cool mist humidifier to keep things cool. I really need to try the blue light at my desk.

    Thank you again

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    Quote Originally Posted by volotek View Post
    Thank you for the replies. I do take melatonin on a regular basis. I does help with falling to sleep. The main problem is waking up after only 2-3 hours of sleep.
    I have actually noticed that, too. But for me it's like after 5 or 6 hours, so not horrible. I can usually get back to sleep.

    I have heard they make "slow release" melatonin, so you take it and you get your first dose, then later on as you digest it releases more. This could keep you asleep. I have no idea where, if anywhere, you can buy this though. Might need a prescription.
    Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

    Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
    Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
    Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2
    F/23/5'9"

    26lbs lost since cutting the crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volotek View Post
    Thank you for the replies. I do take melatonin on a regular basis. I does help with falling to sleep. The main problem is waking up after only 2-3 hours of sleep.

    I have black out curtains on all windows and you can hardly see your hand in front of your face in my bedroom. I also have a cool mist humidifier to keep things cool. I really need to try the blue light at my desk.

    Thank you again
    Night shift is hard. I don't think that people who have never worked nights can really comprehend the toll that it takes on you - physically, emotionally... There are some good parts about working nights, I'm not trying to write it all off as bad, but it can definitely be exhausting and add up quickly.

    So, I'm not sure what type of work you are in, but I work in a hospital. Most of my coworkers have their own methods to help them sleep, and since they are nurses, I'll just share what I've learned from them and what works for me.

    First of all, you may want to reconsider the melatonin. Although there is still a lot to be done, research suggests that long term use can have negative impacts on your health and can be habit forming. Most of my colleagues cannot tolerate melatonin due to the rebound headache upon waking or soon after.

    Since I've fully switched to primal, I've noticed that I have much less trouble falling asleep and staying asleep - no matter if it's night or day time. I had to experiment with this on days when I didn't feel pressed for time to sleep, though, as I've found that the added pressure of "I HAVE TO FALL ASLEEP RIGHT NOW!" makes it more difficult. If this isn't possible for you, you may consider alternating between a dose of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine (brands such as Unisom, just check the ingredients). The most effective way that I've read about and tried in using these medicines is to use one for 2-3 days, then switch to the other for 2-3 days, and skipping when you don't need it. The variation keeps you from building up a tolerance for it and becoming too dependent on it.

    I work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. On Wednesday, I usually take a 3-4 hour nap when I get home, then stay up the rest of the day to try and have as normal a life as possible with my family. I do the same on Saturday. On Mondays and Thursdays, I try to "sleep in" a bit or else take a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. Some of my colleagues operate this way, while others stay on a night routine all the time. Still others will sleep for 4 hours, get up and do their chores or what have you, nap for 4 more hours, and go on about their day... But I agree, it's somewhat messed up when we work nights and can really have a negative impact on our bodies and our minds.

    ETA: Do you consume caffeine during your shift? Have you noticed a correlation between the time that you consume it, or what you eat when you get off work, etc., and your sleep pattern that day? I've found that if I drink coffee after 4 a.m., I'm in trouble. If I eat when I get off work, more trouble. I usually take a meal to eat around 2-3 a.m., and a light snack in case I need it between 4-6, but I try to limit all intake after 6 for that reason.
    Last edited by badwolf; 03-25-2014 at 11:06 PM.

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    volotek's Avatar
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    My 24 hour working day

    - Leave work around 0710
    - Get home 0745
    - Unwind and get ready for 9Rounds kickboxing at 0830
    - Come on home and eat breakfast or supper whatever you want to call it (so screwed up!!)... just for fun.. 2 raw local eggs 6 scrambled with olive oil
    - Get in bed by 0930
    - Hopefully sleep until 1630 (seven hours)
    - afternoon walk and/or strength training
    - eat breakfast or supper... protein serving with 2 raw local eggs
    - get ready for work and leave by 1755
    - at my desk by 1840 during the night I love to tear up that yummy salad bar and make my own big @ss salad.

    I work at major car manufacturer plant where I am a automation consultant. I mainly troubleshoot robotic, plc, and other high end automation systems throughout the night. Its a good mix of walking and sitting at a desk. Not to physically consuming but can be at times. I work 8 12+ hour days in a row and take 6 days off ideally. There are instances where I have worked over a month at a time with no days off.

    Since I have been primal I haven't taken any meds OTC or prescribed so I doubt i will start now.

    I purchased a therapy light from Amazon so I really hope that will help while at my desk.

  9. #9
    Diana Renata's Avatar
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    Bar cook. Shifts are generally 5pm to 3am. Two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off... which really screws with my sleep schedule. That's why on my night off, I'm wandering the boards at 3am. -_-

    I miss living during regular daylight hours like the rest of the world, and have been concerned about what a late schedule might do to my health. Thank you for starting this conversation!

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