T Nation

Need Advice for Irregular Work Hours


#1

So I recently got a security job where I work very odd hours and my hours are non-negotiable. My schedule:

Sunday: 7 AM - 4 PM
Monday: 1:45 PM - 11:15 PM
Tuesday: 5:45 PM - 6:15 AM
Wednesday: 5:45 PM - 6:15 AM
Thursday: No work
Friday: No work
Saturday: No work

Has anyone worked similarly irregular hours? I am concerned about my ability to get regular sleep and not become an insomniac. But I don't know how I'm going to do it. Lets say on Sunday and Monday, I hit the hay at 12 AMish (midnight). That would be a good time to sleep considering my schedule for the first two days. 7 or 8 solid hours of sleep are good and there.

But then my body has adjusted to that and I will be falling asleep on the job on Tuesday and Wednesday. What's the deal? Is is possible for your sleep cycle to adjust to wanting to sleep one way for half of the week and another way for the other?


#2

[quote]Fiction wrote:
So I recently got a security job where I work very odd hours and my hours are non-negotiable. My schedule:

Sunday: 7 AM - 4 PM
Monday: 1:45 PM - 11:15 PM
Tuesday: 5:45 PM - 6:15 AM
Wednesday: 5:45 PM - 6:15 AM
Thursday: No work
Friday: No work
Saturday: No work

Has anyone worked similarly irregular hours? I am concerned about my ability to get regular sleep and not become an insomniac. But I don’t know how I’m going to do it. Lets say on Sunday and Monday, I hit the hay at 12 AMish (midnight).

That would be a good time to sleep considering my schedule for the first two days. 7 or 8 solid hours of sleep are good and there.

But then my body has adjusted to that and I will be falling asleep on the job on Tuesday and Wednesday. What’s the deal? Is is possible for your sleep cycle to adjust to wanting to sleep one way for half of the week and another way for the other?[/quote]

My advice to you would be to keep a regular schedule as close to “normal” as possible. That would mean trying to get to bed close to the same time as as you can, getting as much as you can. The days that you’re working 3rd shift, you’re just going to have to try to nap, maybe Melatonin, or some other supplement to help you sleep.

Your body will never adapt to this kind of schedule, but you can make it easier by making sure you get enough rest the other days.

The first day off you’re probably going to be dragging your ass. Good luck.


#3

You’re just going to have to decide whether the job is more important than quality sleep. To me, it would be a no-brainer: find another job. If you decide to keep the job, you are just going to have to accept the fact that your sleep schedule is going to be erratic and that you will be tired.


#4

#5

[quote]ktennies wrote:
You’re just going to have to decide whether the job is more important than quality sleep. To me, it would be a no-brainer: find another job. If you decide to keep the job, you are just going to have to accept the fact that your sleep schedule is going to be erratic and that you will be tired.[/quote]

I wish I had a plethora of options to choose from, but to be honest this job pays well and I have a number of bills to pay.

So does anyone work odd hours like this?


#6

I used to work odd hours, but after a couple years, I got burnt out. I just slept when I could when I was tired. And I took a lot of naps.

EDIT: After looking at your schedule again, it’s really not that bad for sleeping. With the 3 days off, you have a lot of options for consistent sleep hours.

For example, other than Sunday, you can sleep daytime hours every day. Yeah, you have to get a little earlier for that Tuesday shift, but you can also go to bed earlier because of Monday’s hours. If work is your main responsibility, and you have no kids, this schedule isn’t that hard to deal with.


#7

Right now I’m working:

11p-7a Mon
11p-7a Tues
OFF Wed
OFF Thurs
3p-11 Fri
3p-11p Sat
3p-11p Sun

Basically two all nighters, then two days off, then 3 normal days. I’ve gotten used to staying up all night, but the problem is I stay up until 4am no matter what. Annoying. My sleep isn’t suffering too much, but then again I’m the kind of guy who could fall asleep in the middle of a hurricane and not be disturbed too much. The only problem I’m having is skipping meals in favor of sleep. This must stop.