T Nation

New Work Shift, Problems Sleeping


I'm a LEO. I know there are other LEO's on this site so I'm basically posing this question towards you guys, but if anyone else who works weird hours would like to help me out that would be great.

I work the swing shift, 1400 to 0000 hours. In the area I work I usually get off around 0100 or later and home around 0200. Then I can't get to sleep until 0400 or 0500 hours.

My problem is I sleep up until the very last minute to the point where I have just enough time to wake up and make it to work on time. I set an alarm and even moved the alarm across the room to try and wake up so I can get to work early and train in that gym, but I still sleep.

This has been affecting my training because four days out of the week I sleep and go to work and that's it. As of right now I am locked into one of those crappy commercial gyms which isn't open past 11 pm.

My job has affected my eating as well. Some shifts I go 10 to 12 hours without eating because it's so busy. Just so you guys know I am fairly new so I spend the shift busting my ass so I don't appear lazy.

Any tips for getting to sleep faster or anything else of importance would be greatly appreciated.

Any tips for how you cram eating into a busy night would also be appreciated. Maybe some food items that you carry so you don't starve.

Anyways, I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out but I figured I would see if I could pick the minds of the many on T-Nation.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.


Modafinil is effective for sleep shift sleep disorder. It is a wafefulness promoting agent. If you take it when you get up it may allow you to be able to sleep when you need to later. Otherwise just try some sleeping pills I guess.

As far as food, liquid is always good. It sucks, but it's better than starving. High-calorie protein shakes mixed with some complex carb mix or olive oil works well.


2 scp whey, 1 tbsp olive oil. 360 calories (more if you use milk) and it takes less than a minute to drink.

You'll just have to remember to drink it...which can become problem if you get in the zone and are working hard.


What sucks is I rarely get hunger pains during my shift. Then at the end of my shift I realise I've eaten enough to satisfy a anorexic high school beauty queen. Then I go home and eat like crazy and then go to bed. What does that lead to? Getting Fat.


Melatonin will also help you to sleep.

As for the eating: Make sure you have a cooler of some sort. Pack it with food. Sit it beside you in the car. Eat away.
Becareful though, when I first started as a COP I packed on the pounds. I was eating alot even though the activity level was way down. We think we are more active then we realy are. Sitting in a patrol car for 8-12 hours is not very active. Good luck and stay safe.


If you have crazy work shifts there's not much you can do.
Avoid sleeping pills,they're very addictive!