Shiftwork: Don't do it

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brumby33
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby brumby33 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:59 am

Yeah another shift worker here, been doing shiftwork pretty much the last 30 + years as a bus driver covering most shifts except overnighters. Lucky for my job that when i get on a roster, the times don't vary much in the time you start to the time you finish but with maybe 1.5 hours of variance overall. I just got off a midday roster which had me working till about 8.30-9.30pm most nights but now have moved to an early broken shift roster with about 2-3 hour break in the middle, not much time to do anything in the middle but am allowed to just chill after my first 5 hours of work, I find it much better even though it's up to a 12 hour spread eg; 6.00am start to 6.00pm finish and has a veriance of start to finish times of around 1 hour per shift so I find I can manage my fatigue levels a lot better. We have much better rostering than our train driver counterparts who work rotating rosters and with the situation that has caused industrial action lately is mostly because of the overtime they're expected to do...mostly with day off cancels to do at least 2 extra shifts per fortnight. There is no way I can cope with that and even though some whinge about the good money they get, they deserve every bit of it for the hours they have to endure.
I've found over the years that it's not only sleep which affects the shift worker but the opportunities for social interaction with friends and family and often found your only social contacts are your work colleagues. Shift work requires a special kind of work/life balance and if you don't get that right, you easily become a social outcast. No time for hobbies or regular sport activities, hard to get time off to got to weekend events or concerts etc but at least most shift workers get around 5 weeks holidays to compensate and some jobs like mine i can split up my holidays in 2 parts, 3 weeks one part and the remainder 2 weeks later on in the year.
Extremely difficult to avoid shiftworking these days with essential services, bus and train drivers, ambulance and fire fighters, police, retail workers, hospitality workers are required 24/7, so most professions these days are having to do it except the white collar worker. Probably why the modern person has taken to techno devices for chill-out time.
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DavidS
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby DavidS » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:24 pm

brumby33 wrote:We have much better rostering than our train driver counterparts who work rotating rosters and with the situation that has caused industrial action lately is mostly because of the overtime they're expected to do...mostly with day off cancels to do at least 2 extra shifts per fortnight.


Is the overtime compulsory? I would have thought that was illegal (it should be).

When I worked shifts (tram driver in Melbourne years ago) we were short staffed and I would refuse an extra day of work every week and they couldn't stop me doing that.

Still, I work in an office at a university now and, like most people who work at universities, I end up doing unpaid overtime or I just can't get my job done.

Shift work with a 6 day week is going to shorten people's lives even more than shift work alone.

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brumby33
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby brumby33 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:16 am

No DS it's not compulsory but expected.....there seems to be an understanding that you're required to be available for reasonable amount of overtime.....but Management's idea of reasonable and the worker's idea of reasonable is entirely different. If you have to do unpaid overtime to get your job done, then you might be in the wrong job or organisation....I'm not sure but isn't it illegal not to be paid for the work you put in, including overtime work? That would also affect your super and other entitlements? That wouldn't sit well with me knowing a company or organisation would profit by taking advantage of my time and effort unless I'm prepared to to help out in a volunteering basis such as a charity or such like.

cheers

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:25 pm

I've been doing shift work for 19 years now.

My current shift rooster is, IMO, the best so far. 2 x 12hr day shifts, 06:00 to 18:00 hrs, 24hrs off. Followed by 2 x 12hrs night shift, 18:00 hrs to 06:00 hrs, with 4 days off.

I don't have any issues sleeping after my first night shift, unless it summer (no aircon :( ). After my second night shift I usually sleep till lunch and then get up. That night I go to sleep as per normal. I certainly don't feel fatigued and I do enjoy all my time off. I don't think I would like going back to normal 5 day a week job.

I have found the key for my night shifts is to not eat or drink anything, other than water, at night. I have dinner before I leave for work and that will be it until I get up after a sleep the next day. I found in the past that eating was really making me lethargic around 2-3am.
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby warthog1 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:34 am

singlespeedscott wrote:I've been doing shift work for 19 years now.

My current shift rooster is, IMO, the best so far. 2 x 12hr day shifts, 06:00 to 18:00 hrs, 24hrs off. Followed by 2 x 12hrs night shift, 18:00 hrs to 06:00 hrs, with 4 days off.

I don't have any issues sleeping after my first night shift, unless it summer (no aircon :( ). After my second night shift I usually sleep till lunch and then get up. That night I go to sleep as per normal. I certainly don't feel fatigued and I do enjoy all my time off. I don't think I would like going back to normal 5 day a week job.

I have found the key for my night shifts is to not eat or drink anything, other than water, at night. I have dinner before I leave for work and that will be it until I get up after a sleep the next day. I found in the past that eating was really making me lethargic around 2-3am.


It's not 4 on 4 off. It's 5 on 3 off. You have worked 6 hours of the first day off ;)
16 years for me.
You are fortunate to be able to alternate your sleep patterns like that.
I am less able to as I age.
I would love to go back to 5 on 2 off and have a weekend.
I would have more family time and be able to attend social events and group rides far more often.
The science and statistics mean I would maintain better health for longer and increase my lifespan.
I'm not sure any "shift penalty" can ever compensate for that.

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Tim
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby Tim » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:37 am

warthog1 wrote:Those 3mg melatonin tablets I bought from iherb get me to sleep.
I plan to use them as little as possible.
No next day hang over.


I'm wondering how well the melotonin is working?
I no longer work shifts but recurrent insomnia has bugged me for most of my life.
Other than fish oil I've never taken any sort of vitamin or dietary supplement. Never had much faith in them although the subject of supplementation is interesting.
I've also been reading about DL-Phenylalanine and it's suggested benefits relating to depression/dopamine levels.
Anyone have any experience with DLPA?
https://www.livestrong.com/article/501701-what-are-the-benefits-of-dl-phenylalanine/

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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby warthog1 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:48 pm

Tim wrote:
warthog1 wrote:Those 3mg melatonin tablets I bought from iherb get me to sleep.
I plan to use them as little as possible.
No next day hang over.


I'm wondering how well the melotonin is working?
I no longer work shifts but recurrent insomnia has bugged me for most of my life.
Other than fish oil I've never taken any sort of vitamin or dietary supplement. Never had much faith in them although the subject of supplementation is interesting.
I've also been reading about DL-Phenylalanine and it's suggested benefits relating to depression/dopamine levels.
Anyone have any experience with DLPA?
https://www.livestrong.com/article/501701-what-are-the-benefits-of-dl-phenylalanine/


The sustained release keep me asleep longer.
The 3mg quick release get me to sleep faster.
I am currently on annual leave so haven't been using them much.
I am loathe to try higher dose tablets as I think resistance will develop faster.
I plan to use what I have sparingly.
I think restavit is a bit stronger but you wake feeling drowsy and it persists for some time.
Melatonin doesn't leave you drowsy the next day. :)

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Tim
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby Tim » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:12 pm

Thanks warthog. I might give it a go.
Dunno about the DLPA. It sounds more drug-like than melotonin.
Not my cup of tea though I can't find any mention of serious side effects.

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kb
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby kb » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:59 pm

Tim wrote:Thanks warthog. I might give it a go.
Dunno about the DLPA. It sounds more drug-like than melotonin.
Not my cup of tea though I can't find any mention of serious side effects.

There’s also something like Re-Timer, though pricey for a device that may not work for you. Careful with screens before bed time as blue light can suppress your body’s natural melatonin production. On a similar note, taking our 13 month old for a walk sunset and into twilight seems to set up her up for good night’s sleep :-)
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silentC
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Re: Shiftwork: Don't do it

Postby silentC » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:38 pm

I never had any trouble with sleep or tiredness when I was a shift worker. I'm a pretty light sleeper but I guess I was lucky to always have somewhere quiet and dark to sleep. When I was on nights I would get home around 7:30, have breakfast, watch TV for an hour or so then go to bed. I'd get up around 2 and go do something for the rest of the day, then have an afternoon nap, get up have dinner and get to work at 11. Our roster had afternoon shift for a few days before nights, then you'd get 2 full days and back on afternoons afterwards, so plenty of time to adjust before you were hit with day shift again.

I still do it occasionally when I have stuff going on overseas. I like it for a change every now and then. It's great to have some daylight hours off, especially in winter.

I guess the key is being able to sleep, if you can't do that it would be horrible.
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