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Swapping back to day shift after working 14 days of Night Shift in a row.
Is something I struggled with for a very long time.
Shift Change with Modafinil
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It’s almost 7:00 am and I have been up since 12:30 am.
Normally we work a roster of 8 days on, 6 days off and 8 nights on, 6 days off. But with lock down, we went to a 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off roster. Which means 14 night shifts in a row.
I’m so used to working the 8 nights, that the 14 nights is taking it’s toll. I’m up and down like a yo yo. I like to do things without chemical help as much as possible, sleeping pills etc.
But we all need good quality sleep. The research about how important sleep is. To put it mildly, is overwhelming.
Years ago I had a chat with my doctor about shift work, her advice was to stay away from sleeping pills.
Because a lot of the time they do more harm than good. And focus on a good sleep routine, by making the sleeping environment right first.
Dark and cool room, no bright lights, like your phone or a standard bed light. Use a low watt bulb 40 to 50. And one that filters out blue light, because that will interfere with the release of Melatonin.
Then focus on your body, take a warm shower and have a easy reading book on the ready. By doing these and many similar things lets your body know it’s time to sleep.
That works 100%, I have that down pat. The part I struggle with, is staying awake towards the end of the day. Come 5 or 6 pm, I’m done. But if I go to bed then, I’m up at 12:30 am. And that’s not good.
So what I have done since this 2 and 2, thing started, is use Modafinil, to stay awake later in the day. Now timing is very important, take it too late and I’m up way to late. After some trial and error, I found that 11 am is just about right. That way by the time the Modafinil is starting to wear off, I’m getting ready for bed.
By using this routine, I have cut the number of days I need to get back to normal from 7 to 3 days. Not perfect, but I’m still tweaking my routine here and there. I just started using really soft ear plugs, as most of the plugs I used before, hurt my ears during the night.
These types of things are very personal, but I think we can all learn from each other. If you have found a better way or have any suggestions. I’m always ready to listen. Drop me an email. bradsolardo[at]pm.me.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end of this post.
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