Nightshift Sucks – Sleep Deprivation Revisited

Well that’s it. I’m officially too old to work nights anymore. In my late twenties and early thirties, I worked my share of graveyards. At the time, it was no problem for me to work a 10-hour shift, work out for an hour, go home and sleep for 8 hours before getting up and doing it all over again.This week marked my first graveyards in ten years. For my first two “nights” (mornings) I slept for 4 hours. By my third night back, I was ready to bite the head off a rattlesnake. I drank an entire thermos of coffee and was still “on the nod” by three a.m.
By Friday morning, I decided to bite the bullet and take a little help in the form of a few Benedryl which knocked me out until two p.m., but had the downside of making me feel groggy for a while when I woke up.
Sleep deprivation and shift work take a mighty toll on the body, mind, and spirit. The problem is, I have at least ten more years before I can retire and be done with forced night work. It’s just the nature of my business.
A quick Google search resulted in my finding a 2004 British Medical Association study on sleep deprivation, which reported, among other things, that sustained wakefulness for 24 hours, had the same cognitive effects as a .05% blood-alcohol concentration.

Sleep deprivation slowed performance on tasks involving continuous attention, memory and learning, and accuracy on matching tasks. Alcohol had a greater effect on accuracy of tasks measuring memory and learning. In all other tasks, the two had the same effects.

Of course the tired subject knew their performance was lacking, while those impaired by alcohol thought they were doing fine.

Now, I didn’t feel like I had a heat on driving around, but I knew that I was tired, irritable, and not paying attention to things like I should.

Luckily for me, I’m back on days for a week before I find out whether I’m back on nights again or not. So in the meantime, I’m ordering a bottle of MySleep from MyNutritionStore. I’m going to use it during my regular sleep and for my day sleeping. I’ll report back on the results and present an honest evaluation for those interested.

I’ve been very happy with the JointScience product, which I use for my left knee which is slowly grinding itself up. I’ve had two knee surgeries resulting from a torn ACL which happened in 1996, and the Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, and MSM really helps to keep things functioning smoothly. I highly recommend it.

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One Response to Nightshift Sucks – Sleep Deprivation Revisited

  1. i HAVE WORKED THIRD SHIFT FOR A LITTLE OVER AYEAR NOW ,AT first I had difficulity sleeping days , then with the help of otc sleeping aids I did sleep but the grogginess from the sleepaid took hours to shake off.Idid get into a good sleep rythm there for about 3 months but when the weather changed from spring then summer I have had difficulity getting even as much as 5 hours aday, people were not programmed to work nites

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