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Better Sleep...

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:13 am
by jeffrerr
Hey guys, do any of you have any tips on how to get 'better' sleep? I mean I can't really do a lot to change the amount I get but I want to try to get a higher quality of sleep! I think my first step will be to decrease caffiene intake after a certain time of night, say 6pm.

The main problem I'm having is I started shift work in late January and my body has not fully adjusted! I have so far only worked Early (0715 to 1545) and Late (1400 to 2230) shifts but I start Night shift (2200 to 0800) this Wednesday for 4 days in a row! So far the most difficult part has been the Late to Early, finishing at 2230 then being back at work on time to start at 0715 the next morning!

I wanna try to start getting at least 5 to 6 hours of quality sleep a night, I currently get about 7 hours total sleep but probably only 3 to 4 quality hours due to waking up to pee, barking dogs etc. I've stopped the barking dogs with citronella collars, but how do I train the bladder to stop working for long enough?

Some colleagues suggested 'borrowing' sedatives from work, but the times I've had sedatives as a patient in hospital it's never been quality sleep just prolonged drowsiness!

Anyway any suggestions other than 'A warm cup of milk before bed!' would be much appreciated, cause I've tired that one and it didn't help! lol



Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:15 am
by pdellorto
I'd start with a sleep mask. It'll help a lot killing ambient light bothering you.

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:29 am
by KPj
Maybe try and limit fluids a couple of hours before bed, too.

Also, I don't know much about the 'evidence' to support this, but people in your situation who struggle sleeping should try and stay away from stimulants. I have heard/read actually that night shift workers are more prone to anxiety. However, my training partner works night shift monday to thursday, then lives by normal time Friday/saturday, and does a day shift on Sunday. He had similar problems, and has had to stop drinking coffee, and now can only drink decaf Tea - He says any kind of stimulant really messes with him. Normally people don't really notice the caffeine in Tea, and he's been a keen Tea drinker all his life (like all Scots), but now he has to have decaf.

Don't know if that'll help but it's worth mentioning.


Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:13 pm
by jeffrerr
Thanks guys!

I like the face mask idea, I do have a lot of ambient light around my house like street lights and a night time horse racing track with stadiu, kights that is open 3 nights a week near by so it could be a reason!

I think I'll take both these pices of advice! Limit fluids after a certain time, I'll experiment to get it right, and gradually switch out coffee for decaf, hopefully the taste still tricks the sub-concious into thinking it's 'real' coffee! i'll also go for lower caffiene diet soft drinks too, so cut out the diet coke/pepsi max and go for diet decaf coke or diet lemonade instead!

Thanks guys, will try these over the next couple of weeks and see how it goes!!!

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:27 am
by Jungledoc
Stay away from sedatives, especially those "borrowed" from work (fast route to unemployment, even a threat to licensure). They may increase the amount or sleep, but not the quality, particularly suppressing REM sleep.

Tell your employer for me that getting off at 2330 and being back at 0730 is crazy. And a way to increase errors, decrease efficiency!

Either cut out stimulants completely, or have a cup or two when you get up, then no more. Cutting liquids for a few hours before going to bed will help to decrease the trips to the john. The comments about ambient light are spot-on.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:42 pm
by hoosegow
I love my Ambien, but you have to have 8 hours to sleep or the first 3-4 hours after you wake suck.

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:54 pm
by Nevage
I know there's not too much evidence supporting this but ZMA seriously works for me, when i know I'm not gonna get over 7 hours sleep I take it and it just knocks me out! It makes me feel slightly more tired like an hour after having it, could be placebo effect but if it works I don't care. But the real bonus is the quality of sleep I get is amazing, even 5 hours sleep feels like a good night. I wake up feeling like I've just come out of a coma!

Worth a try for how cheap it is.