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Long-term sleep problems

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Long-term sleep problems

Postby NorthernBrit » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:39 pm

Hi, this is my first post on the forum. I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for in making this post, or even whether it's the correct forum for what I describe, but I hope it doesn't cause any problems!

For many years - longer than I can remember - I haven't slept the full 8 hours. Also, perhaps coincidentally, for the last 20 years, I have been working shifts at work intermittently. I started off 20 years ago working mornings (6 - 2) and afternoons (2 - 10) and did that for about 7 years. But for the last 8 years I have worked a 3-shift system that has included mornings, afternoons and nights (10pm - 6am) on a rotating 3-week cycle.

I find that when I'm on morning shift, I only sleep for a few hours and wake up very early - a lot earlier than I need to, even though I have an alarm clock. When I'm on afternoons, I can go to bed after midnight, and still wake up any time between 5 and 7am, and only sleep intermittently from then onwards. On nights, I get to bed about 6:30am, and it's unheard of for me to sleep past 11:30, often waking a lot earlier. Even when I'm not working, I can go to bed just after midnight and wake up early, only sleeping fitfully after.

As you can imagine, this often leaves me feeling sleepy during the day. Sometimes i can be watching TV in the afternoon and go to sleep. I have often felt sleepy when driving home after a night shift, but that's not really surprising as I've had a night without sleep. I mentioned it in passing to a medical professional and, perhaps partly because I'm also overweight, I'm being referred to check for sleep apnea. SO it is being investigated.

Does anybody else have similar problems sleeping? My own feeling about this is that it could just as easily be due to shift work rather than any other medical cause, but it's best to exclude something more serious.
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Re: Long-term sleep problems

Postby Oliveira » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:50 pm


my husband worked night shifts for almost 20 years and never had a regular 8-hour sleeping pattern for, well, obvious reasons... for him it was five days working 23-7am and then five days off trying to adjust back to sleeping at exactly the same time he was working before. So it's like having serious jet lag every five days. And in your case it's much worse because your shifts keep on changing.

I'm not a professional – just an insomniac :) – but if you are worried about your health I would think changing your job might be helpful... sorry, I know this is not what you wanted to hear.
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