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This is four days on, four days off, twelve hour shifts. So:

Monday : 6 AM to 6PM
Tuesday : 6 AM to 6PM
Wednesday : 6 AM to 6PM
Thursday : 6 AM to 6PM
Friday : OFF
Saturday : OFF
Sunday : OFF
Monday : OFF
Tuesday : 6 PM to 6AM
Wednesday : 6 PM to 6AM
Thursday : 6 PM to 6AM
Friday : 6 PM to 6AM
Saturday : OFF
Sunday : OFF
Monday : OFF
Tuesday : OFF
Repeat
 

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Thats rough, I worked rotating shifts for years, it usually takes 4 days to adjust. Stay up as long as you can after the last day of the rotation then sleep as long as you can.
 
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I'll add, that if you don't have the support from home (significant other and kids) that will understand and let you get the sleep you need, you're screwed. Working shift work is as much about your being able to get a tolerable sleep schedule as it is about those at home accommodating you. Have this discussion UP FRONT with people at home. You will absolutely need their cooperation. If you're never been a day sleeper, blackout curtains/blinds and a fan running to drown out miscellaneous noise are a huge help.
 

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If you're never been a day sleeper, blackout curtains/blinds and a fan running to drown out miscellaneous noise are a huge help.
I do both of those things.

And while my family is supportive they still don't understand why I am sleepy during my days off.
 

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Weekends off, jeez....
They're only 'off' in theory. In practice, some people can't adjust to the changes and are next to useless most of those days off.


Owl, another suggestion is to get as much time outdoors in sunlight as possible. It fights the depression some people develop during the working-nights part of these awful shifts.
 

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I do both of those things.

And while my family is supportive they still don't understand why I am sleepy during my days off.
I know. Even if they're cooperative, it's still their perspective that you're "sleeping all the time".

One of the worst things I've found out, (even though it sounds like a good idea on the face) is for your significant other to get on your sleep schedule. That makes for two groggy people most of time, and nothing productive gets done around the house and it's generally hard on the relationship. You need at least one well-rested person to keep the other person motivated.
 

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They're only 'off' in theory. In practice, some people can't adjust to the changes and are next to useless most of those days off.
Bingo, I am wide awake ready to go at 1 AM on Saturday and Sunday morning but at 1PM I want to sleep.

I wanted to mow my lawn at 2 AM but gave the neighbors a break.

Owl, another suggestion is to get as much time outdoors in sunlight as possible.
I am also a firm believer in that.
 

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I know. Even if they're cooperative, it's still their perspective that you're "sleeping all the time".
A huge ditto on that, I hear 'You are always sleeping' often. They just can't seem to remember while they are sleeping I am working.
 

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Rotating "Weekends" too! Need a calendar to know what's what.
Had a Cousin that had a funky schedule. 4-12m, 10-6, 8-4, 7-3, 12m-8, off, off. He had a strip of paper with 2 weeks of his schedule on it.
 

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Years back, I worked a similar shift at Motorola. They brought in a company called Cercadian Technologies to help us with sleep and tolerating shift work. That company has a nice website with lots of info that might be helpful.

http://www.circadian.com/

Few things you just need to get straight ahead of time: 1) you will be groggy most of the time. 2) Millions of people have done it- you can too. 3) Stay productive during your awake hours or your relationships and your mental well-being will decline.
 

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Thought of a few more things that help.
  • When you get off in the mornings,and intend to go to sleep when you get home, wear sunglasses before you leave the buiding. When the bright sun gets to you, it's harder to get to sleep. There have been scholarly papers written that prove the fact that sunglasses fix that.
  • Instruct everyone at home that you are not to be woken up for any reason, unless the house is on fire. You don't want to hear that litle billy is being mean to me, you don't want to be woken up to borrow 20 bucks to go out with friends, you don't want to be woken up to sign a permission slip, you think it's nice that your wife is going to the store, but if you needed anything you'd have already told her, etc
  • Make your personal appointments (doctor, dentist, car inspection, etc.) outside of your sleep times. Don't be foolish and think you'll sleep a little, go to your appointment, and then come home and sleep some more. That's a bad idea. Murphy's law is that if you get up partway through your sleep, you'll have had just enough sleep that you can't fall back asleep but not enough to make it through the work day ahead. If a spouse is making appointments on your behalf, make sure they understand this "rule" also. Appointments must be scheduled outside of sleep times. Preferably on your 2nd or 3rd day off
  • Turn your phone on silent. Lay your phone face down, in case you catch a glimpse of the screen lighting up with a text or email. This removes the temptation to wake up and read it and eliminates worry about what it might be about.

Also, if you get frustrated with the swing shifts, replace your internal dialogue with thankfulness that you're healthy enough to work, that you have a job, and you're a productive citizen. Many people who "hate" shift work just generally have a bad attitude about it to begin with.
 

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Also, if you get frustrated with the swing shifts, replace your internal dialogue with thankfulness that you're healthy enough to work, that you have a job, and you're a productive citizen. Many people who "hate" shift work just generally have a bad attitude about it to begin with.
Here's a tip. Find a first shift job. No amount of money in the world is worth it working shift work.
It's a personal decision. Depending on where you live, this simply isn't always an option. Many people have no special issues with it. Many object to it with great passion. The people in the middle of those extremes are often just thankful to have a job to support themselves and their families.
 

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I don't do factory work, but the biggest problem for me switching shifts to do construction work was having someone to plug the gap and coordinate. Since that person was me, 6pm to 6am really meant 2pm to 6am, so that I could arrange materials and equipment for the night shift. If the daytime manager can insure that the night crew has everything they need, then its much better on the night foreman. Other than that, switching back and forth is a bitch, and makes me cranky after 4 or 5 weeks, even with 3 days off. I guess factory guys get used to it, but you can have it.

BTW, I like working nights. seems like fewer interruptions, and I like being able to go home and jump in the hot tub in the morning, or have the option to go fishing in the AM after work. Other than the danger of working in trenches by lights (hate it), that is.
 

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... I guess factory guys get used to it, but you can have it. ..
Yes, I'll agree that swing shifts as your regular schedule are much easier to get used to than working days all the time, then doing a night job for a little while. I suppose everyone is built different, but that's how I feel.

I'll agree that I also seem to be much more productive at night. Less people to pull you in different directions with side discussions about this and that on the job. Less other people in your way. (Generally no safety guy. :whistling2:)
 

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At a design/build start-up, out of state, I had to work 12 hours every day from 26 dec to 17 jan

When I got off I had to eat, shop, drive 20 miles to the apt. wash clothes, call home, sleep, eat, drive to the jobsite and do it all over again.

When I returned to the office everyone thought I was on a paid vacation.:no:
 

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If ya' gotta' ya' gotta'! The very first thing is "Find a good hiding place"! Twelve hour shifts are "Killer". The union used to farm us out 7/12s from July to October,its like hanging upside down for three months! Fresh vegetable season on the east coast.
 

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If ya' gotta' ya' gotta'! The very first thing is "Find a good hiding place"! Twelve hour shifts are "Killer". The union used to farm us out 7/12s from July to October,its like hanging upside down for three months! Fresh vegetable season on the east coast.
:laughing: There's no doubt that you're far less productive after 8 or 10 hours, and more likely to be injured, but I'm not so sure that "find a good hiding spot" is a wise idea at any time. I would go so far as to say that finding a spot that you can work and be "less productive" without feeling guilty about it for the last couple hours might a better idea.
 

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:laughing: There's no doubt that you're far less productive after 8 or 10 hours, and more likely to be injured, but I'm not so sure that "find a good hiding spot" is a wise idea at any time. I would go so far as to say that finding a spot that you can work and be "less productive" without feeling guilty about it for the last couple hours might a better idea.
True, after (5) 12's studies have shown you're not only a danger to yourself , but everyone around you and only 50% efficient.
 
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