Switching to night shift....best way to prepare?

Discussion in 'Old Dominion' started by Texnmidwest, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

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    With my start date for line haul quickly approaching I was wondering what the best way to get my system prepared for night shift? I have heard a lot of different ways but I was wanting to hear from experience if I could. Not too keen on the idea of just getting coffeed up and staying up all night till I get used to it.

    So, what's the best way?

    Thanks in advance!

    Tex
     
  2. ibcalm19

    ibcalm19 Medium Load Member

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    It's going to be an adjustment as if your not use to being a night person. The adjustment is getting your body to that sleep pattern. I do believe that where a lot people have a problem (my opinion). I'm a anytime person doesn't matter. Some people are day people night people or midday people. To me you work best when you operate in your realm. All the best for you on your new journey. Get that sleep pattern down
     
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  3. LumbraX

    LumbraX Light Load Member

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    I don't think night shift for some people is anything you'll ever "really" get used too. I've been running mainly nights since 2011.... Force your body to sleep during the day and definitely get cafinated up. Driving nights is strange, you can start nodding out, pull over... Walk around and feel fine. Next thing you know 15mins back into driving you're nodding out again. When I was a company driver, pretty much still a kid... I had nights where I would poor water on my head, chain smoke cigarettes.. (Non Smoker) play with my seat... Even sometimes slightly drive into the rumble strips to sorta scare myself awake... Now that I'm a little older I just pull over and cat nap.. Regardless of how hot the load is. It can wait. Wish I had more advice but good luck!!
     
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  4. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

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    Thanks guys. It will be an adjustment. In college I was a night owl and had no problem pulling all nighters. Now I am a huge morning person. It is nothing for me to be up at 3am. So, I guess it may just be like getting up a few hours earlier? LOL!
     
  5. 2BucTruck

    2BucTruck Medium Load Member

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    It's all about establishing a sleep pattern and sticking with it. If you can stay on sleeping during the day, even on your days off, that's ideal ... but not practical. Don't overuse substances. Establish a routine and stick with it, i.e. try to go to bed at the same time during your work week. The darker your sleeping area, the better. I learned that wrapping a black or dark t-shirt around my eyes works the best, even if that seems strange - who cares. Don't eat a lot during your shift. Don't over-caffeinate - you'll crash. Space that caffeine out throughout the shift. Make sure you don't drink caffeine too close to when you should start winding down for bed time.

    Even if you do all of the above, there will be some nights where you'll struggle. This is normal. Don't think you're not cut out for it, even drivers who've been on nights for years experience this. Some would like to say that we're naturally diurnal, and those that claim otherwise just cope with a nocturnal schedule better.

    There's really no trick to it. Establish a sleep pattern, don't overuse substances, don't eat heavy and stay hydrated during your shift. If you need to pull over for a nap, do it.
     
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  6. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

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    I really appreciate all the advice. I start Monday night. Started staying up later and sleeping later to try to adjust. I am just glad I will have a trainer with me for a while. Having someone else in the cab with me will ease the transition.....I hope!
     
  7. freebeertomorrow

    freebeertomorrow Medium Load Member

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    I started on nights doing Linehaul about 15 months ago. establishing a sleep pattern is half the battle. the other half is completely rearranging your life to accommodate working nights. you have to go into it with the attitude you'll own it. weekends and days off need the same attention and pattern to be successful. I fought it for a few months. only after accepting everything for what it is was I able to be successful.

    we have to be rested and cannot afford to be irresponsible. few jobs require 100% attention 100% of the time - we have one that does. own the night shift life, don't be shy regarding actions to maintain your schedule.
     
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  8. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

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    Well, I started trying to stay up later each night. My thinking was to gradually work up to staying awake all night and sleeping during the day. Total failure. I stopped doing that when I found I was still waking up at 0530am no matter how late I stayed up. So, I start tomorrow night. I plan to get a good night's sleep tonight and take a nap late tomorrow afternoon.

    I WILL own the night!
     
  9. freebeertomorrow

    freebeertomorrow Medium Load Member

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    it takes months. I live by myself and have no problem telling anyone how it is, so I have it pretty good. it would be tough with a family. my current gf knows what's up and is very accommodating.
     
  10. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

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