Posted by: Lila | 2009/07/28

brainwaves/sleep patterns

hello all, sorry don' t know where else to ask this!

I am one of those retrenched for a long time but now bouncing back. I am working 3 jobs to get out of massive debt, there is no other way. Am in fact blacklisted for defaulting on bond 5 months and the house will go if I do not work as hard as I am working. But my system often nears failure. I nd some help just getting past this weekend any suggestions?

Job 1 is normal 8 to 5. Job 2 is 7pm to midnight thursday to sunday. Job 3 mercifully is 7 hours a week usually a weekend morning. Just for this weekend there is a Job 4 which will be on sat evening. Exceopt for my main job 1, this is all shift work in the news journalism arena, some are graveyard shifts etc.

upcoming timetable - Thursday I will work till midnight at Job 2, then must be at Job 1 Friday 8am - 5pm. From there I go to work again till midnight at Job 2.

Saturday I am not working during the day but must go to once-off Job 4 19h till 2am. Unfortunately Job 2 again comes back on Sunday at 4h30am.

My only sleep window is Saturday during the day. I want to know, should I sleep all day Sat till lunch or so or get out of bed at a normal time and sleep only from lunchtime or something, so that I only wake up around 6pm, ready to go to work at 7pm?

Does anyone know how sleep patterns work? I just need to be alert enough at 4h30 on Sunday and I must last till 11am. This particular weekend is awful usually it is better than this.

any suggestions on how to time my sleep exactly on Saturday in the run up to the crucial Sunday 04h30 start?

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Our expert says:
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Gosh, to be honest, I don't know. And I suspect there isn't a clear answer from any sleep researh norm similar sources. We know a reasonable amount about ordinary sleep rhythms, and about the effects of shift work --- but that would be like working job 1 for a month then switching to job 2 for a month. Not this complex and shifting range of times of wake and sleep. I doubt whether such situations are predictable to a useful degree.
I hope by the way, you have discussed all this with a sensible financial consultant and with the banks and whoever you owe the money to, as they should be more accomodating knowing you have a plan to pay tghem back, rather than pushing you too hard with the risk of your crumbling and no longer being able to pay back anything.
Overall, it would seem likely to be best to sleep through most of the available time on Saturday. There's hardly anything useful to do with extra waking hours between those shifts.
What we know about how sleep patterns work is not likely to inform these decisions about rapidly shifting sleep /wake times.
From my own experience as a junior doctorm in the UK< working extremely long shifts ( every second weekend going on duty at 8 am Friday right through till 5 on the Monday evening ) I know how hard the exhaustion can be. There are problems such as your being an unreliable driver during the waking periods, and subject to microsleeps ( very brief, but potentially risk episodes of plunging into deep sleep during waking times, without necessarily noticing the gap ).
Presumably you have a highly reliable alarm clock ! Because at times you could be in such a very deep phase of sleep when you need to rise, that one could sleep through a ringing alarm.
I'd wonder about the short gap on Sunday between 2 and 4.30 am. My experience was mixed. Sometimes a very short nap like an hour left me waking feeling even more tired and knackered than if I didn't go to sleep at all ; but sometimes 2 hours can be usefully refreshing.
I think I know enough to say we truly don't know.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anon#2 | 2009/07/29

Write to the sleep expert - he may have an answer on this particular question.

Reply to Anon#2
Posted by: Lila | 2009/07/28

sorry i know it reads very confusing. I called the sunday morning shift job 2 instead of job 3.

in a nutshell - if i have to be awake 7pm Sat to 11am Sunday, what time should I sleep on Sat during the day?

Reply to Lila

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