Grave Yard Shift Workers

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    Grave Yard Shift Workers


    I work the grave yard shift 11pm-7am. This has been a totally new challenge for me. I've been trying to get my diet and workouts back in order. I've currently been inactive for the last 3 weeks due to injury and sickness. I'm trying to figure out the best time to workout. Do you think I should train directly after work then try to go to sleep or go home and sleep then try to get up and workout? Any with experience with this shift I would greatly appreciate your knowledge. I've been doing this shift since December and cant really get my body tuned to know if its going or coming.

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    When I worked the late shift I would work out before I went to work(just my opinion)
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    i do shift work as well so my schedule is completely sparatic. i never workout at the same time. definetely workout before you go to work. if you workout after a night shift your workout will suck ass. plus on top of that you probably wont be getting your proper postworkout nutrition if you workout right before bed. your gonna need fast absorbing nutrients after your workout and long lasting nutrients before bed. after your postworkout shake you will probably pass out before you get your good pre sleep meal
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    Agreed with with these guys here, workout after your sleep or right before work.
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    Try melatonin to help reset your internal clock (circadian rhythm). Just take it before you go to sleep, and make sure you aren't exposed to light when you try to sleep - even if you have to 'black out' the windows. You shouldn't have to stay on the melatonin for more than 3-4 days. I would try to lift either a) right after waking, or b) after work, but well before bed, ie you get off work, lift, go to sleep around 2:00 pm or so.
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    I've worked shift work for almost 20 years. Graveyards included. I have found it best to workout prior to going in to work, rather than after. I feel you get a much better workout after a nights, or in this caes, days sleep. If I workout prior to bed, I find I'm too hot, and too pumped to get to sleep. Switch things around and try to get training days on your Mondays, and your days off.

    I have found Melatonin does help, but I don't like taking it when I only have 4-6 hours of sleep. I wake up too groggy. Try not to rely on it. Keeping a fan on, or some light music helps me.
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    I worked the night shift for a year and a half. During that period I used melatonin to sleep and ECA to wake up daily. It's not the healthiest approach, but for me it was the only way to sleep consistently during the day and make room for a workout before going to work.

    For almost that entire period I would do my weight training upon waking and light cardio after I got home everyday. That's pretty much all I did for that entire year and a half: workout, work, workout, and repeat. I tried during it the other way around, but this works much better, (especially with melatonin + stims).

    And yes, avoid the sun like the plague before sleeping. I would try to simulate normal sleeping patterns by eating breakfast outside or next to a window in the mid-afternoon and then do my cardio on my treadmill or bike trainer in the basement before bed.
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    I've worked shift work for the past five years, I work twelve hour shifts from 6 to 6. After working nights I like to go home and sleep till around 1pm, wake up alittle and get to the gym around 2-3pm get my workout in and then get home and relax before work or even take a nap if possible.

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    I would try and workout a few hours before I went into work giving myself time to rest, possibly even time to take a nap if you choose that route. I have had brutal workouts before I go into work and man I gotta tell ya, I was worn the hell out. Some may feel pumped up, but I'm the complete opposite. I'm just about ready to call it a day after I workout sometimes. Hey Cuffs, since you work in a critical profession (to serve and protect), do you find that working out before work could possibly hinder your work performance?
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    I used to work 10pm-8am when i was in college, I found that I needed sleep, of course i was in school all day back than, home to sleep for a few hours and than workout say 4-5 in the afternoon...needless to say i was a zombie for 3 yrs of my life, till i had to student teach!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by natedogg
    Hey Cuffs, since you work in a critical profession (to serve and protect), do you find that working out before work could possibly hinder your work performance?
    On the contrary. Personally, I find that it helps me. I usually work a 13 plus hour shift, with 2 hours of driving time to-and-from work. I have tried working out after work, and found myself either too tired to get a good one in, or too owund up when I get home to sleep. When I workout prior to my work night, I begin at 2:00pm, and end at 3:00pm. I have time to shower, eat, and lounge for a bit before going into work. I feel much more awake while at work, and have the feeling of accomplishment. I do have to stretch every so often if I get too sore. Having to break out into a run and jumping fences when you're tight and sore can really suck.
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    i work shift work and it seems like when i switch shifts my body goes to ****..i go from fat toskinny and skinny to fat..hard as hell to get a routine together..especially eating.i use melatonin at 6mgs..yea a lot but it takes a lot to knock me out..zma seems to work a lot better in the long term tho..
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    Hey Cuffs I'm in LE too. You might have heard about my city over the weekend.
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    I worked a rotating shift for 7 years, and am now just really starting to wonder how much havoc it played in reducing my overall gains from lifting. It seemed I'd have a solid workout routine, get a decent amount of sleep, and eat a good diet, while supplementing with useful products, but still not see the kinds of gains I would have liked. I've recently switched to straight days, and have found that a steady sleep schedule is indeed much more important than I would have previously given credence to.

    I don't think working nights should negatively affect your progress all that much, if you're consistent in your sleeping hours. The tips offered from others here are all good ones, especially the blacking out of windows in the room you sleep in. I found black garbage bags, while looking like complete ****, do a great job of darkening the room. A steady source of white noise is also a godsend when sleeping during the day, in order to block out the noises that are more likely to crop up during the day as opposed to the evenig. A fan works nicely, I personally find my computer is a good source of steady background noise.

    A little while back there was a discussion about cortisol levels being higher in people who sleep during the day as opposed to sleeping during the evening. I'm not sure if I buy into that or not, but it may have some truth to it. Oddly enough, I found that the quality of sleep for myself tended to be better when I slept during the day as oppposed to during the evening.
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