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Msg ID: 2581803 Night Shift +0/-0     
7/11/2019 3:26:46 AM

Do most of you reverse out or sleep on the night shift?  Hate to stay up all night but hard to snap out of a good sleep and think clearly...  If you reverse out, then you lose a day trying to get back to "normal".    Opinions?

Msg ID: 2581805 Night Shift +15/-1     
Author:Few recommendations
7/11/2019 5:06:36 AM

Reply to: 2581803

-- A significant amount of good info on-line about shift work rest, sleep recommendations.  Research and, experiment.  Find out what suits you. 

-- You're air ambulance?  If you're young, night shifts are easier to deal with.  Keep your weight within normal limits, if you smoke quit, don't drink alcohol -- even minimally -- during your rotation, stay fit.

-- Night flight: Don't let any manager, hospital or otherwise, make you concern yourself with "off time" or "chute time" or whatever term the knucklhead wants to give it. Rushing will bite you especially if you're battling sleep inertia (which you alluded to).  Tones go off, gather yourself, prepare and, before you leave the quarters, stop at the water machine and, down an 8-ounce glass of H2O. (It's only a minimal delay and, worth it.)   If you can, do same at each stop.  IOW, stay hydrated and, not just summer time.  

-- Go get 'em. 


Msg ID: 2581811 Night Shift +1/-0     
7/11/2019 8:33:26 AM

Reply to: 2581805

Really good post with great tips!  Thanks!

Msg ID: 2581893 Excellent advice ^^^ +1/-0     
Author:Capt Easy
7/11/2019 12:57:14 PM

Reply to: 2581805


- Take short naps at night if you need to.

- Drinking coffee for the caffine can help, but don't over do it.



Msg ID: 2581839 Night Shift +7/-0     
Author:Do what works for you.
7/11/2019 10:44:41 AM

Reply to: 2581803

Sleep at night if that works. Stay up all night and go home and sleep if that works. Get a few hours on shift and then go home and sleep unil you wake up if that works. You will need to adjust back to normal life no matter what after 7 nights. If nothing works, find a new segment to work in.

Msg ID: 2581869 Night Shift +3/-1     
Author:Hard but that hard
7/11/2019 12:09:04 PM

Reply to: 2581803

 I was a patrol cop for 20 years. Rotations schedule all the time. Unwanted overtime, all the time. Never an option to sleep when it was foggy, snowing whatever. HAA is the easiest piece of night shifts ever. For me it’s simple. You rarely get scene calls almost every time you have a dozen or so clinics, airports or hospitals to go to at night. Plan all of those. Fuel the helicopter accordingly. set Up the radios, basically take the thinking too much out of the variables. 

 If it takes 20 mins to launch instead of 9. So be it. The patient will wait 2 hours at the hospital anyway. 

Msg ID: 2581898 Night Shift +2/-1     
Author:The OP asks about getting rest and
7/11/2019 1:29:26 PM

Reply to: 2581869

this guy replies him to with pilot 101 nonsense.

Msg ID: 2581907 Night Shift +0/-0     
Author:My habit
7/11/2019 1:53:41 PM

Reply to: 2581803
I try to stay up till midnight. I have coffee with dinner before I go in at night.

Sleep if possible after midnight then sleep some during the day. if possible.

First night back at work is the worst.

Msg ID: 2581913 Night Shift +7/-0     
Author:What works for me.
7/11/2019 2:36:52 PM

Reply to: 2581803

Really good advice above, and I agree you're probably going to just have to take some time to figure out what works best for you.

I generally stay awake until 1 or 2am and then sleep until just before shift change. Go home at 7a sleep until about 11a - 1p ish depending on how busy I was the night before. If I am busy all night and don't sleep much, then I just adjust accordingly. The first night shift is always the worst and I can't sleep worth $#!t but by the 3rd night or so then I'm pretty good with that schedule. 

The thing I found to be the biggest problem when I first started EMS (about 7 years ago) was the worrying about weather calls. If it was clear and a million all night, or crap weather all night then I could sleep like a baby because I knew when the tones went off I was either going or not. If the weather was iffy or forecast to get worse etc... then I found it near impossible to sleep because I felt that I needed to always be watching the weather. I was afraid of not paying attention to the trend and then accepting a flight and the weather turning on me while out, or missing something and flying into crap. Once I started to figure out that saying no to a flight was easy and it's better to say no and have the weather be good, then to say yes and fly into crapola, and I started to not care about turning flights down it got much easier. 

So, long story short, sleep if you need/want to, don't if you don't. If weather concerns you, remember it's always better to be down here wishing you were up there, then up there wishing you were down here. Specially if you're tired. Don't feel bad about turning down flights. 

Msg ID: 2581941 Night Shift +5/-0     
Author:You got it.
7/11/2019 6:26:06 PM

Reply to: 2581803

I always reversed out for the reason/s you cite.  The last night I took short naps and when I got home for my seven off I slept until noon, got up, got busy, tired myself out, went to bed @9PM, woke up next day all adjusted.  Obviously the day prior to the first night shift I slept from 8AM to 4PM.  It really did solve the  problem of having to sleep when I got to night shift because if you wind up staying awake all night you are one dangerous decision maker when you get to @midnight.  Best to reverse out.

Msg ID: 2581956 Depends on the flight volumes at the base +1/-0     
Author:But here's what I do
7/11/2019 7:59:58 PM

Reply to: 2581803

I sleep on shift. My base doesn't have the highest call volumes so even if I'm up all night there's a reasonable expectation that the next night I'll get a decent amount of sleep. When I come home I sleep as long as I can, then take it easy until I go back to work. Sometimes it works better than others, but I'm in a city base so weather is rarely a concern. 

Brass tacks, some nights you're going to be tired. Do the best you can, slow and steady, when in doubt engage the sas/nav/alt and try to wake up en route to the sending. 

Msg ID: 2581979 Night Shift +0/-0     
Author:I don't know
7/11/2019 11:56:51 PM

Reply to: 2581803

what reverse out means.

Msg ID: 2581988 If you find it difficult  +1/-8     
7/12/2019 7:05:43 AM

Reply to: 2581803

to snap out of a sound sleep—as you put it—and think clearly, it’s clear that you don’t have the kind of adaptability and capability it takes to be a professional pilot.

So if that is “you,” I’d advise that you find another profession, where superior abilities and cognition are not required, and that doesn’t involve responsibility for the lives of others.

A lot of young people go into this line of work because of the “cool” factor, or because swooping through the atmosphere is such a rush. Then, when they get exposed to the 99% of the profession that doesn’t involve coolness and swooping, but does require endurance, privation, discomfort, fortitude, authority, and responsibility, they are taken aback, and seek easy ways out of these negative aspects of the job.

But there isn’t any easy way out of them, they are part of the job, and you must find a way to adapt and overcome, or find something else to do that doesn’t require adapting and overcoming. 

It’s really as simple as that.

Have a Nice Day. 

Msg ID: 2581994 If you find it difficult  +5/-1     
Author:Not a single person
7/12/2019 9:00:50 AM

Reply to: 2581988

can wake from a sound sleep and immediately think clearly so I will kindly advise you to go f**k yourself.


A 20 year professional pilot

Msg ID: 2582004 My my my +1/-2     
7/12/2019 9:49:21 AM

Reply to: 2581994

Because you can’t do it, you assert that no one can do it. I see. 

Msg ID: 2582005 My my my +1/-1     
Author:That is indeed my assertion.
7/12/2019 10:10:19 AM

Reply to: 2582004

And it is factual. Thank you for understanding. 

Msg ID: 2582013 And thank you for being delusional  +0/-0     
7/12/2019 11:20:42 AM

Reply to: 2582005

it sure as Hell takes the pressure off me

Msg ID: 2582027 And thank you for being delusional  +1/-1     
7/12/2019 12:04:49 PM

Reply to: 2582013

And thank you for the self own. lol

Msg ID: 2582109 If you find it difficult  +2/-0     
Author:Rip Van Winkle
7/12/2019 8:42:59 PM

Reply to: 2581988

Sleep Inertia

After awakening from a nap or a long sleep episode, people tend to feel groggy from sleep inertia.

    • Sleep inertia is a temporary disorientation and decline in performance and/or mood after awakening from sleep. People can show slower reaction time, poorer short-term memory, and slower speed of thinking, reasoning, remembering, and learning.


    • Research indicates this typically can last from 30 to 60 minutes, but researchers have observed it lasting 2 hours.15-17


  • Sleep inertia usually does not last longer than 30 minutes, but it can be longer if the person is sleep deprived, according to Tassi and Muzet.18
  • Allow time for sleep inertia to dissipate before performing critical tasks.
      • Longer periods of sleep inertia were seen in night shift workers after they took an hour long nap during the early morning hours (about 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.).19 This was likely due to the strong drive for sleep during this time and the long nap allowing the brain to progress into deeper stages of sleep.


      • Newman and colleagues found taking 100 mg. of caffeine on awakening reduced the time of sleep inertia, restoring reaction time more quickly compared to placebo.20 Another strategy is to take caffeine just before taking a short nap.21ng> Caffeine takes about 30 minutes to reach full effect so on awakening the person can experience alerting benefits from both caffeine and the nap and less sleep inertia.


    Msg ID: 2582120 Thank You Doctor Know-it-All +0/-0     
    7/12/2019 10:27:21 PM

    Reply to: 2582109

    We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule of publishing papers, trimming your beard, and wearing socks under your Birkenstocks, to publish that conventional-wisdom-drivel.

    Msg ID: 2582308 If you find it difficult  +0/-0     
    7/14/2019 6:34:10 AM

    Reply to: 2581988

    I can tell I’ve made an accurate hard-hitting post when a bunch of you ignorant, inexperienced, post-modern

    marshmallows push the dislike button. Thanks for the Feedback—keep it comin‘. 

    Msg ID: 2582097 Night Shift +1/-2     
    Author:Nap time
    7/12/2019 6:45:00 PM

    Reply to: 2581803

    When I rotate to nights, I try to nap in the afternoon before my shift.  Stay up until midnight or 1am, sleep until 1 hour prior to shift change if I’m lucky (usually awake at sunrise).  Our expectation is skids up in 10 minutes at night and I usually make that if I’m not waiting on med crew.  Usually need another minute or two if departing IFR to receive clearance.  


    This works ok for me.  If I fly all night it sucks but the afternoon nap will carry me through shift change.  I rarely sleep more than 4-5 hours at night but that sets me up for a nap so it’s all good.  


    I keep the helicopter fueled appropriately for our coverage area, radios set and ready for the ifr departure procedure.  


    The guys that take 20 minutes to lift (especially VFR) blow my mind.  Get a different job because you make everyone else look bad and drive down the call volumes.  Be professionals, it’s only a 12 hour shift.  If you can’t wake up and go, stay up.  

    Msg ID: 2582264 Night Shift +2/-0     
    7/13/2019 9:21:58 PM

    Reply to: 2582097

    Are we really at the point where we have to tell each other to have enough fuel and have the radios set? I guess so.