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How do you all stay awake all day at work?

I am at a loss.  I work from about 3 a.m. until about 8 a.m.  I DO produce a full day's work in that time and I DO take breaks included in that too.  When I am done working, I am beat for the day! I go to sleep around 8 p.m. and actually that is 7 hours of sleep and that should be okay, but I am always tired.

Today, someone at work had to be admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.  She is a smoker and apparently has been sick since around Christmas time, not getting any better.  I get to do her work for the rest of the week, starting NOW.  I am so sleepy now I am having a hard time of it.  I can't seem to wake up long enough to get her stuff (at least) done by 3 this afternoon.  My brain is foggy, my eyes are watering and I am whining now, aren't I? 

I have eaten a balanced meal for lunch and I didn't get my breakfast when I needed it, but I usually do.  I don't drink more than about 2 cups of coffee early on in the morning and I don't make a second pot or anything.  I drink tea, but that is mostly before bed and not that often.  I go right to sleep and sleep pretty soundly as a rule.

WHY can't I be alert for more than 5 or 6 hours in a given day?  Do I need to go back and reassess my eating habits?  Especially what I am eating and when?  I am not that scrupulous about the what and when, I eat when I am hungry.  I should mention that I eat about half the amount of food I ate even a couple of years ago and I seem to feel full for hours and hours, not being hungry at the next "meal time" when it come along.  And so you all know, I'd rather eat dirt than eat a tossed green salad.

Do take a look at your diet. It could be as simple as a mineral or vitamin you're short on. Iron can do it...I remember recently Idioglossia was having this same problem. . No...wait..it was SilentCricket, here's the thread: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=14593.msg91909#msg91909
Omegas could be part of the problem.
If it's not too personal a question, what do you do as work? Your timetable intrigues me.

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Have you tried exercise? I know that when you are tired the last thing you want to do is exercise but it helps immensely. Try throwing in 15min of vigorous yoga or a brisk walk around the block. Sometimes just changing your setting for 15-20min helps. Get your heart pumping and get some fresh air in your body. On Mondays and Wednesdays I leave for work at 5a.m. and get home at 10p.m. and it is hard to cope some days but I find if I find a quiet corner and do a few minutes of yoga it makes a huge difference. There are several videos out there that have adjustable workouts that I could recommend.

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Actually, I have been trying exercise and I find I come home even more sleepy than when I left. (I think this is probably a lupus thing because any sunlight makes things worse.)  Overall, the exercise helps the sleep because I worked up a bit of a "lather" and got exercise tired.

Yabbit...I am a medical transcriptionist.  I currently work out of my bedroom and I can set my own hours.  It sounds a lot nicer than it is, trust me.  I have done this for 10 yrs and it has become mindless.  I type like an athlete at a pace even other MTs can't match.  I think I have posted this...1000 65-keystroke "lines" is considered good for an 8-hour day. I do more like 1400-1800 lines in 4 to 6 hours.

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Actually, I have been trying exercise and I find I come home even more sleepy than when I left. (I think this is probably a lupus thing because any sunlight makes things worse.)  Overall, the exercise helps the sleep because I worked up a bit of a "lather" and got exercise tired.

Just an idea but trying staying in when you exercise and not working yourself into a lather. I feel the same way if I go out to the gym and do a full blown workout. I am just ready for bed after that. Just try doing a few minutes of stretching and deep breathing to reactivate your hear, lungs, and mind.

Another thing to try might be to slow down. I feel like for you this might be very difficult but you may be expending so much energy so quickly that your body can't catch up.

good luck.

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you're probably messing with your circadian rhythms ( the most basic responses of your cells to light and dark), if you're working from 3am til 8am. some people are better at rearranging their sleep patterns than others. i am one of those few that really can't screw with the "if it's dark, i sleep" brain pattern. this summer i worked at a fishing camp where i had to be at work at 4am to get all the fishermen out on their boats. i did this for almost 5 months everyday, and i still slept through my alarm at least 4 times a week, no matter how early I went to bed. I'm also a wreck with jet-lag, and on anything less than 8 hours of sleep a night (not so good for a student)... you may be one of those people, even if the stresses of life have forced you to ignore it. There is research out there about various method of light-therapy helping people wake up in the winter, and maybe one of these would work for you... there's even an alarm clock with a natural light lamp that slowly gets brighter before the alarm wakes you, essentially replicating dawn for those who have to get up before the sun.

of course, it really could be your diet, it could be long term sleep deprivation (even 7 hours isn't enough for some), it could be plain old boredom with a schedule that hasn't changed in a while, it could even be seasonal affective disorder. to be honest, even the thought of having to work at 3 am makes me a little queasy.... if you can, maybe try a different workday... even a couple hours later in the morning could really help your body adjust.

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Actually, I have been trying exercise and I find I come home even more sleepy than when I left. (I think this is probably a lupus thing because any sunlight makes things worse.)  Overall, the exercise helps the sleep because I worked up a bit of a "lather" and got exercise tired.

Yabbit...I am a medical transcriptionist.  I currently work out of my bedroom and I can set my own hours.  It sounds a lot nicer than it is, trust me.  I have done this for 10 yrs and it has become mindless.  I type like an athlete at a pace even other MTs can't match.  I think I have posted this...1000 65-keystroke "lines" is considered good for an 8-hour day. I do more like 1400-1800 lines in 4 to 6 hours.

Well, I agree with Rachandra that maybe you're actually bored and it manifests itself as sleepiness.  You say that it's become mindless.  Not enough mental stimulation and I get so sleepy I can't stand it even if I have slept well and eaten enough.  (Btw, my doctor says that you can't fix tiredness with food.  If you consume something sugary, it'll lead to a bigger crash later.)  Also, I always read that you shouldn't do anything but sleep and f*ck in your bed and maybe that applies  to the bedroom in general.  If you could move your workstation into the living room that might help. 

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I am not sure if there is anything medical to back it up, but I know if I don't drink plenty of water throughout the day I get groggy. 

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I always get tired after work but if I take a 20min. nap right when I get home (longer will affect your sleep for the night) I feel great. 

I know its common during midday to have the sleepies. (siesta) Not really an answer but I have accepted that my body needs a little something when I get home and if I don't well...i feel spacey and yucky until right before sleep when I get a second wind!

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I think Rachandra has it right.  I worked overnight and was chronically fatigued no matter how much I slept and not matter how much I ate right and exercised.  Getting up and being awake during all those dark hours, for all those years might be taking a toll.  After 13 years I had to switch to a more normal schedule. 

Can you sneak in a little cat nap, or are you one of those weird people who naps and wakes up more tired. 

Good luck.

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God, I have the same issue, but I work normal business hours (9-6). Sometimes I wonder if I have narcolepsy!  :o

Are you able to speak with someone who specializes in sleep? I don't know if it'll help you (heck, they might just end up telling you the same thing that Rachandra told you), but you never know.

I take naps on break at work a lot of times. It seems to be the only thing that helps. That and taking some time off to do something that requires thought. Sometimes I stop and work on a logic problem. Nerdy, I know, but it works!

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Rachandra pretty much took the thoughts right out of my fingertips. Although our society of too much has put most people into a mindset of 'do more sleep less', and most people think that so many hours is supposed to be enough sleep, and you should be able to do whatever you need to having had so many hours, it's just way off.  Most people, the greater majority of people cannot live on 7 or even 8 hours of sleep. We force ourselves to exist on that much, but it's really not enough. If we could go back to the way things are supposed to be. . . . . .when the sun sets, people go to sleep, when it rises, people get up, and somehow it works out that we get more of the rest we need in the winter when our bodies use more energy, and we get all of the light we need for mental health. If you broke all of your light bulbs. . .

Take care of you, because if you don't, pretty soon you'll find yourself sleeping through your VegWeb time and we'll all be missing you.  :(

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When we sleep, our brain under goes cycles. (REM cycle, sound firmiliar?).  Each cycle lasts 1.5 hours.  Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle is horrible for your body!  It spends all day trying to recorrect and you always feel so weird and sleepy.  Dreaming is the end of the cycle.  Think about it--don't you always feel better and rested when you wake up after the end of a dream?

Sleep for amounts of time that allow 1.5 intervals to fit.  Sleep for 7.5 hours, or 9.5 hours, but NOT 8.  I get so angry when I hear "sleep for 8 hours."  It's the stupidest suggestion you can give a person......waking up in a middle of a sleep cycle throws your whole day off.  (The  "you woke up on the worng side of the bed" thing)

Also, if your body gets used to interupting cycles all the time, it eventual adapts to the point where it becomes harder to even complete a cycle.  You could sleep a whole nights worth and never get any "rest" for your body!  I know once I learned about this stuff and put it into practise, my quality of life got a lot better!

(Source: Joe Endres, psychology teacher)

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I darn nearly fall asleep at my desk every day and I have been caught by many including my boss today.  I only seem to be sleeping about 3 hours a night though.  Hopefully when the mould is gone and Cali is well and my bedroom is a bedroom again, I will get 6 hours sleep a night and it will be better.  I think the omega's are important and I am lacking in them and I am about three months over due for my B12 shot as I don't absorb B12.  Diet must play a huge role and I can honestly say, I do not eat well. 
Lady Dragonfly, hope you figure out the reasons you sleep and can correct them.  I do think working weird hours doesn't help.

Hugs
Di

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try taking a 20-30 min nap mid-day..if you think youll zonk out longer than that set an alarm clock..and try to nap on the couch instead of in bed..

Wake up and have a nice hot cup of green tea.

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Sleep for amounts of time that allow 1.5 intervals to fit.  Sleep for 7.5 hours, or 9.5 hours, but NOT 8.  I get so angry when I hear "sleep for 8 hours."  It's the stupidest suggestion you can give a person......waking up in a middle of a sleep cycle throws your whole day off.  (The  "you woke up on the worng side of the bed" thing)

(Source: Joe Endres, psychology teacher)

This is one thing that frustrates me when teaching health class. So many times when a study is quoted, it is quoted as every singel person falls into a perfect mold. Often what is taught as normal is only an average. A person is supposed to have i body temperature of 98.6 right? No that is an average. My body temp is around 97, that doesn't make me hypothermic.
The same is true w/ sleep patterns. Some people need 10 hours and some people need 5 hours to wake fully rested. Some people need naps and others don't. Some people have sleep cycles of an hour and 15 other have cycles of an hour and 45. it just depends on your body and stage of life.
Try to take a couple of nights and just let your body sleep as long as it wants w/ no alarm and see how long you sleep and how you feel when you get up.

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I constantly have that problem, too since I work second shift.

I recommend from my own experience Lots of fluids - water and herb tea are good because other teas and coffees are diuretics- and making sure you get enough of the b-complex vitamins.

I also take a chinese "herbal medicine" to help me sleep (and thus not feel drowsy throughout the day).
It's sansounintou , number 103 - that's the Japanese name though.  :( 
The formula is the original chinese and you can usually buy it online under the Chinese name.
That formula has worked miracles for me, compared to others I've tried.

good luck!

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Staying awake at ....er "work?...play?" is never a problem for me....it's all those hours in between so called "work" for me where I have a problem. Actually the best thing that ever helped me was running (exercising) early in the morning...usually within an hour or so of waking up. It just gives me so much more energy throughout my whole day. Trust me I know what lack of sleep is like and how it effects you. I've not been able to get any normal sleep since we started. I have also run only 4 times and I feel the difference throughout the days on the ones where I did run compared to the days where I just drank a pot of coffee, nursed a hangover, read the news online....and did nothing. So....now....before my next flight in a few hours....it's off running I go! If I actually do make it running soon....I know that I will have no "urge" to take a nap later.

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