365x24x7 (sleep patterns)

Jeff Shultz jeffshultz at wvi.com
Fri Apr 15 20:38:53 UTC 2011

On 4/15/2011 10:11 AM, mikea wrote:

> My experience:
> 6 on, 2 off, 8 hours, rotating to the next later shift: I never, ever got
> enough sleep -- for 2 years.
> 6 on, 2 off, 12 hours, straight mids, no rotation: much less bad.
> 5 on, 2 off, 8 hours, straight mids: quite tolerable.
> 5 on, 2 off, 8 hours, straight swings (1600-0000): out of phase with the
> world.

I've done all of the above but the 12 hour shift and can add 5 on, 2 
off, 8 hours, rotating between swings and mids.  They sucked. I'm in 
general agreement with Mike's judgments as well.

If you want to be fair to your people and help keep their morale up, 
straight shifts is the way to go - or at least fix the mids shift and 
make the swing/mids switch at 2200 (10pm). Changing sleep times is the 
quickest way to get zombies for employees.

If you try to do a 6 and 2 style rotation, eventually some smart person 
is going to figure out that they're getting screwed out of a lot of 
weekend and holiday time as opposed to the "daybeggers."

My recommendation, based on 10 years of this nonsense in the Army, is 
minimum 2 people per shift, 5 on, 2 off, stagger the weekends so that 
someone gets Fri-Sat, the other Sun-Mon. If they can decide which wants 
which weekend between themselves, so much the better.

As the FAA has lately demonstrated, single person night shifts is 
generally a bad thing if you actually want them to stay awake.

Jeff Shultz

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