365x24x7 (sleep patterns)

Mark Foster blakjak at blakjak.net
Fri Apr 15 21:47:02 UTC 2011

On Fri, 15 Apr 2011, Jeff Shultz wrote:

> 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.

Local emergency services[1] operate '2 days, 2 nights, 4 off'.

Dayshifts are 10 hour 8am-6pm.  Nightshift is 6pm until 8am.  This creates 
a 4-watch rotation.

The day shifts are relatively normal working hours, and the 4 consecutive 
days off are handy, and as it's an 8 day cycle it slowly rotates so that 
you can wind up with weekends or weekdays off over time (which in itself 
can be handy).  The guys employed this way are often given a little 
handbook with their year printed on it so they can plan their lives.


[1] Fire and Ambulance services operate this way to my knowledge, Police 
is different depending on the part of the country you're in...

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