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I am on a rotating shift schedule in a well-reputed company. I need to know how to prevent feeling sleepy, etc. while I am working night shifts.

I am unable to think over creative and logical aspects of my job when I am on nights instead of days.

What can I do to increase my productivity in the workplace when working my night shift? Is there any thing I can do to get my body used to working a rotating schedule?

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Oh my. This is a sweatshop, not a "reputed company". Here are the methods used to stay awake: coffee, awfully strong tea, physical exercise (pushups and situps mostly), a colleague snoring nearby, chat with the slave driver^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsupervisor... –  Deer Hunter Jan 2 '13 at 20:12
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No reputable company makes its developers work shifts. –  DJClayworth Jan 2 '13 at 21:33
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As your question currently is, it's a bit more related to productivity.stackexchange.com than here - it's not really a question about the workplace. –  enderland Jan 3 '13 at 16:34
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Vicky, please do not make minor edits simply for the purpose of bumping your question. There are other, better ways to attract attention to the question if you think more attention is necessary. Please see our Meta discussion of this question. I've locked this question for now (so no edits, comments, or answers until the lock expires), but feel free to follow the linked advice once the post is no longer locked if you wish to bring more attention to it. –  Jim Jan 28 '13 at 20:56
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Caveat - I've never worked a night shift, but I have friends that have in the medical industry... here's some of their pointers:

  • Make yourself a regular sleep cycle and stick by it. You still need the standard 6-10 hours of sleep - and you need to get your body into a cycle where it knows it needs to sleep.

  • Make your bedroom a place where your body will go to sleep - even at an irregular hour - heavy curtains for darkness, earplugs for noise, making sure that your sleep cycle is respected by your family or roommates - figuring out what it will take to get real rest is a big deal.

  • Showering and eating routines are just as important - rest helps your body sleep, foot and morning rituals help your body wake up.

  • Eating healthy throughout the day takes more planning - the lack of lots of options for the mid-work meal can mean you eat out of vending machines or scrounge whatever you can - that's not so good from an energy standpoint and can run you down in the long run.

  • Look for the good points in your work routine - even on day shifts, I find that my most creative points are often the end of my work day. My old boss used to peak in the early morning. Even on night shift, you probably have a best time to be creative. Play with the idea of scheduling yourself creative work at different times in the day, and see if you have a favorite time for that kind of work. It's probably different than what you are used to from a day shift, and it may be the last thing you figure out after you have a reliable physical routine worked out.

Figuring out how to maximize the use of your brain is always the trickiest, since it's pretty hard to measure. Doctors are always coming up with new brain information, too, and refining old theories - so there may even be recent research on it that I'm not aware of.

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