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  1. #1
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    Working third shift and enjoying bicycling is a tough balance...

    Monday through Friday, getting to sleep by 6:30am and waking up by 1:30pm is considered optimum sleep (although I can ALWAYS sleep in longer). By then, I'm groggy untill I've been up for at least a few hours and had a few light meals. By the time my food settles, it's almost getting dark out, and time to start getting ready for work! I haven't found a good place to fit in some prime cycling time just yet.

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud_311
    Monday through Friday, getting to sleep by 6:30am and waking up by 1:30pm is considered optimum sleep (although I can ALWAYS sleep in longer). By then, I'm groggy untill I've been up for at least a few hours and had a few light meals. By the time my food settles, it's almost getting dark out, and time to start getting ready for work! I haven't found a good place to fit in some prime cycling time just yet.
    Try

    THICK curtains, blind fold, ear plugs and noise cancelling head phones
    stick to a schedule so you get a normal amount of sleep in
    try and eat small/many meals (lots of fruit, carbs, veg, etc)
    Also try do as much next day prep before going to sleep - so you can just grab a bag and go

    The hardest part is trying to stick to the schedule but as long as you can get a decent amount of sleep in you should be ok.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    1. Blackout curtains.
    2. Fan/AC to mask noise. It's helpful to be able to keep your body cool.
    3. Go to bed at same time each day. Stay to reasonable facsimile of schedule even on off days.
    4. Sleep until just before you go to work.
    5. Establish parameters. DO NOT allow people to wake you up with phone calls/distress modes/trivial things. Ask, "Would you want me to wake you up at 3.00 am? Well, that's what you're doing to me".

    I found that the hardest thing is actually getting other people to leave you alone when you're trying to sleep. They haven't a clue what it's like to work something other than nine to five, Saturday/Sunday off.

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I was lucky. I worked 12 hour shifts. LUcky? I'd bike into work before dark and return just after sunrise. That way I got in my miles. Even greatly enhanced my monthly mileage.

  5. #5
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I just bicycle commuted. Worked fine and slept better. Good lights and reflective material are your freinds.
    I also waited until 9:30 to go to bed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Me too. When driving , found falling asleep to be a problem. My solution was melotonin. Sometimes worked. days I commuted by bike, I had my shower and I was asleep asap.

  7. #7
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    Good tips. I'll definitely have to try some of these. I notice that I definitely seem to wake up like clock work once the sun hits my windows...well, not so much wake up as much as fall out of sleep in a groggy state. I'll definitely need to put up better shades.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    You commute at night. As said, light up big time and use lots of reflective material. I particularily like the tires with a reflective circle about the sidewall. That and reflective bands about arms, legs, helmet and two blinkies in the back; and a smaller light that flashes on/ off , off of the handlebars. Also, no cheapie main light source. Falling into pot holes is no fun. It's still far cheaper than gas. I also find it wise to take along a light that mounts on your forehead in case of flats. Changing flats in low light is no fun. Mine is a "Princeton Tec, Regulated LED light. Very bright for seeing what you are doing and the light points in the direction of your work.

  9. #9
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud_311
    I haven't found a good place to fit in some prime cycling time just yet.
    Bike commuting.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  10. #10
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    I worked overnight shift for a few years, but it was in Manhattan, so it was pretty easy to live a normal life. Commuted to work on my bike, rode laps in Central Park any time of day or night... I used to do a Sunday morning group ride up the Palisades, which for me was a mid-week after work ride.

    The other posters are right, you've got to sleep/wake up the same time every day, and don't let it drift later and later. Before you know it, you'll be sleeping every hour you're not at work, or even worse, not sleeping at all. Maybe think of yourself as an athlete in training, food and sleep-wise. Oh, and resist the temptation to steal naps at work, which was always possible for me, but devastating for the sleep schedule.

    The blacked-out shade thing never worked for me. I used to sleep by the window and bask in the sun like a cat. It felt good, like an 8-hour nap.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dingster1's Avatar
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    I work 1130-8am. I get home, sleep till noon, take care of any errands and ride, and back down by 7:30. Meals are a problem. I eat just enough not to starve.

  12. #12
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    For awhile I tried sleeping "in shifts". I pretty much had to last semester. I'd sleep from about 6am and wake up around 10am and then take a nap at 7pm until about 11pm. It got harder to fall asleep when I needed to, and I know it threw my diet all out of whack, so I stopped this sleep schedule as soon as I could. Didn't seem healthy.

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    I work nights and commute, its perfect now that its getting really hot. I leave at 9:30pm and get off work at 6:30am. Cooler weather, lighter traffic, fast ride in and fast ride out.
    Horse-free.

  14. #14
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud_311
    Monday through Friday, getting to sleep by 6:30am and waking up by 1:30pm is considered optimum sleep (although I can ALWAYS sleep in longer). By then, I'm groggy untill I've been up for at least a few hours and had a few light meals. By the time my food settles, it's almost getting dark out, and time to start getting ready for work! I haven't found a good place to fit in some prime cycling time just yet.
    7 am - right after your shift is a great time to ride in the summer. Temps are good and trafic is lite. Day shift people ride after work. Why can't you?

    or - How about commuting?
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bbwolfy's Avatar
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    I suggest you put aluminum foil on your windows. It,s cheaper than blackout curtains and more effective. It worked for me when i worked rotating shifts. (yuk)

  16. #16
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    I work an 8 hour rotating shift with 7 nights in a row. The first night I sleep as soon as I get home. After that I stay up later and later. After a few, I'll actually feel like riding after work. I commute home, switch to my road bike, and ride for several hours. At the end of the set on midnights, I'll sleep for maybe an hour on the couch in the afternoon and am ready to switch back.

    All my big mileage weeks seem to happen this way. I'm actually looking forward to my youngest kid starting pre-school this fall, as the wife and I will get some good ride time in when I'm on the back shifts.

  17. #17
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    I work from 6pm to 5am seven nights in a row and then have 7 days off. Talk about screwing with a sleep schedule! About the time I get used to sleeping during the day I have a week off and then fall back into a "normal person's" sleeping schedule. I agree that aluminum foil is the best light blocker for your windows. Turn a fan on, turn your cell phone off and your bedroom will turn into a cave that's great for sleeping in. I can't do the commuting thing, it's like 40 miles one way, so I hit the sack as soon as I get home, sleep until about 11 am and then get at least 20-30 miles in before getting ready to head back to work. Night shifts just blow but after you do them for about 5 years, you will get the hang of it. Hang in there.

  18. #18
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    I work normal day shift most of the time, but once a quarter, I'm required to do a week of off-shift work. I also have off-shift work on weekends once a month. It's tough to go back and forth. The constant for riding is the commute though, regardless of the shift.
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  19. #19
    NFL Owner monogodo's Avatar
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    Back when I worked 3rd shift (midnight to 8am), I had to commute by bike for 3 months in the summer. I'd wake up around 10pm, get showered and ready to ride just before 11pm, then ride the 12 miles to work. I made sure to be well lit, and to take up the entire lane, and I never had an issue with cars buzzing me. I'd get home around some time between 9:30 & 10:30 am, depending on how late I'd have to work. Then I'd stay up until about Noon or 1pm, 2pm at the latest before heading to bed. I can sleep anywhere and through anything, regardless of noise or light, so that was never a problem.
    198? Colnago Super (Campy Record) | 1989 Eddy Merckx 7-Eleven Team Issue (Dura Ace) | Catamount MFS (1x8) | Top Image Neptune (SS)

  20. #20
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Milky Is The Way
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] : http://www.gravel2008.us : Democracy.mp3

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud_311 View Post
    Monday through Friday, getting to sleep by 6:30am and waking up by 1:30pm is considered optimum sleep (although I can ALWAYS sleep in longer). ...
    I work nights too, usually 10pm to 4am five days a week. I only live 1.6 miles from work and I do ride the bicycle a lot when the weather's nice.

    Room-darkening shades can help a lot, but my problem with sleeping is not so much the daylight but the outside noise that tends to wake me up--particularly loud trucks and people with loud stereos driving by.

    Recreational riding in the early morning is a mixed experience.
    Cool temperatures and low traffic are nice, but then always starting out riding in the dark and the temperature swing is something of a hassle (between low-elevation areas with fog and high areas without can feel like 10F, and also the temperature can climb 10F as the sun comes up). .....Also you can't go down most wooded bike paths, because there's spider webs strung across them every 10 feet! BIG spiders will spin webs spanning 12-15 feet between the trees. I guess they take them down by sunrise, I never get them then. And in poorly-lit residential areas I have to be extra-careful on trash days, because there's lots of skunks, raccoons and possums out raiding people's trash cans.

    I'm something of a lousy example I guess, I don't do "hamster miles" anymore. I ride either because I'm going someplace I need to get to, or because there's something in particular I want to see.
    ~

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