Not ever going to get enough sleep-is that going to screw me up?

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I work a really odd shift/job. I do 24 hours on call and then have 3-4 days off. Then 24 hours on, repeat. The 24 hours I'm on call, I am normally actually working anywhere from 18-20 hours. A typical day on call is: wake up at 5:15 am, shower, get ready. Get report and start taking call at 0630. Get the kids up (3 young kids-8, 5, 2), get kids ready, eat breakfast (eggs, veggies, coffee with coconut cream), drop kids off at school and my moms, come back home and work. Depending on how busy it is, I grab lunch (salad with chicken, chicken sausage, etc) and eat lunch quickly while at my desk. If the phone is ringing and its crazy busy, I sometimes can't stop for lunch but instead have to snack a bit (handful of nuts and raisins, veggies, hard boiled egg) but most days I'm able to make an actual lunch. Pick up the kids in the afternoon, come home, continue working, hubby makes dinner (I often eat in front of the computer if work is crazy). This continues all night. Most nights on call I try to go to bed at 10pm but the phone rings a lot overnight (the other night it rang 16 times between midnight-5am). I would say I average 3-5 hours of sleep on my call days and it's broken up sleep.


So, this is my long term job/career. I don't see it ever changing (nor do I want it to because I love my job despite the insane hours and crazy pace of it). But the more I read up on Whole 30, etc (on day 20 of my 2nd whole30 right now), I see how important sleep is in our overall health. Is doing this going to screw me up long term? I try and make up for sleep the days I'm not on call and go to bed earlier. I've been working an on call job for 11 years now but we've just gotten busier and busier so we used to get more sleep than we do now. I'm just curious if anyone else works a job with sporadic sleep patterns and how that affects your health. It's the one part of whole30 I don't think I'll ever get "right". I'm never going to get consistent sleep no matter how hard I try.



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Well, all other things being equal, Person A with good sleep hygiene will be "better off" than Person B with poor sleep hygiene.

But, if poor sleep is a fixed reality, following all the other principles of Whole30 and Whole9 will serve to support you and give you the best possible framework to operate from.

It sounds like you're already doing what you can -- you've got support from your husband, you go to bed earlier on your off days, you're eating proper meals, etc.

I'd say just make sure the sleep you do get is as good as it can be: dark curtains, maybe ear plugs on your non-on call days, practice relaxation techniques so you can fall asleep quickly, keep stress low, exercise, etc.

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Just in addition to what kirkor has said there are a few things you could/should be doing in addition to what you are already are:

~ Spend as much of your spare time as you can outdoors to boost seratonin levels & thereby reduce stress.

~ Try to spend 10-15mins outdoors at the same time every day - preferably first thing in the morning - to help regulate your body's circadian rythym.

~ Eat within one hour of wakening

~ Try for an hr of  'screen-free' time prior to sleep.

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