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May 182012

Rest In Peace Donna Summer.  Very sorry to see her go so young.  I never liked the song “Love to Love you Baby” but I liked almost everything else she did.   “Last Dance”  was my favorite Donna Summer song.

Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dies at 63

Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dies at 63

Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, dies at 63, Image from Washington Post

By T. Rees Shapiro,

Donna Summer, who moaned, shimmied and grooved her way into the glare of disco’s strobe lights in the mid-1970s and became one of the genre’s most defining and enduring artists, died May 17 in Naples, Fla. She was 63.

The Associated Press reported that she had cancer.
Continue reading at the Washington Post



Donna Summer – Last Dance (Nobel Peace Prize Concert ’09) HD


Last Dance by Donna Summer

May 172012

Tools for a day sleeper

I’m a 65 year old shift worker.  I work four twelve hour shifts in a row 6pm to 6am.  I’m having to cope with sleep issues. In my opinion the shift work is not the cause, because I have had sleepiness issues for a long time now.  I think I manage OK, but I do struggle certain periods during the night.

Read the WebMD article here

Could you have shift work sleep disorder?

I’m not sure it’s shift work sleep disorder, but I’ve got issues.  For example I was off yesterday and got a decent about of sleep and rest, but when I took the train to run some errands today I dozed off when I only had three stations to travel. I heard the announcement for the station before and the station after the one I wanted. I dozed for maybe 4 minutes and missed my stop. This is a regular occurrence.

When I am working at night, there are periods that I doze, but I instantly wake up when the tone indicating an incoming call sounds.

The WebMD article has nine tips for better sleep.

1. Try not to work a number of night shifts in a row. You may become increasingly more sleep-deprived over several nights on the job. You’re more likely to recover if you can limit night shifts and schedule days off in between.

Tip #1 is a non starter for me, I work a 4 day in a row schedule. I like having three days off in a row.

2. Avoid frequently rotating shifts. If you can’t, it’s easier to adjust to a schedule that rotates from day shift to evening to night rather than the reverse order.

Tip #2 Although I do work the same overnight shift. I still have the problems of rotating shifts it seems to me.  Four days on nights and three off days back in the day world. It’s not practical to live totally on night side because there are things you need to do in the day.

3. Try to avoid long commutes that take time away from sleeping.

Tip #3 I loose two hours a day to commuting. No choice. The commute is worse on the weekends because of all the Metro track maintenance.

4. Keep your workplace brightly lighted to promote alertness. If you’re working the night shift, expose yourself to bright light, such as that from special light boxes, lamps, and visors designed for people with circadian-related sleep problems, when you wake up.  Circadian rhythms are the body’s internal clock that tells us when to be awake and when to sleep. These rhythms are controlled by a part of the brain that is influenced by light. Fleming says that being exposed to bright light when you start your “day” can help train your body’s internal clock to adjust.

Tip #4 Is doable. There are work stations that are well lit and some that are not do to the position of the ceiling lighting. I could easily sit at a well lit station, although I have noted no difference In my drowsiness .

5. Limit caffeine. Drinking a cup of coffee at the beginning of your shift will help promote alertness. But don’t consume caffeine later in the shift or you may have trouble falling asleep when you get home.

Tip #5 I’ve taken this tip to heart.  I’m a heavy tea drinker. I now stop drinking tea between 3am and 4 am.  It has made a big difference in my urination pattern after I leave work.  Before I was drinking tea up to about 1/2 hour of getting off work.

6.  Avoid bright light on the way home from work, which will make it easier for you to fall asleep once you hit the pillow. Wear dark, wraparound sunglasses and a hat to shield yourself from sunlight. Don’t stop to run errands, tempting as that may be.

Tip #6 I’ve been following.  I wear a hat and sunglasses and I don’t run errands.

7.  Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as you can.

Tip #7  I do the best I can here.  I get as much sleep as I can on Saturday, 8 to 10 hours in bed although I’m not actually asleep all that time, because I know that I will only get 3 or 4 hours sleep on Sunday.   On Monday and Tuesday I’m in bed about 6 1/2 hours. When I get home Wednesday I sleep until I wake up, usually around 6 hrs.

8.  Ask your family to limit phone calls and visitors during your sleep hours.

Tip #8  I don’t ask for this.  Most people live during the day.

9.  Use blackout blinds or heavy curtains to block sunlight when you sleep during the day. “Sunlight is a potent stimulator of the circadian rhythm,” Fleming says. “Even if your eyes are closed, the sunlight coming into the room tells your brain that it’s daytime. Yet your body is exhausted and you’re trying to sleep. That discrepancy … is not a healthy thing for the body to be exposed to.”

Tip #9 I don’t comply with this tip either.  My plant needs daylight to be healthy. I do lower the shade at the window beside my bed, but the window that has the plant has the shade up. I prefer to use a sleep mask to block light from my eyes and ear plugs to dampen the sound.

Summary:  I guess I’m not particularly good at accepting advice :-) I comply almost completely with 4 of the 9 tips. The other tips I don’t want to do or are not practical for me to do.  I have noticed a big difference in my quality of sleep since I have been using both a sleep mask and ear plugs.  The one course I refuse is to take is sleeping pills, I’ve never taken a sleep aid and don’t plan to.  Even when I have a cold, I only use the day version of whatever over the counter medicine I take. I believe you will sleep when you are sleepy enough.

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