Working the Night Shift

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Peter Manuel works as a conductor of a local 1 Train. (Tracey Samuelson/WNYC)

We take calls from people who work strange hours -- how much does it affect the rest of your life, your health, and more? What strategies have you developed to cope? Shelby Harris, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center helps field your questions.


Shelby Harris

Comments [6]


In the medical field, I know many who function very well, working a consistent schedule in nights or evenings and incorporate certain activities/job functions usually performed in the day hours. No, they are not, nor ever were impaired. My take, their Bio clock is set for those hours, just as many do work better in the evenings or night hours. If various Businesses, would consider the work day distributed among the 24 hr schedule (and use clocks in a 24 hour description (eg 0100-2400) vs (3 times) daily 8 hour schedule), they may get a greater contribution with more accurate "off" hours production, offered to those who do well in the later time ranges, and also become more productive and successful in the progress of their businesses. Nights are ungodly for many whose clock is set for daylight sunshine, and the night active person would thrive in this time frame, and deteriorate in the daytime schedule.

Apr. 03 2014 04:18 PM

how did you sleep last night?

ans: with my eyes closed!! :)

Apr. 03 2014 08:36 AM
mitchell mcguire from Manhattan

I spent many years working an all night shift and still trying to establish an acting career during the day with only some success...I was young which helped but it was challenging and I know I was impaired at times. Once I had put in 8 hours and yet in the morning had to record some dialogue and was so awful and stressed that I lost the gig. I eventually was able to get my acting thing going and make some money at it, which was a welcome relief and I got to quit my all night job. Anyone working the night shift has my sympathy.

Apr. 03 2014 08:16 AM
Amy from Manhattan

For shift workers whose shift changes, is there a better/worse interval to be on each shift before switching to the next?

Apr. 02 2014 11:55 AM
fuva from harlemworld

BRIAN AND PRODUCERS, what a great show. Yet again. You really are a vital community resource, for a free society. Thanks very much.

Apr. 02 2014 11:53 AM
ebun from brooklyn

For the past 3yrs I have travelled to West Africa for work every 3weeks (3weeks at home in Brooklyn, 3 weeks in WA). I no longer know what sleep is. When I get home (Brooklyn), I am still on African time and that could last for about a week. Because our team is all over the world, I would oftentimes need to wake up at 2am to take phone calls etc. When I get to Africa I am on American time, with the same challenges, staying up late till the end of business in the US. I can't seem to sleep for more than 2-3hours. I think I have messed up my internal clock but I generally feel healthy (run everyday etc). Could I be doing some long-term damage I am unaware of?

Apr. 02 2014 04:55 AM

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