Shift Work

Being a cop means that you'll be doing shift work during the
first several years of your career. It cannot be avoided.
That's where you'll cut your teeth and learn the ropes.

Dealing with the laws, procedures, and personalities of your new
job is tough enough, but if you factor in the schedule, it's even more physically and mentally demanding.

Human beings are built with a natural circadian rythmn. It's our body clock. It's not hard to figure out- we sleep at night and are awake during the day.

Our body temperatures drop at night naturally, and we become tired. Around 2-3 am is when our temperatures are the lowest. Generally speaking, that's when we're the most tired.

Now, what happens when you throw shift work into this?

Well, imagine being a cop working the graveyard shift at around this time on a Friday and Saturday night. Right when the bars are closing.

You're going to be fighting your body to stay alert at the same time that you may be dealing with aggressive drunks and generally stupid people.

Sounds like fun doesn't it?

Constantly switching back and forth from nightshift to dayshift is unhealthy. It can lead to several changes physically and emotionally. Some of these include:

  •  Constant Insomnia
  • Constant Fatigue
  • Increased aggression
  • Decreased immune system functionality
  • Increased hypertension
  • Mood Swings

Poor eating habits (fast food) is also a concern as workers won't have access to more healthy eating options as many places will be closed.

My advice is to pack a lunch with you. Keep fresh fruit and water with you when you're working. Eat whole grains and pack a lunch that it well balanced.

At least you can try to do something about the "nutrition" concerns.

Click here for eating healthy

Also, try and exercise on your days off. Staying fit is never a bad option. 

Remember, if you're not careful, it can really alter your interaction with those you care about.

Don't let the increased aggression and moodiness affect you family. Be mindful of this, and don't hurt those that are dearest to you.


Return from Shift Work to Homepage