Sleeping on night shift.

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Sleeping on night shift.

Postby K.Dhamma » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:38 am

Ok, so I work in a group home of higher functioning developmentally disabled individuals. I love my work. I am good at it as well. However I work the night shift and from time to time I do fall asleep as the people I take care of are on medications that completely knock them out. Although it was not DIRECTLY communicated that this shouldn't be happening, it was "assumed" that I should not be falling asleep on the night shift. It may seem somewhat obvious that it is not good to be doing what I am doing. But good/bad is a matter of perspective. My work is completed every night, but I don't have enough work to fill the night. My supervisor has even done a night time visit and noticed that I was sleeping but didn't say anything to me( I got up before she seen me with my eyes closed, but it was obvious I had been asleep). So, am I in line with the precepts? I'd really like some outside perspective on this.
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:05 am

Right Effort, Right LIvelihood. Right Mindfulness/Awareness, Right Intention..... Hmmm.... the 5 precepts are not the concern here, in my opinion....

If you fall asleep on the job, when you know you shouldn't, then this isn't the job for you....

Why don't you sleep during the day?
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby Sokehi » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:00 am

If it is not your intention to fall asleep unnoticed, I don't see a problem with regards to the precepts either. Work is hard, the body and mind is getting tired.
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby K.Dhamma » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:43 pm

I do sleep during the day.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:29 pm

Well, either not enough, or there may be another issue...

How come you are so tired?

Are you anaemic?
Do you have any kind of medical situation that may be contributing to your tiredness?
Are you always on night shift , or do you alternate day shifts as well?
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You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby K.Dhamma » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:09 pm

How come you are so tired?
It's night time and I find it difficult to stay awake when it is dark outside.

Are you anaemic?
Not that I am aware of, and I have blood work periodically.

Do you have any kind of medical situation that may be contributing to your tiredness?
Possibly, but no doctor has ever given me a diagnosis or told me anything was wrong.

Are you always on night shift , or do you alternate day shifts as well?
I'm always on night shift.

I have tried and forced myself to stay awake on night shift before. Basically if I don't stand up then I will fall asleep. I have to do paperwork for about an hour every night as well, and I have woken up with my face on the paper work and I didn't even know I fell asleep.

Lately i've found solace in the idea of just letting it happen. I've found that if I just let it happen then when I go home during the day it is much easier to sleep. I know that sounds contradictory, but it is the truth.
In the past I have used adderall and ritalin to stay awake and it works. I can stay awake at night, but then I have a horrible time sleeping during the day.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby Mkoll » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:07 pm

Perhaps you could try finding another job? I'm guessing you've tried to get a day shift at your current job to no avail. Sorry if that's bad advice but it seems like avoiding it would be the best way to solve the problem.

I know a human being can get used to being awake all night and sleeping during the day but I don't think it's healthy.

You might want to check this out if you haven't already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby Hickersonia » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:11 pm

Just throwing my two-cents into it -- night shift sucks. At my workplace, we instituted a third-shift for the specific purpose of performing receiving and bulk product putaway functions that otherwise clog up the warehouse and make the process of filling orders too complicated. The number of equipment accidents on that shift (11PM to 7:30AM) is astronomical compared to the number of accidents the rest of the hours of the day combined.

I have long decided that working the night shift would be "wrong livelihood" for me. Maybe it works for some people, but I'd be half alseep at my desk, or worse, on an 8,000 pound piece of equipment.

I would inform your supervisor that if there isn't a possibility of moving to a daytime shift at your current place of employment, they should expect you to find employment elsewhere. I know.... easy to say in my position, much harder to do.

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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby LXNDR » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:37 am

as Sokehi pointed out if it's not your intention to sleep unnoticed or to sleep period while on a shift, there's no moral problem as long as you get all your work done

if you're uneasy about this, you may tell the superiors that it happens and see whether they offer some solution or don't object to it
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby martinfrank » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:24 pm

Hi!

I worked on the night shift in a small hotel and tried to keep awake by learning Pali but I would be dreaming I'm learning Pali, dreaming I'm writing Pali sentences in Devanagiri script (the script used to write Sanskrit, Hindi and many other North Indian languages). Like you, I tried to sleep during the day but that wouldn't keep me from falling asleep at night. Night shifts without work are tough. You may dream your wide awake while in fact you're asleep.

Did you try to give yourself a fixed task like going through Rosetta Stone lessons which keep your mind busy? Did you try sitting and walking meditation and reading Discourses aloud?

If you make sure that you wake up when you're needed and don't neglect your tasks, you should not blame yourself since you don't steal from your employer. Somebody has to do that job and another person would probably fall asleep too. The problem is connected more with your job than with your person.

Whenever we get into the finer points of morality, it is good to check whether we are avoiding the larger problems by focusing on the smaller ones. At least that is my experience with myself.

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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby SDC » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:33 am

Hickersonia wrote:Just throwing my two-cents into it -- night shift sucks.


Indeed. Very tough. I do it a lot in my line of work. It is difficult to COMPLETELY transition and have it be like day time even if you do it for weeks at a time. Day sleep is NOT the same as night sleep. When it is dark your body wants to sleep.

My company considers "sleeping on the job" as theft of company resources so it is no mystery to me what it means if I fall asleep - it is stealing. Clarify what your company's thoughts are on the matter and then you can make your decision. That it was not "directly communicated" is your tactic for justifying what may be considered stealing by your company, and keeping your distance from the truth about how they view sleeping doesn't make it okay - especially now that you are questioning if it is wrong. Like I said, find out what the company policy is. If they say it is okay then everything is fine.
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Re: Sleeping on night shift.

Postby Ape » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:58 pm

I would say that if you are responsible for these peoples' care and something were to happen due to you being asleep, that would be negligence. However, I do not know what your job entails.
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