Many shift workers use substances to stay awake and go to sleep - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Many shift workers use substances to stay awake and go to sleep

While some workers wait for the clock to strike 5 p.m. to leave work, others are just waking up. While some workers wait for the clock to strike 5 p.m. to leave work, others are just waking up.
It's those odd-hour shift workers that often times rely on something other than good sleep to keep them awake. It's those odd-hour shift workers that often times rely on something other than good sleep to keep them awake.
"By three in the morning I'm normally on my break yawning," Brady said of her overnight shift. "By three in the morning I'm normally on my break yawning," Brady said of her overnight shift.
"I start around 10 p.m., and a lot of nights I'm up till around 4 a.m., 5 a.m. working," Taylor said about writing her book. . "I start around 10 p.m., and a lot of nights I'm up till around 4 a.m., 5 a.m. working," Taylor said about writing her book. .
Some other prescription drugs like Modafinil and Armodafini did boost alertness and reduce drowsiness, but caused headaches, nausea and increased blood pressure. Some other prescription drugs like Modafinil and Armodafini did boost alertness and reduce drowsiness, but caused headaches, nausea and increased blood pressure.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - While some workers wait for the clock to strike 5 p.m. to leave work, others are just waking up and getting their day started.

It's those odd-hour shift workers that often times rely on something other than good sleep to keep them awake. Charlotte Brady is working at her yard sale in Jackson Friday, but when she goes to work she doesn't work your typical 9 to 5.

"I normally wake up about three or four in the evening, I'll get an energy drink first thing," Brady said.

Brady said she fills up on energy drinks and caffeine pills to keep her awake.

"By three in the morning I'm normally on my break yawning," Brady said.

Then on her way home, she actually drinks a little coffee to help her go to sleep.

"(I) don't really use any pills over the counter to go to sleep," Brady said.

She's been doing this shift for about six months now, and said she's slowly getting used to her new regimen.

"The first month or so it was really hard, the energy drinks you can't use too many of them because you get so jittery, and moving tea pots and stuff around it kind of gets hard," Brady said.  "I don't want to drop anything."

Recent studies show a lot of shift workers take drugs to go to sleep or stay awake.

Researchers found caffeine reduced sleepiness during night shifts when workers also took naps before shifts.

C.D. Taylor is working on her book in the park.

She finished her first book, the romance novel, Our Second Chance.

But, she's working on a second book due out later this year.

She said she likes to write at home during the overnight hours.

"I start around 10 p.m., and a lot of nights I'm up till around 4 a.m., 5 a.m. working," Taylor said.

She said it's easier because it's quiet, but it can be difficult to stay awake.

"To stay awake I drink a lot of energy drinks,” Taylor said. "When I get up I pack myself full of caffeine, I use my Red Bull, my Monster drinks, and to go to sleep most of the time I take Tylenol PM, Benadryl is a big one.  I've tried regular sleeping pills but they don't seem to help."

Studies found in some people, the over the counter drug melatonin helped them stay asleep about 20 minutes longer, but did not help them go to sleep faster.

Some other prescription drugs like Modafinil and Armodafini did boost alertness and reduce drowsiness, but caused headaches, nausea and increased blood pressure in many shift workers.

According to the research, in many countries, at least 10 percent of workers do some type of shift work.

You can find Taylor's book on Amazon.com

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