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24 year old male-chronic sleepiness/fatigue

I am a control room operator. I work alone. I work 12 hour rotating shifts. Usually 7 nights in a row with 2 days off then 7 days in a row with 2 days off. I normally get around 7 hours of sleep a night. Throughout the day I go through debilitating bouts of sleepiness. This makes it hard to drive, work or focus on tasks.  Additionally, I get frequent hot flashes and dizzy spells.I also feel depressed sometimes.  I have no known health issues. I have been to my doctor and all they did was prescribe Meclizine for dizziness and antibiotics. My BP was 140/90 something. I have had blood work done and my A1C checked. All normal Does anyone have any ideas?
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20620809 tn?1504362969
Man, that's a brutal work schedule.  You are telling me you work 84 hours in a week?  That's over double what is normal.  I wouldn't think that work schedule is sustainable for anyone.  Really, I mean that.  That's to the point of not being healthy. I'd start there.  What can you do to cut down on this?  a 12 hour shift and is this at night?    You are exhausted and that can lead to cognitive difficulty. I worked a job that went into the night at one point and could not sleep after very well and still had to get up for another job.  I was having the issues you describe.  You have to get more and better sleep.  A shorter shift?  Less days a week?  A different job entirely?  Think about what you can do.  I know we all need to work but you have to have a life outside of that too.  

You only have 12 hours off of work a day on work days.  It takes time to unwind, eat and do other things.  I would guess you don't get great sleep during your 7 hours.  I don't think antibiotics make any sense in this.  Sleep does.

Read this article:  https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body  It has the signs of sleep deprivation.  High blood pressure is another one.  

The blood pressure is in the borderline range but you need to also begin tracking and then addressing that.  Hard to exercise and eat properly with your work schedule.  

Does it sound like your work schedule is the main reason for your issues?  
10 Comments
I believe you are probably right. I've been on this work schedule for the past 6 months. We have been short staffed, and since its a 24/7 plant someone has to be here at all times. I work by myself and have very little human interaction while at work. I miss my wife. I dont get to see her much. As soon as I get home from work I just want to go to bed
Yes, this sounds really REALLY hard.  Money is good, I get that.  But this might be at the sacrifice of your health.  And relationship too it sounds like.  Maybe in the new year, explore with your employer how this could shift some.  Back to the schedule you had before the short staffing.  
That still doesn't explain why I get hot flashes and dizziness
It absolutely could.  Being physically exhausted can make you react in physical ways. Dizziness absolutely can occur.  Read this:  https://www.sleepio.com/articles/sleep-science/sleep-deprivation-symptoms/  You may also be suffering a bit of actual depression from this current work situation.  

Do start tracking your bp daily though.  Three times a day, random times, take your bp and write it down. Relax when doing it, feet flat on ground, arm at heart level and think peaceful thoughts.  That's the first step to addressing borderline blood pressure.  
I'll do that. Thank you
I forgot to mention, doc told me I had fluid in my ears and that's what is causing the dizziness. Said I had vertigo, thats what the meclizine is for. My ears feel fine though. Could that be causing the excessive sleepiness too?
well, ya.  Fluid in your ear can cause dizziness and ringing.  That's probably why you got antibiotics.  Is there anyway you can change your work schedule though in the new year?
Just got lab results back. They told me my testosterone levels were low. They didnt say how low but said we would discuss treatment at my next appointment.
You've got a pile of stuff going on, huh?

Vertigo and fluid in your ears messes with you a LOT, a messed up sleep pattern definitely does, and now you have low testosterone, too. Not at all surprising you feel lousy. :(

Let us know what the doc says about everything.
You posted your results in another thread, and I'm copying them here so it's easier to keep track of -


"Total T: 503 ng/dl
Free T: 9.0 pg/ml

24 year old male.

Fatigue, no motivation, slight depression, always sleepy"

What are the ranges on those? Does the lab report give those? What is your doctor saying about it?
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