Studies show that those individuals who work on multiple shifts or on strange schedules, may have a difficult time sleeping. That lack of sleep affects everyone differently, but when it comes to the city's police officers and firefighters, a lack of sleep can be dangerous for everyone.
Andy Heffner has served the community as a firefighter for the past 16 years, and loves what he does. Like so many other men and women making a career fighting fires, Andy puts in his hours of work during three 24 hour days. During those long hours, a solid night of sleep is usually out of the question, as those on shift fight emergency calls throughout the night.
While working 24 consecutive hours works for Heffner and others, sleep specialists say the full day of working is not only hard on the body, it can be difficult for workers to think clearly, and make the right decisions.
When sleeping is not an option, Heffner does what many others do, he turns to an alternative energy source, drinking large amounts of coffee.
Using energy shots, drinks, and excessive amounts of coffee to keep the body going throughout the day, may work for some people, but Dr. Kuchipudi believes working past the state of being tired, can be dangerous. Doctors at the sleep center advise people working different shifts throughout the week, to create a routine and stick to it, as that is the only way a person's mind and body can function properly.