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Take Power Naps

Nap before you start work. If you have been awake for several hours before you get a call to work, anticipate that your alertness will decline before the end of your tour. Jump-start your battery with a nap before you head in. Taking a nap before work and consuming caffeine early in your shift, particularly if you must work at night, can help boost alertness on the job.

Take a recovery nap to make up for lost sleep. If you are sleep deprived, pay back at least part of your sleep debt with a nap of three hours or more.

Try to start your nap about eight hours after you awakened. This is a normal downtime in the waking day. Sleep at this time is less likely than sleep later in the day to interfere with your usual longest sleep episode. 

If you typically spend your days off catching up on sleep, you need more sleep on workdays. Try to even out your daily sleep dose.

Take an emergency nap if you start drifting off. Don’t put yourself or others in danger. Ask for relief if you need it.

Note: Not all railroads approve on-duty napping. Check with your supervisor.

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Keep a sleep-wake diary