[shiftworker online]

May / June 1999 Issue 9 Shiftworker Online

News Headlines. Canada.  USA.
Weather. Canada.  USA.
Current Scores.
from USA Today.
from Sportsline.
Word of the Day.
from Reader's Digest.
Picture of the Day.

This Day in LIFE

Book of the Month.
The Call of the Wild    by Jack London
Enter a Room.

Welcome to Issue # 9 of the Shiftworker Online.

Bookmark this page for easy access to News, Weather and Sports and Shift Work related information.

In this issue:

Previous Issues
#1 Jan./Feb. 1998

#2 Mar./Apr.1998

#3 May/June 1998

#4 July/August 1998

#5 Sept./Oct. 1998

#6 Nov./Dec. 1998

#7 Jan./Feb. 1999

#8 March/April 1999

The Shiftworker and Caffeine

Shiftwork and caffeine just seem to go together, especially on one of those long night shifts. It has been proven that caffeine does indeed help us to be more alert and therefore able to stay awake but its helping effect in this way is short lived. Drinking too many cups of coffee or other beverage with caffeine can lead to dehydration, diarrhea and the jitters.

Even though caffeine occurs naturally in coffee, tea, and chocolate it is a drug. Small amounts of caffeine can have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Caffeine can increase our alertness and confidence and improve our mood. It boosts our ability to perform repetitious tasks, such as typing, and may even increase endurance in athletes. Too much caffeine, however, can make a person restless and irritable. It may also provoke hot flashes and cause increased urination (and, therefore, dehydration) and diarrhea. Moreover, coffee -- with or without caffeine -- can trigger heartburn.

Most people don't hit caffeine overload until they've had the equivalent of eight cups of coffee or more. But for those who are very sensitive to caffeine or rarely consume it, even two cups can cause the jitters.

Boy My Head Hurts - Headaches and Caffeine

If you try to give up your morning cup of coffee, you may end up with one bad headache. This is a common result of caffeine withdrawal. On the other side, taking a dose of caffeine along with aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for a tension headache or migraine appears to speed relief and make it last longer. Why? Caffeine helps pain relievers work better, which is why it is found in many over-the-counter analgesics. But it also fights headaches on its own. Experts believe that caffeine constricts the blood vessels in the head, reducing the blood flow in the area, which may in turn ease a throbbing headache. But don't go overboard: ingesting too much caffeine (as little as 500 milligrams a day for several days) may trigger a rebound headache that can last for a week.


Years ago there was concern about a possible link between cancer and the chemicals used to extract the caffeine from coffee and tea. But scientists have found no justification for these fears. For people who are still worried, water-processed decaffeinated beverages are available -- at a price. What about the trace of caffeine that remains in decaffeinated coffee? Since the decaffeination process removes 97 to 99 percent of the caffeine, a cup of decaf poses little threat to a good night's sleep.

Caffeine Content

Source Approximate Caffeine Content (mg)

Coffee Espresso (60 ml/2 oz) 120

Espresso, decaf (60 ml/2 oz) 10

Regular, brewed (180 ml/6 oz) 103

Brewed decaf (180 ml/6 oz) 2

Instant, 6 oz (1 rounded tsp) 57

Instant decaf, 6 oz (1 rounded tsp) 2

Tea Black (180 ml/6 oz) 53

Oolong (180 ml/6 oz) 36

Green (180 ml/6 oz) 32

Iced tea, instant 46

Soft drinks (360 ml/12 oz, diet or regular)

RC Cola 48

Mountain Dew (in Canada there is no caffeine ) 55

Coca-Cola Classic 47

Dr. Pepper 41

Sunkist Orange 39

Pepsi 37

Chocolate Baking chocolate (28 g/1 oz) 58

Dark-chocolate bar (41 g/1.45 oz) 31

Milk-chocolate bar (44 g/1.55 oz) 11

Hot cocoa (180 ml/6 oz) 5

Adapted from Reader's Digest "IS IT HARMFUL, IS IT HEALTHY?"

Time Change and it's Effect

Being a shift worker I always find articles like the following very interesting. As shift workers we are constantly changing our sleep/wake times by as much as twelve hours.

As the article indicates, studies show that when daylight savings time begins even an hour difference in time change has an effect on people.

Time change results in more accidents, university study finds /CP - EDMONTON

Commuters heading to work Monday - the first Monday of daylight time - may have had more to worry about than resetting the clock in their cars. A study by Stanley Coren, a neuropsychologist at the University of British Columbia, suggests that fatal car accidents increase by seven per cent in Canada on the Monday after the spring time change.

Coren blames the carnage on already tired motorists suddenly being robbed of one more hour of sleep. "It's really quite scary that we as a society are so sleep deprived that a single hour of sleep lost increases traffic accidents," Coren said Sunday in an interview from his home in Chilliwack, B.C. Coren study looked at reported car accidents in Canada in 1991 and 1992. He also found that when Canadians move their clocks back an hour in the fall, collisions dropped seven per cent.

Traffic safety experts take Coren findings quite seriously. Mission Possible, a safety coalition organization dedicated to reducing the death and injury toll on Alberta roads, urges drivers to take more care than usual in the weeks following the start of daylight time.

Overnight Coffee Cake

This month's theme seems to be coffee - hence this desert.

Make this desert prior to going in for the "Night" shift and enjoy in the morning.


1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1   Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon   cinnamon.

2   In a mixing bowl, cream butter or margarine, white sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add egg; mix well. Mix flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Beat well. Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking pan.

3   Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, nuts, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4   Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake tests done.

Makes one 8 inch square cake


That’s it for this issue.

Bye for now!!!

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If you have any comments or questions,
Please E-MAIL me at rlaird@ican.net