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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One night down, three to go

Well, I survived my first night shift in about sixteen years.

The actual "doing it" part wasn't so hard. I work in a whitespace, pretty much. So, day or night, you're getting massive light stimulation. If you don't look out a window, you can't really be sure if it's 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning. And the job keeps you too busy to think about how crazy it is to be working from 6:00 at night to 6:00 in the morning.

The harder parts are the two other major components of the day: eating and sleeping. I had worked out a meal regimen that kept me fueled up so well that some days I would eat at 3:30 in the morning and not eat again until 4:00 in the afternoon. But on night shift, it would feel odd to be eating cereal with a banana and drinking two cups of coffee in the mid-afternoon. Likewise, it would feel odd to be eating supper in the morning, just after I get home.

On day shift I settled on a sleep pattern of being in bed by 10:00 at night and up at 3:00 in the morning. On nights...well, I'm going to try to get to bed soon, and I have my alarm set for 2:00 this afternoon. Yesterday was an odd transition: I got to bed around 12:30 Monday morning, and woke up (as I had pre-programmed) just after 7:00 in the morning so I could call the unemployment office to see why they wanted me to call them (Routine stuff triggered by cycles of work/layoff.) I think I rolled over for a while, but then got up again and screwed around online for a while. I finally lay down for a nap again at 1:15, and let myself drift off to sleep to test my alarms. (I rearranged them slightly based on that experiment.)

Falling asleep now...need to get to bed soon.

One advantage on this shift: I'll be better informed. I can listen to All Things Considered on my way in to work, and Morning Edition on my way home. On day shift I was going in to work before the morning news came on, and coming home while listening to Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Good night! Or should I say, good day! And happy St. Patrick's Day!

1 comment:

whimsical brainpan said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope the transition continues to go smoothly.