On my schedule

Based on a prompt from Plinky: 6:00 am: best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00 am bedtime?

I’m still feeling a little drained from the emotional roller coaster I’ve put myself on over the past few days and as such I’m feeling pretty uninspired.  I’m writing, but only because I have to.  Last week I found a lot of inspiration, particularly in the middle of the week, and I was basically able to prepare entries for the busy weekend I knew I’d be having, but that’s run out for now, so it’s all a bit of a grind again.  In cases like these, it’s great to have prompts available to give me a little push, and even better when you find a prompt that is, even tangentially, related to something that’s been on your mind recently.

6:00 am is far too close to my 3:00 am bedtime.  When I am not working a daytime schedule (which I mostly do when I am working, since I tend to work government jobs), I nearly always fall in to a schedule of getting up between 11 and noon, and go to sleep between 3 am and 5 am.  I always try to fix my schedule, and it never really works unless I have an obligation to do otherwise.  My body really, really likes to go to sleep at 4 am and get up at noon.

Safeway did this to me.

I guess I’ve always been a night person — I always preferred evenings to mornings, and it’s often a challenge for me to adapt to a daytime schedule, but it was my job at Safeway during my undergraduate years that solidified everything.  During the summers I would always work closing shifts, starting work at 4 and finishing just after midnight.  Some people I worked with would actually go to sleep immediately after finishing work, and then get up at 8 am.  This never made any sense to me.  Having free time before work has never felt like free time to me.  When I was in school, I would study or write or do research before shifts and that was fine, but I could never really relax — the fact that I’d have to go to work in a few hours would always be in the back of my mind.  For me, relaxing after work was much better.  So, I would get up between 11 am and 1 pm, work from 4-12, and then go to sleep between 4 and 5 am.  This allowed me to get things done during normal people hours if I needed to and to relax after my shift was over all at the same time.

And for some reason, I’ve just never been able to shake it.  Whenever I’ve been able to do so, I’ve transitioned back to that schedule.  Right now, due to my difficulties sleeping, I’ve even moved a bit later.  I didn’t get up today until 2 pm after finally falling asleep at 7 am.

It works for me, but it’s difficult for some people to accept.  While I sleep about the same amount of hours as everyone else, my schedule has often been labeled by day people as lazy.  “Sleeping in” is always seen as decadent, something that is a luxury and should only be done every once in awhile.  We current and former shift workers know that, however, it’s  just living at a different time of day than the majority.


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