My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Sleep "Schedule"? What’s that?

Posted by Iszi on September 22, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

I woke up at about 2200 last night (Monday night), and it is now 0404 in the (using the term loosely) morning, Wednesday and I’m still good to go for a couple more hours even though I know I probably shouldn’t. My sleep patterns have always been rather irregular when allowed to run on their own accord. Often, on consecutive nights off, I’d find myself staying up for 36 hours or so, and sleeping 12 afterwards. Part of this in recent times has been due to the flip-flopping of activity schedules that occurs before, during, and after my days off.

My two consecutive days (nights actually, since shifts run from 2200 on the starting night until 0600 on the end morning) are typically Monday and Tuesday. Occasionally I get a third, but I don’t count it as a sure thing, and it’s not always on the same day every time either. The shifting of activity schedules actually starts, however, on Saturday nights.

On a typical night of work, with nothing particular planned the next day, I’d wake up around 2100 to get ready, get to work at 2200, and leave (on a good day) at about 0700 the next morning. From there, I’d go home and do the occasional small tasks that are asked of me (feed/change baby, take out trash, put away dishes) and then start winding down to go to bed usually between 1200 and 1400, but sometimes as early as 1000 or as late as 1600, depending on how tired or wired I am. Physical activity during this “wind-down” time is near nil though, so I almost may as well be lying in bed awake during that time.

Saturday nights start a different activity cycle, though. Still normally wake up around 2100, get to work at 2200, leave for home around 0700, but instead of going into the usual wind-down routine, I have to get ready (and help my wife and daughter get ready) for church and turn around to go out the door almost no sooner than I walked in. Get to church around 0900, and don’t usually get out until 1300 or so, since (for various reasons) we stay for two services. Getting home at around 1400, I’m still usually pretty pumped from church and can’t get myself down to sleep until 1600, or sometimes as late as 1800.

That gives me just enough time for 3-5 hours of sleep, before I have to wake up for work again. Get home from work about 10 hours later, still with a good bit of energy, and maybe hit the sack at about 1100 on average, if I’m smart. If I’m too lazy to go to sleep, (with me that does make sense in its own weird way) or too wired, I end up staying awake solid until 1600 when it’s time to get ready to go to church to help set up for The Living Room. Get home at about 1900 after that. If I had “sleep” I usually stay up until about 0600 the next morning. If I hadn’t had sleep, I crash until probably noon or so the next day.

In either case, I have to be up and going again at 1600 to get to church for TLR to help make sure all the final wrinkles are straightened out and such. Service starts at 1920, ends between 2100-2200, get out of tear-down at about 2230, and then usually go hang with some friends afterwards, not getting home until 0200 or later most times. By then, my body wants to stay up long enough to finish the “Third Shift” and get to sleep between 0800 and 1000. Wake-up time for work on Wednesday is usually 2100.

Now Thursdays have been thrown in the mix, too. My cell group leader moved our meetings from Mondays to Thursdays at 1900, which means (regardless of when I drag myself to bed that morning) I usually have to be up at 1830 to get ready and go, often having to go to work after that.

So, maybe Friday nights are the only nights that I have a pretty steady 2100-1200 waking hours now. Oh, the joys of third shift with an occasional day-life.

– Iszi

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