Sunday, September 03, 2006

Graveyard shifts

I'm up late tonight as I'm trying to prepare my body for the shock that is working overnights. Sunday and Monday night I have to work the overnight shift at work and it's not the worst thing in the world, but it sure does screw my body up after it's all said and done. At least I have 3 days off after I'm done doing it.

I'm mostly wiling away the time on the computer, listening to music, although I am pondering going up and watching Night of the Living Dead which I haven't watched in forever. Or maybe just the special features -- I can't decide. I know that if I try to read, I'll surely fall asleep, and I just can't fall asleep yet. I have to try to stay awake until about 3AM so that I can sleep until around 11 tomorrow (or so.) The first night is never all that hard -- you usually run on pure adrenaline and the night goes so fast because you're so pumped and it's so different from your usual routine. And after it's over, I go home and immediately crash into bed and sleep. That's one thing I suppose I should be thankful for -- I've never had trouble sleeping during the day. And if I take an Ativan, it's even easier.

The second night gets a little bit harder. I never have the adrenaline rush on night two that I have on night one. There's also the impending end of the run of overnights so you kind of start anticipating the end way before it's over. Of course, all bets are off if you have a really busy night. There's nothing like a really busy overnight to keep you moving, and truth be told, I've only had one that even comes close to really busy, so I'm not even sure I can speak definitively on that subject.

And while it's fun getting ready to work overnights (the staying up late is a lot of fun because I'm kind of a night owl by nature), it's the recovery that's really the hardest part. What I try to do is sleep as little as possible on the day after the last overnight shift. It's impossible to not sleep right when you get home, but I try not to sleep as long as I would when I'm preparing for another overnight. So usually, I walk around the house like something out of a George Romero movie and get kind of cranky. I inevitably end up falling asleep right around the time that Anna does and I sleep for something like 13 hours or some insane thing like that.

And then I'm usually fine.

And why exactly is it a graveyard shift? My favorite thoughts are here.

(top photo credit)

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