Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Night Shift

I've been working nights in the salt mine for about a year now. At first, most days passed in a fog of half remembered conversations and missed appointments. I struggled to sleep during the day, the bright sun boring its way through my closed eyelids. I would fall asleep and then wake up four hours later and not be able to return to the blissful dream-like state.

I never even considered taking a sleep medication because, seriously, who has eight hours to devote to sleep.

Slowly I got used to my world being turned topsy turvy.

I remember most conversations now.

Things turned around for me when I splurged on a set of heavy drapes. They block most of the sun out and allow me to sleep in relative darkness. I still have a lot trouble making the drive home in the early morning hours. Sometimes I'll stop at Starbucks for a cup of coffee and a chance to stretch my legs.

Only once did I catch myself shutting my eyes for a moment too long. The rhythmic rumble of the reflectors glued to the freeway startled me awake.

But things are not all rosy.

On my days off I can't get to sleep until midnight. This is normal for many people but my family is usually sound asleep by nine-o'clock. And then I have this nearly uncontrollable urge to take a nap at about eleven in the morning.

Yesterday morning, I came home from work and crawled into bed. I slept for about six hours and then woke up with a splitting headache. I called in sick. The family went to bed at their usual time. I stayed up until about eleven and then crawled into bed to read. I read until one.

And then I couldn't sleep. I just laid in bed for five hours drifting into and out of consciousness. My afternoon nap was a welcome relief.

Tonight I'll do it all over again.


Sara said...

Any chance of getting on a day time shift?

brian said...

Dude, can you get on days?

TimB said...

I would hate to work days. I'd have to get up at 0300 and then I'd be fighting traffic all day long. No thanks.

Graveyard works pretty well for what I need to do right now.