Imagine I'm working Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights – I'll then have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off until I start day shifts on the following Monday. Excellent you may think, three days off. But, dear reader, this is not the case – for a start my Thursday night shift finishes on Friday morning, and moreover I need to shift my body-clock back over to 'daylight time' ready for my next run of shifts.
There are a couple of ways to do this, one way is to use chemical assistance, either stimulants to remain awake all Friday then sleep normally Friday night, or sedatives to sleep on Friday afternoon all the way through to Saturday morning. I've tried it, and chemicals are not good for me – Stimulant drinks drive me psychotic, and sedatives just don't work for some reason.
So the other option is to go 'natural'. I stay awake on Friday, with the exception of a one hours nap during the afternoon, then sleep normally on Friday night, waking up (hopefully) refreshed on a Saturday morning. Problem? Well it makes you feel as sick as a dog throughout the day. I also find myself rather 'emotional' during that time, I'll find myself crying over crap TV movies, pieces of music or even the odd book, earlier this week I told you about me crying over an RSPCA ad, that is exactly what I mean. I'm not normally fragile – but a lack of sleep does unhinge me a bit.
I try and do things during the day, sure I could sit on the computer killing evil aliens, or chasing villains online, but I'll try to do something more constructive. Normally I'll find myself paying credit card bills, standing in the queue for a cashier, having mild hallucinations, feeling sick and wondering who exactly drained the colour and joy from the world.
Then in a week or two, I get to do it all over again.
(I finish my lates on Sunday night/Monday morning, and from Wednesday I'm on seven day shifts, so further posts will be on more 'normal' subjects).