My new job involves 24/7 cover so once every three months we are required to work a week of nights. It seems the consensus was it’s better to do them all in one go rather than split them over the rota period, which is something I totally agree with. However it does mean that for a whole week you enter the strange world of the night worker.
Those of you that have worked nights before will understand what I’m talking about but for those that haven’t it’s not as simple as it seems. Before starting the 7 day shift my company gives you a day off, however you could be tempted to see it as two days because, in fact, you don’t start working till the next day at 10pm. So the sensible thing to do would be to stay up all night on your day off and sleep all of the next day. This should help to switch your body clock over to a nocturnal pattern, however this was not what i did. What I did was go to bed Thursday night and then try and get a few hours sleep Friday afternoon, which if you’ve had a full night sleep the night before is very hard.
So for my first night I was a bit of a Zombie, I didn’t eat much and survived on one coffee an hour to keep me awake. Now you would think that after all that it would be easy to get a decent amount of sleep the next day, sadly this was not the case. I managed 4 hours and woke up around midday. The same pattern repeated for the next two days until for some reason at the end of my shift on Wednesday morning I got home and slept through from 7am to 5pm. And that was how things stayed until I came off the shift, so it seems my body needed three days to adjust itself.
Which brings me to the reason for the lateness of this blog. I got home Friday morning with the plan of sleeping till 1pm, getting up and then going to bed at a “normal” time. Although this plan sort of worked I ended up sleeping all of Saturday and shamefully missing the Flash Watch-along organized for yesterday. To make life more interesting I had to pick my wife up from a Christmas party at 1am last night so I have ended up sleeping most of today as well. Which basically means I have pretty much slept for the last three days and completely missed the weekend.
Next week will be better, I promise.