Coffee helps me sleep. That sounds really strange, but it is true. I have been drinking coffee since my mid teens. No, it did not stunt my growth- I still grew to six foot eight. It did however make me dependent on caffeine. I also drink quite a bit of cola as well.
I was talking with a coworker after our night shift. I was telling him how I was going to have a cup of coffee and head to bed. Clearly he thinks I’m crazy.
If I go a day or two without coffee, I tend to get bad headaches. Those headaches can make it very tough to function, including falling asleep. I’m lucky in a sense that one cup of coffee doesn’t keep me awake. It usually takes two or three cups or a really strong coffee in order to keep me alert if I’m tired.
After thirty years of coffee drinking, it’s no surprise that I’m addicted. But a cup of coffee after a night shift helps me sleep. Go figure.
Working night shifts is pretty rough these days. My sleep pattern is so broken because of all the extra stuff going on with selling and buying a house. I get phone calls, emails and texts from our realtor during “normal” business hours while I’m trying to sleep. I was glad last week when I only had to work Three Shifts.
I can’t get angry at those who contact me. But I do wish that I could pass them off to my wife. Problem is she is working normal hours. Usually she is good at leaving me alone. My kids however… they tend to be louder and noisier when they know I need sleep.
I’m about to go in for my third 12 hour shift in a row tonight. I feel like a zombie- getting just barely enough sleep in order to function. I have one more to go after this as well.
Hopefully I can catch up on some sleep on my days off. Then I can become normal once more.
Alrighty then. Since starting the other day with a Fitbit once more- (check out Avoiding 2021) I have been watching how active I am. My daily steps are still a couple thousand shy of the 10,000 that the app recommends. I even get a buzz on my wrist every hour telling me to walk.
That makes me feel a tad bit guilty.
Is that what Fitbit is meant to do? Bring out guilty feelings?
But the app also shows my sleeping habits. Which is Totally Something I Can Get Behind! Honestly- just search up the keywords “Sleep” or “Nap” in my blog and you will find tons of musings about the subject. Now that I have a reason to look at the app, it makes me happy.
I don’t like have a piece of tech telling me I’m not doing something. It pushes my emotions into a downward trend, which I don’t appreciate. It doesn’t motivate me to do more. Quite the opposite. It reminds me why I stopped wearing a Fitbit the first time around.
How do you feel wearing a Fitbit or smart watch that tracks your movement? Perhaps your experience is a positive one. Please share how that works for you.
My year is starting off great. I have been avoiding the first day of the year and almost completely missed it.
A late night of watching movies meant that I was going to sleep in. And did we ever. We were out of bed at 1:30pm. And had no ideas for what to do on our first day of the New Year. But losing half of it to sleeping was a great way to avoid it.
I figure if I sleep more, less bad stuff could possibly happen. That’s sound logic right? Perhaps tomorrow I can really get motivated. My wife has given me her old FitBit (again). She tried this almost five years ago and I shared in How exercise is going to kill me. But five years later, I’m really feeling old.
In all honesty I am proud of my hardest accomplishment- no drinking. I made it through one of the toughest seasons by remaining sober. That is not like the old me- previously I would’ve shared a bazillion photos of booze and fake smiles. Maybe this new me will get better use from his FitBit. Considering I put it on at 3pm, I did get 6665 steps in. A bit shy of the daily 10k but it’s a start.
It seems like our part of the world has decided that summer isn’t quite over. The last few days have hit record high temperatures hovering around 30°C. The night shifts were extremely comfortable to work in.
This past week I have been sleeping during the day. Avoiding the heat outside that hits you like a wall when you open the door. Hot naps are the best. They create some amazingly vivid dreams. But trying to sleep in the heat like a normal person? I don’t know why it is so difficult.
Do you like hot sleep? Or do you try and stay cool at night?
When I’m doing a couple of weeks of night shifts I tend to stay in the rhythm of the night. So I stay up late and sleep most of my day away.
In all honesty, I can also sleep all day and all night. Naps are the greatest thing as well. Sometimes I take two or three a day. Glorious sleep.
My wife doesn’t understand how I can sleep so much. But I love sleeping. There’s something about it that I enjoy. I guess it’s that my brain takes me away to a dreamland that I tend to forget when I wake up. Or that it’s time to eat when I wake.
I can fall asleep almost anywhere as well. And quickly. I’ve mastered the art of passing out. I’m glad that I’m getting back into it; as last week I was unable to. It’s been a long time since I had difficulty sleeping. Now it comes in the blink of an eye.
Usually I’m pretty good at getting the sleep I need- even when working night shifts. But the last couple of days have been troublesome. It seems that my brain keeps on doing that thinking thing and keeping me awake or waking me after only a couple of hours.
I toss and turn for ages, then look at my phone. My eyes get tired, so I put down my phone only to have my mind racing again. So I pick up my phone. It’s a viscous cycle.
What’s worse is that I can feel myself getting sick. Could be a mix of my mental health affecting my physical health. Plus those at my work who come in sick and share with others.
Perhaps if I keep telling myself I’m doing alright- I start to feel better and get some sleep.
Waking up mid afternoon after working a night shift can be bad enough. Having the house empty when you sleep usually means there’s no one to wake you- so you constantly wake and check the time to make sure you didn’t oversleep. So sleep gets broken up.
I woke up to hear noises downstairs. My brain knew that no one was supposed to be here. Maybe it was the dog? Perhaps someone stayed home?
Turns out my family left the Christmas Music radio station on. What I heard was Christmas classics faintly echoing through the house. Those joyous hits were scaring the poop out of me.
I think my family left the station on in hopes that I would lose Whamageddon 2019 on day one!
I woke up at about three a.m. and have been tossing and turning for two hours. Naturally I tried to go back to sleep. I was laying beside my wife and tried to match her breathing. I almost died. It seriously felt like my body wasn’t getting any oxygen. Maybe that’s how I should fall asleep- stop breathing.
I rolled over and picked up my phone from the nightstand and off to social media I went. Scroll… scroll… scroll… bored. At least I ended up down a rabbit hole of searching WordPress authors. That always makes me happy finding new places to travel and art inspiration. I guess it’s time to write my daily blog.
With this new Apple update I’ve opted for the Dark Mode. I guess it’s better for my eyes and brain, but it hasn’t made staring at my phone less appealing. In fact I was holding the phone in my hands and it fell onto my face. Apparently I’m not the only one who has their phone drop on their faces. I’m done with the day and don’t like that it woke me up so early.
Anyhow, here’s an early morning blog since I’ll probably burn out by afternoon and have no desire to write. Hope you had a good chuckle at my expense. Maybe next time I’ll tell you how I kicked myself in the testicles putting on pants.
Last night I was talking to my family about sleep. The conversation turned to pillows, obviously… I use three pillows. One to rest the side of my head on. One to add weight on top of the blanket. And finally, one that I “cuddle”.
“Cuddle” is the best way to describe it I guess. I either place the pillow between my knees to space out my legs, or I’ll put it half under my chest and place my arm around it. I used to sleep in the fetal position and still do if I’m sick. But the pillow thing is just a comfort feeling.
In the past I have used a body pillow as my “cuddle” pillow. Last night our daughter was asking if I needed a “Waifu Pillow“. Naturally I said sure. Our kids have seen these pillows at Comicons all their lives, so it was no surprise that they know what they are.
The conversation then turned to which “Waifu” I’d want. I think my kids were trying to decipher how pervy their father is when it comes to Anime. So I fed into it. I told them it had to be an anime girl with the biggest breasts and the least amount of clothes.
After quite the lengthy conversation of my kids naming off numerous female anime characters- I have a feeling that this father will be getting a new pillow as a gift one day. Hopefully my wife winger jealous of my future “Waifu.”
I finally received a good sleep Last night-three nights after my vacation. I was well rested for work which was a nice change of pace.
I rolled into work feeling confident and ready for the world. Bring it on!
Then I drank too much coffee on my way to work. Including an Cold Nitro Coffee from Starbucks- which kept me bouncing all day. I’d love to think it made me mentally stronger, but it really just had me talking faster.
I’m expecting a good caffeine crash tonight. With a possible headache to follow.
I lost an hour overnight. Just like nearly everyone else. Now I’m trying to sync up my life with the time change. And it’s not going well.
I am still unsure as to why we have Daylight SavingS Time. Animals don’t use it. In fact, our dog is rather confused that his dinner is going to be served at a different time today. He won’t complain. But starting Monday- he’ll have to accept that he is waking an hour earlier than he was for the past six months.
Not to mention that going to sleep tonight is going to be rough on most people. I’m already feeling it. But that’s because I have to get a nap in prior to my night shift. But my body/brain doesn’t want to count that loss of an hour. Time to force the sleep in seven easy steps:
Put down phone.
Lay down and remain still.
Close my eyes.
Breathe in for a count of four.
Hold breath for a count of eight.
Exhale for a count of seven.
Repeat breathing exercises until I fall asleep. Usually 4-5 tries.
That’s what works for me. Do you have any tips on how to fall asleep? Let me know in the comments.
Last night I was trying to finish season one of American Gods when the power went out. So off to bed I went instead. I brought the Nintendo Switch upstairs with a couple pro controllers and my wife and I played four rounds of Mario Kart in bed. That was fun.
About two hours after going to sleep, the power kicked on. Unfortunately we had some lights on in the bedroom, so it woke us up. After turning lights off, I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep. Nothing worse than feeling like it’s too late to sleep but too soon to get up. I finally fell asleep only to wake up a short time later because of the heavy winds. Thus creating another struggle to fall asleep.
I had many plans for my day today. I am far too exhausted to do the fun activities. I have resorted to staying in bed until noon. During which time, I expect my lower back to begin hurting and my energy level to diminish even more. Sometimes life just gets cancelled. Today feels like one of those days.
I need some motivation. A “kick in the butt” so to speak. Hopefully I’ll find it soon enough and get back on with my day. Maybe a pot of coffee will do the trick.
Sleeping after a night shift is one of my favorite things to do. I find I get a really good sleep as I waste away in preparation for my next night shift. Sometimes I get woken up in the middle of my daytime snooze. Usually because I have things to do. Or I get woken up early and decide it’s too much work to go back to bed.
Take today for example. I had to wake up in the middle of my sleep in order to pick up my kids from school. (Darn half day at school.) I’ll probably get back to sleep and snag another 4 1/2 hours. But still- two short sleeps don’t always make up one good sleep.
I am completely understanding of the fact that I have a commitment to our children. I can’t let them down. It’s not like the school they attend is close by either. We have to drive at least twenty minutes to get to the school. At home, our kids are very respectful of my sleep and never bother me or make a ruckus.
Only one more night to go this week. Then a few normal days. Followed by another stint of nights.
I flipped from doing three weeks of night shift onto day shift this past week. My body fought it hard. I was looking forward to seeing the day time and having dinner with the family every day. Dinners were delicious, but by the end of each meal- I was toast.
I was an old man at the end of every day crawling into bed by 8:30pm. Passing out and waking up before 4:30am. On my last night- I couldn’t fall sleep, then I didn’t want to wake up. Every alarm – I hit snooze. Just out of habit. Even though my alarms are set every ten minutes, the nine minute snooze messed me up.
Now I’m going to bed before my days off. I had to cancel plans with a friend because I knew, even though this is my “Friday Night”, that I wouldn’t make it past 10pm. Watching a movie in the theater at 9:30pm would be like paying cash for a nap.
There’s something about my bed that I really enjoy. It’s the hump.
I’m not talking about sex. I mean, that’s really good as well… (perhaps that could be another topic.) I’m talking about the spot right in the middle of the bed. Also know as the great divide.
Everyone who shares a bed with a partner knows of this mountain. With mattresses that have memory foam and springs- body divots become created. These are the comfort zones when you sleep together. On our king size bed, we have split box springs underneath. This emphasizes the barrier up top.
Usually before we fall asleep, one of us has to crest the mound and spoon the other one. I like being the little spoon. Mostly because it means my wife’s bum is aiming away from me. (She tends to fart when she wakes up). It also means I don’t have to try and figure out what to do with my gimpy arm that I lay on top of.
When I’m alone in the bed, I enjoy laying on the middle peak. I lay on my side which allows my gimpy arm to be used underneath my pillow.
It is possible that there is a king size mattress out there that prevents the middle hill? Probably. But until I can afford a new bed, I shall just remain the fool on the hill.
I’m coming off five weeks of night shifts. My body and brain haven’t adjusted yet. It’s only been two days so far, but it feels like I never sleep. I barley saw my own kids while on nights, now I’m going to bed early.
I’ve found it difficult this time for the change over. It also doesn’t help I’m working in a location I haven’t spent much time in over the past year. Lots of changes and my brain is back in full gear trying to keep me going. It’s mentally exhausting.
Unfortunately my children haven’t seen me much lately. So my time at home is very precious as well. Tonight, my son decided that he needed to showcase his talents on violin and trumpet. He came into my bedroom with his trumpet as I crawled into bed. I think it must be revenge for something.
But I love that he wanted to share what he’s learned so far in school. It was also easier to let him play his piece than argue for ten minutes.
Now it’s time for me to go to sleep. Fresh trumpet sounds echoed on my mind.
I don’t like being woken up in the middle of sleep. I don’t get angry about it, just irritated. It’s even more frustrating when sleeping during the day because of working night shift. Luckily for me, I’m a deep sleeper and can also pass out quickly. So my frustration is usually minimal.
But, there’s nothing more annoying than having to get up in the middle of a deep sleep just to go pee. Well, maybe leg cramps suck- those also wake me up from time to time. I need to drink more water to prevent leg cramps, but that’ll mean I need to pee more. It’s a vicious cycle.
Perhaps its middle age creeping up on me. It’s probably going to be a way of life at some point. I’ll just need to accept it and hope that I have a few good years ahead of me before I start to wet the bed.
Days like today are a pain. I stupidly made a doctor’s appointment for mid morning. Which really isn’t so bad, except I’ve been on four straight weeks of night shift.
I went home after work to take a quick nap before my appointment. Before falling asleep, I didn’t feel that tired and thought, “it shouldn’t be that bad” when I wake up. I slipped into a deep enough slumber that I awoke to my alarm with my face in a puddle of drool.
I lay in bed. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Then I had to race to get ready and ran out the door. Now I’m hiding in the corner of the waiting room wondering how long it will be before the doctor sees me. Anyone who needs sleep counts every minute they need before getting on with their day. He’s already seven minutes late!
There’s nothing I can do about it. So I wait. Hoping to get sleep at some point today before work.
I used to grind my teeth when I slept. Sqeaking loudly as my pearly whites rubbed against one another. I put in a mouth guard now to prevent this. It has become such a habit that even when I nap, I need to use it.
I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do. I believe it stems from my childhood a bit. After my braces were removed from my teeth, I wore a retainer at night. It was so uncool and ugly- I hated it. So in order for me to use it, I psyched myself out. I played mind tricks on myself. Really, really stupid ones. If I thought the retainer was uncool, sharing this tidbit of info is even more uncool…
I have mentioned before how I had cable tv in my bedroom growing up. I would watch it until the wee hours of the morning constantly. It got to a point that I could only fall asleep with the tv on. But the shows I would watch that kept me up the latest were about alien abductions or “Unsolved Mysteries”. So paranoia would take over, keeping me up later and later.
As a pre-teen, my paranoid adolescent brain would conjure up crazy ways of not getting abducted by aliens. Such as leave the tv on so that they thought I was still awake. Or leave the lights on somewhere in my room. One Christmas I was given a psychedelic light from Radio Shack. I turned it on every night for months until the heat from the bulb finally melted the plastic.
I wouldn’t say I was afraid of the dark. But I was afraid of the unknown. Part of my falling asleep ritual became telling myself that if the lights are on I’d be left alone. The second part was making sure 99.99999% of my body was covered up. And the third was to wear my retainer because it had a metal bar in it. I told myself that this small piece of metal wrapped in a hard plastic, wedged between my upper and lower teeth would prevent the ufos from trying to zap me through my window.
All I can say is that I think it worked. I don’t remember ever being abducted by aliens as a child. Just don’t ask about when I was in my early 20’s… those were some strange times. But now I use my mouth guard regularly. I just don’t have to tell myself that it’s to prevent aliens taking me away. I do it to prevent massive headaches and sore jaw.
My wife was a real trooper yesterday. She got her vision corrected in the morning (read about it here: Fricken Laserbeams). In the afternoon we went shopping and then out for beers.
This is a quick screen shot between Lee-Anne and her friend. Lee-Anne was ready to go have fun and wasn't about to let a little surgery stop her. Lasers cutting into her eyes? No big deal- let's go for beers. We even went out to visit another friend later in the evening. What a champ. Until she went to bed.
She ended up not sleeping much last night. Today she was miserable. Her eyes were upset at her for not keeping them hydrated yesterday afternoon. So she is paying the price. Unfortunately, last night I was as well. I was up with her every time she needed eye drops. I felt bad for her. So I did my best to help out by applying the drops for her.
I couldn't imagine the pain she is going through. I have better than 20/20 vision according to my doctor. Even yesterday when Lee-Anne was asked to read the letters shown to her, I was able to read the smallest line- even with the letters displayed mirrored for me.
Perhaps once she is recovered, her vision will be closer to normal. Today, her doctor was surprised that she was healing so quickly. I personally think she should've taken it easier yesterday, but she wanted to go hard. My wife is a Super Trooper. She won't even cancel our plans for tomorrow afternoon. Like she said moments ago when asked if we should cancel plans, "tell her I f**king don't eat with my eyes either. I'm f**king eating brisket tomorrow. With or without her."
Go Lee-Anne! I think she's blaming the drugs for her swearing too.
Lately I’ve been putting in twelve hour days at work and sleeping a full eight hours at night. Mind you I only work 3-4 days/week which is nice. That gives me a three day weekend pretty much every week.
Eleven months ago I wrote about the joy of Naps. I still try and grab a nap on my days off. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Let me correct that- I do nap on my days off. However, I am suddenly enjoying a full eight hour block of sleep on the days I work. It’s very different than I’m used to. I almost like it.
Even my commute to and from work isn’t as bad as I once thought it would be. Working in Downtown Vancouver was never on my agenda. I never wanted a job that I would need to commute for. In fact most of my jobs up until working at the railroad were within ten minutes of my home. I only mention this because my commute driving cuts into my nap time.
But the commute in the morning is generally before the traffic starts up. So I am on the road for about forty minutes. In the evening it only takes me about an hour or so to get home. I utilize this time to listen to NEWS1130 on the am dial and get my daily intake of events. It’s my favorite radio station by far. In under an hour I am well informed and don’t need to waste valuable time filtering out social media “shares” to find news sources.
Because my commute is achievable and straightforward, I have been known to get to work a bit early and find a quiet spot to nap for about 20 minutes before work. Why do I get to work early you ask? Because I hate being late for anything. I allot myself a buffer just in case of traffic. And traffic can be gridlocked if I leave even fifteen minutes later than I usually do. So getting to work early is better than me cursing in my car.
Getting one chunk of sleep is an excellent reset to start every day. I never used to do it. But I will always love my naps- when I get them.
I am physically and mentally exhausted today. It’s from a lack of sleep. Not that I haven’t tried- I came home from my nightshift and promptly went to bed. It’s my friends forgetting that I am working nightshifts that seem to be the issue.
The real world seems to be 9-5 Monday to Friday with Everybody Working For The Weekend. But there are those of us who can’t or don’t. That’s where the hardship comes in. Most people sleep all night and forget that there are some of us who need to sleep during the day. Even my friends and my family forget or have a tough time adjusting to the thought that I’m not as alert as they are during the day.
Working nights is tough but it also has its advantages. It means I am free to make doctor or dentist appointments for anytime of day. It means I can volunteer more for my children’s school activities. It also means I can do shopping during the calmer times and not be stuck in lines and crowds during the after school/ dinner hours. I’m looking at you Costco– I swear those are the worst times to shop there.
But in arranging appointments and time with the family, my schedule gets altered. Following most nightshifts, I get home and try to fall asleep by 9am, waking up for dinner. I’ll spend the evening with the family. But other times, it’s a few hours nap, wake up & do stuff, nap, wake up to eat, maybe nap again. My body is generally accustomed to this.
But, I also have days like today. A day where emails, phone calls and texts have interrupted me far too much to get even a decent nap. “Turn off your phone Josef.” I can’t really do that. It’s the main communication I have to my wife, work and emergencies. Most texts or calls I can ignore and respond to when I wake up. No offense to my friends, but sleep is kind of important.
Don’t talk to me anymore today. I’m going to try and get a four hour block of sleep now. Thanks.