First night shift of 2023 happened last night for me. I think I slept too much afterwards.
I came home pretty tired, but had to drive my son to school before bed. After dropping him off, I don’t really remember how I got home. I just know that I was asleep pretty quick once I got here. That sleep lasted for hours. It was uninterrupted and wonderful.
Yet I want more. But it’s time to get ready for my second night shift. However, it’s going to be okay. This week is a shorter work week for me and I only have two more nights to work before a four day weekend. A weekend with plans of hanging out with some friends, working on my new hobby, and some speed skating stuff for our son. Maybe I’ll sneak in some grocery shopping and cleaning just for fun.
I must not have gotten enough sleep today to think cleaning and shopping is fun. I better get some coffee in me and get ready for work.
I finally had a good sleep last night. I was cozy and warm all snuggled up with my wife. I even slept through the night until my alarm woke me up.
But from the moment I woke up, my shoulder and neck have been in pain. Debilitating pain that has stopped me from basic activities. Driving has been challenging as it hurts to shoulder check since it’s my left side. Which is contrary to my normal pain on the right side.
I must accept that I am always in pain. But I don’t want to. Maybe stretching before bed? Perhaps more pain killers? Cry and whine?
Ugh. Getting older sucks. Maybe I’ll trade a shitty night sleep to wake up without pain.
This past week has had me appreciate the comfort of my own bedroom. After feeling the below freezing temperatures against my face- and the wind chill factor pretty much as soon as you walk outside- it’s nice to have something to look forward to.
For me, I come home after a twelve hour day and immediately find my comfort zone. I change from my work clothes into pajamas. I enjoy a quick meal. And before sleep- I pour myself a cup of tea or coffee.
By then I am watching the clock and see that it’s almost 9. Waking for work is at 4:30- getting into bed is the next part of the routine. In the summer, the ceiling fan was on to circulate the air conditioning. In the winter, the gas fireplace in the bedroom goes on.
I close my door and let the room warm up. A quick bathroom break and brushing of my teeth ends my day. Now it’s time to get into bed and fall asleep. But alas, my phone keeps me awake a bit longer. At least until it falls out of my hands and lands on my face.
At this point I’ll call it a day. Usually I’ll turn off the fireplace. Sometimes I’ll forget and wake up with a feverish dream. That’s a fun experience.
But at least I’ll be warm. Not like the next day when I have to go back out to brave the weather at work.
Waking up is tough sometimes. Hitting snooze is pure evil and has been my undoing over the years. That strange nine minutes extra makes no sense. What makes even less sense is how I set numerous alarms now, yet I still hit snooze on each one.
I set my first alarm as the one that I would like to wake up to. Then a back up, and another back up, a warning, and finally the “now you’re late” one. That one is rare for me to get to. But it happens. Setting three or four alarms and hitting snooze on each of them at least once is probably not good for my sleep.
But I am worried that if I just set one alarm, I’ll miss it or instead of hitting snooze, turn it off on the first try. So after four decades of waking up, I am no better off than I was as a kid with my first alarm clock. That red glow of the led numbers haunted me to sleep.
Anyhow… I destroy a perfectly good sleep by waking up some days.
After working my first night shift of the week, I will usually get a good sleep throughout the day. Not today. Today my neighborhood was loud.
Our next door neighbors have been getting a patio and pool installed for over a year now. With very little progress being made. Their backyard has been useless for two full summers now. Their yard has been mounds of dirt and no fence between them and their other neighbor. And no stairs from their back deck. Speaking with them, they have shared a lot of frustration about their contractor.
Today, two cement trucks arrived in our neighborhood to pour the foundation. Granted, it was a nice day to do the work. They probably only inconvenienced me anyways. But it was loud and there was far too many people making noise in their backyard.
Perhaps by next summer they will have a pool. I’m not holding my breathe that the work will be done this fall since I have seen the progress going at a snail’s pace. All I need now is to get the name of their contractor so I know who not to use.
I have often talked about how much I love to nap. It’s one of the joys of adulthood that a person eventually discovers.
My wife accepted that I love to nap long ago. Sure, I tend to use the excuse that I work shift work. But in reality I just love resting.
Last week we had some friends over to hang out in the pool. At one point, all four of us took a little shut eye while floating in the pool. I thought it was amazing. It was calm and zen like as we floated around- they had entered my world of peace and tranquillity. Guess what? They wanted to come back again. Guess what this afternoon will entail?
My wife has had the occasional nap now. Not nearly as often as I do, but it has happened periodically. The biggest thing I have noticed is when I come home from a night shift, she has burrito’d herself in the blankets. Yeah, I can still crawl into my side of the bed- she leaves me room which is nice. But to get some blanket? Aw man. Unwrapping my little sleeping burrito is a challenge.
She is so comfortable looking that I try and disturb her as little as possible. Sometimes I’ll go sleep elsewhere. Other times I’ll sneak in on her side and take the smallest amount is space possible on the king size bed- just in order to get a bit of blanket. She is often in a deep sleep when I arrive home lately that I don’t think she notices me.
How much do you like to rest and/or nap? Do you find it refreshing like I do?
People often wonder how I can fall asleep so quickly. Especially being able to do it any time of day. It has come in handy working shift work. I must have learned this technique decades ago. I have become a master of it.
It’s the 4-7-8 breathing technique, or also known as relaxing breath. It’s extremely easy.
Breathing in for 4 seconds.
Holding your breath for 7 seconds.
Exhaling for 8 seconds.
I do this a few times and focus on the counting and breaths- letting all other distractions fall by the wayside. I can be out cold in under a minute. I have done it on airplanes, trains, and road trips without fail. I use this technique every time I go to bed.
The ability to quickly fall asleep has benefited me numerous times. I can dart away for a quick nap and be awake again before anyone notices I’m gone. This has helped me at social events after a night shift on more than one occasion.
Try the technique for yourself a few times. It’s also really good for when anxiety tries to strike while your laying in bed at night.
Another tiring day at the office and came home to more tiring activities. The action of making dinner and putting away laundry was more mentally exhausting than it needed to be.
I went through the motions and did what I had to do. I almost forgot to write this blog. So please forgive me if it’s meh. Which I know it is. I don’t have the mental capacity to put a lot of thought or string words together eloquently right now.
I’m just throwing in the towel for the day and heading to sleep. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day. Stay strong Josef. The week is almost at the halfway point. It’s been a tough climb up the first half of the week- then it’s all down hill.
Working night shifts means I need to sleep during the day. Since it’s still winter, I fall asleep while it’s still dark out. However, my bedroom doesn’t stay that way.
The blinds we have are not “blackout blinds” and a lot of natural light gets through. However, it reminds me of our old home.
In our previous house, we didn’t have blinds for a number of years. The trees just gave natural shade to the bedroom. I became accustomed to the diffused light, so there is no issue sleeping here.
I pride myself in the fact I can fall asleep anywhere and quickly as well. I don’t need it to be dark or even quiet. Sometimes background noise or music is nice for me to fall asleep to, albeit unnecessary for my sleep.
I do prefer our new home ambiance compared to our previous house. The color palette is calmer and soothing. I generally feel relaxed at home now, not worrying about repairs or renovations. Just enjoying the house. I sleep a lot better these days.
Since we went away on a vacation last week, we required someone to be here to help our two youngest get to school and look after our home. My mother was gracious enough to travel over from Vancouver Island and take on that task. At 79, we couldn’t ask her to sleep in a kids bed. So we offered up our bedroom.
In doing so, my wife and I needed to sleep elsewhere in the house. So we took over the queen size bed in our eldest child’s room. Since they chose to go stay elsewhere over the past few weeks, it wasn’t going to inconvenience them. It’s a pretty good room in many ways. Close to a bathroom, has a fireplace, it’s own entry to go outside, double French doors inside… but you can hear everything that goes on downstairs in the kitchen and living room.
For me, Sunday was challenging to get some sleep since I have to work night shifts and the noise during the day kept me up. Today, because I am so tired, as soon as I’m done writing- I should be passing out. It’s the last time I need to use this room since my mother is leaving to return to her home.
I noticed that sleeping in our home has a “Goldilocks” feel. Our son’s bed is two small and the next two beds are two soft. But because the master bedroom is ours- it definitely feels like a “Papa Bear” place to rest. Which will be my normal place after this sleep. I look forward to that, but fully understand that our oldest may get cranky sometimes when people aren’t respectful while they try and sleep.
Do you give up your bed for guests, or do you have a spare room/ bed you give them?
We gained an hour of sleep today. But we lost an hour of sunshine at the end of the day.
I’m not a fan of that swap. As much as I love sleeping, I enjoy daylight a whole lot more. I am also empathetic to those who suffer seasonal depression. Today is the day that it really starts off those feelings. All because of an unnecessary time change.
To those who are hating this time change as well, we need to get the government to address the issue. British Columbia is waiting for California, Washington and Oregon to change the rules. Each of those are waiting on each other. Like a Catch 22 stuck in a vicious loop of idiocy. It doesn’t cost anything to cancel the “Fall Back” so why is it still a thing?
No more time change! Save the daylight savings time! I like daylight.
Sleep can be a finicky trickster. As much as I love talking about sleeping and practically live my life for naps- waking up normally eludes me. Waking up goes one of two ways.
Either I have multiple alarms and hit snooze as often as possible in hopes to get every last moment of sleep. I’d say this is my most common way of waking up. My wife swears that it makes me more tired because I interrupt my sleep so much in the end. I disagree. I think hitting snooze lets me prepare mentally for my day as it erases my memories of those dreams I was living in.
The other thing that will happen is I’ll wake up before my first alarm. This causes me to stare at my phone and watch as the time changes. This seems to last forever as misery takes over my already fragile emotional state of sleepiness. It’s during these moments that I can vividly remember my dreams and sometimes wish to re-enter that state. Only the dread of closing my eyes just to hear my alarm takes over.
Rarely, if ever, do I wake up on the first alarm and start my day. In fact since I was a child this never happened. I also tried to set my alarm across the room in order to get out of bed to turn it off. That didn’t work. Instead, my lazy ass would just let it buzz for ages as I completely ignored it. That’s because I knew I had set it early in order to hit snooze. There was no fooling myself!
How do you wake up? Are you a multiple alarm kind of person? Perhaps the nine minute snooze is your thing? Or are you the rare beast that wakes instantly from slumber upon the first bell tolling?
Let me know in the comments. For now I’m going to adjust my alarms by two minutes in hopes to change my habit since the past few days I’m beating my alarm and waking before it attempts to.
Man, it feels as though I’ve been complaining a lot lately about getting old and my ailments. Sorry about that. This is my last one for a while, I promise.
Our king size mattress has been causing restless nights over the past while. Waking up with back and shoulder pains was making my wife and I cranky. So we discussed getting a new mattress for when we move.
My wife placed an order for the ENDY mattress because it was coming with some free bedsheets if we order before the end of May. We expected the mattress to show up next week some time. Instead it arrived the next day. Awesome!
This morning I swapped out our old mattress for the new one with the help of our kids. Then off to the Waste Transfer Station (A nicer way to say Garbage Dump) to get rid of the old mattress. $15 to ditch a bad night’s sleep. Better than offering it out to friends.
We are looking forward to our first sleep on the ENDY. With all of the positive reviews, if it lasts ten years like our other mattress then it will be well worth it. If you want to get one for yourself, check out this link: ENDY.
I’m not busy doing much of anything. Including sleep. Most times I can just roll over and pass out. I’ve slept through jackhammering and roofing. This morning I’m just aimlessly wandering the Internet. Maybe a lullaby will help after my night shift.
Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won’t engulf my head, I can see in infrared, How I hate the night. He paused to gather the artistic and emotional strength to tackle the next verse. Now I lay me down to sleep, Try to count electric sheep, Sweet dream wishes you can keep, How I hate the night.
What would really help is putting down my phone and closing my eyes. Farewell for the day. Or as Truman says:
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.