Jan 10 2017

Resetting My Sleep Schedule – A Crazy Process

Sleep. Everyone loves sleep. What’s more, everyone loves sleeping at a reasonable time, for their schedule. The holidays, sadly, completely mess up many retail workers sleep schedules more than you can imagine. For the past few weeks since the holidays subsided, I’ve had a problem of going to bed around 6AM, and waking up around 2PM, as a side effect of the extremely long, late holiday hours. Thankfully, my schedule has stayed closing shifts, but I’m actually a much more productive, and happier person with normal sunrise sunset style days, like I had years ago with a former job.

As a side effect, I haven’t written as much as I have intended (note the lack of articles this month) nor have I gamed much at all. I’ve worked on some side projects, sure, but I’ve done very little otherwise because I just haven’t felt like. I wake up, go to work, come home, and by then it’s still somewhat late and I just feel like trying to get to sleep sometime before about 4AM, which never works. Basically, many many hours the past few months have went to nothing.

Fixing the problem:

Today, with a few off days ahead of me, I’ve set out to fix this problem. As I type it’s about 7:30 in the morning – the sun is coming up, and I’m still awake. I’m planning on pulling a 36 hour day, or so, and right now I’m about 17 hours into it. That’s right, I woke up at about 2PM yet again, and went off and did a shift at the game store. There I decided I would just go on and “fix” this issue, the only other way available – to stay up so long I shift the cycle back to something normal.

It’s a tricky process – when I do go to sleep, I know I’m going to crash hard, but I also run a good chance of waking up early anyway thanks to that odd tendency we all have for that to happen even when we are super exhausted. Or, I could oversleep, and the whole thing could get messed up again. That’s why I picked the 36 hours time frame – that would be about 8PM. If I slept for 12 hours, that would mean I would wake up at 8AM, and any time before that, well, that would do me fine, as I could just stay up that bit later the next day to compensate. In any case, this will at least be a step towards shifting my sleep schedule the correct way, and any progress is something I hope for.

A tricky process:

This is an annoying pattern with me, the fact that my sleep easily cycles later and later. It’s been a trend with me my entire life, if left to my own devices, or if a situation forces me to stay up late, I can’t “fix” it in reverse easily, I always have to do this, or have some situation where I have to wake up super early, which is never fun, to adjust it. I guess this is the best way, but it’s quite a stressful process. My Circadian Rhythm is off, no doubt about it, to more of a 26-30 hour day. This happens often enough, I guess.

The body doesn’t like being sleep deprived. Not only is the usual slight nausea, fever, and general “bleh” feeling coming and going, my mood getting rather poor, and all in all that “I just want to sleep” feeling hitting hard. This does give me incredible time, though, to do things, and as the sun rises, I can take a morning walk and as I get my second wind (the usual energy spurt that comes with such all-nighters) I’ll probably get back to working on some projects – I’ve already rebuilt my Windows 2000 computer’s floppy drive and worked on a few other projects I’ll do videos and articles on later – and also try to finally get some gaming in for the first time since, I think before Christmas.

Hey, at least I fixed the floppy drive on this computer! That’s something, right?

Ah, this article has already gotten way too long. I just thought it worth doing an entry on this not only to see how I write when this sleep deprived, but also for what interest it may be to you, the reader.

Funny, I used to do this when I was in school all summer, just stay up. Like many things, 20 years later it isn’t anywhere near as fun.

You can find the results of this little experiment here!

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