I’ve talked about sleep a lot on this blog. As a permanent night shift worker, sleep dominates much of the time when I’m not at work because I need to plan what I can miss and when I can catch a nap. It also dominates my thoughts because I know how much it affects my mental health, and I’ve learned that a regular sleep pattern helps to keep me energetic and motivated.
Regular sleep is impossible while working permanent nights. There’s always some reason to miss sleep; even if it’s just going to the shops. Over the three years I have spent on permanent nights, I have slowly lost resilience to a bad night’s sleep.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I wasn’t getting much sleep at all. Extra hours at work, reasonable anxiety, the news onslaught – all took their toll, and I paid in sleep. Even when I got home and went straight to bed, I would not catch anything but rags of sleep. I became so tattered that eventually, I stopped setting my alarm. Normally, I would go to bed and set my alarm for 7 hours later. I have found after much trial and error that after a single night, or even a string of rubbish sleeps, I would get into a sleeping pattern eventually. By July, I didn’t care anymore. I only put my alarm on if I was having a nap before work and I would then leave for work as soon as I woke up, further tearing the ragged sleeping pattern that I need to live.
This has led to a new and annoying phenomenon. For months I would be in bed for around ten hours, listlessly sleeping in a series of naps; rather than sleep. Now I get up tired, having wasted the day not getting the sleep I need, then feel like rubbish for not getting the creative work done that I also need.
I am sick of this.
There have been other times in my life where all I did was get up and go to work, and they all sucked.
From now on the alarm goes back on (all four alarms actually, set 4 minutes apart so that I can only turn them off if I go into my alarm settings, no snooze for me!).
Also this past week, I started converting the podcast into videos and posting them on YouTube. I’m going to post them one per day from now on until I catch up, then they will come out the same week. Hopefully, YouTube will be a new way to grow my audience, but I guess we’ll have to see.
This week I also want to add to my normal writing goals at least one story for publication to a magazine per week, plus 1,000 words towards short stories for self-publishing. At some point, I also have to make up the cover pages for the solar flares and publish them too.
Plenty of work to do, and it is time for me to go to bed. Good night.