My Circadian Schism

Tomorrow (well, technically later today) I start working the graveyard shift at work. I’ve been staying up at night and sleeping during the day this weekend as a trial run. It has gone ok for the past two nights, but tonight is brutal. My head hurts, my stomach hurts, and my muscles ache with fatigue. Sleeping during the day is not as restful, and even when I do manage to sleep for more than five or six hours at a clip, everything in my body is telling me to go to bed when it gets dark, anyway.

There’s got to be medication for this. There’s medication for everything. I’ve been taking Tylenol PM, but it only works for so long and then I’m awake AND “hung over.” As I have said many times before, when I wake up after a night of diphenhydramine-induced sleep, I just feel like I spend my entire morning walking in Jell-o. Not as much fun as it sounds, I assure you. My motions are exaggerated, my thoughts move slower, my reactions are not instantaneous, and I generally look like hell until I’ve finished three or four cups of coffee.

Even though there are a ton of sleep aids out there, I need to talk to a doctor. Sleep aids generally come in two forms: the kind you take to fall asleep, and the kind you take to *stay* asleep. Surely there is something in the middle, because during the day, I will not sleep long enough if I only take a medication that induces drowsiness and wears off. I know that ahead of time, because even with diphenhydramine, it wears off after about four hours during the day, and then I’m still tired and groggy. I can’t go back to sleep because the sun is out, and because taking another dose of diphenhydramine does not make me go back to sleep. My body adjusts to it and instead of going back to bed, I just look like a zombie that cannot move.

The one thing that work will have that my house does not is other people who are also awake. Conversation is stimulating, and will help keep me up. I’m thinking that I am just not getting tired enough at night to want to sleep during the day. I mean, seriously. How much energy can I possibly be expending when I’m just watching TV? Even blogging is relatively low on the energy scale. The only thing I really have to move is my fingers.

Jesus, it’s only 5:30 and I have to stay up until at least 9:00. I haven’t eaten anything tonight, so maybe that’s my next move. I just need to make sure it’s relatively healthy, because I’ve gained enough weight to make me happy. I ate a lot of cheeseburgers to get here, so now my body is saying “you’re not 24 anymore. Lay off it.” I’m like, “OK… you don’t have to be so pushy about it! GEEZ!” I need more vegan meals, less candy, and less beer.

Beer is my downfall when I need to cut back on calories. It has less than a regular soda, but not much. If I have more than one, I feel incredibly guilty because I’m screwing up my numbers. There are very few things in life that can add pounds on you faster than beer. That is because once you’ve had one, you tend to forget how many calories they are… and even with unfiltered beer, the health benefits will never outweigh the caloric cost.

I have tried most of the Skinny Girl series, the Miller 64, the Budweiser 55, etc. and if that’s the best that alcohol companies have to offer in the way of low calorie beverages, they can keep them. I would much rather have a diet soda that I really like than an alcoholic drink I have to force down.

Speaking of which, my current favorite is Big Red Zero. It is embarrassing how much I’ve drunk just in the last four hours. If you add it to vodka, it tastes like college.

And on that note, I think I’m going to take a walk. If I don’t, I might pass out right here on the couch.

One thought on “My Circadian Schism

  1. What a great line “If you add it to vodka, it tastes like college.” – Good luck with the time shift. It can be very difficult and it might take longer than you like for your body to adjust.


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