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Monday, January 09, 2006

Sleep Schedule

I tried an experiment today to see if I could live a semi-normal life while working nights. Usually, if I'm working one night, I just stay up really late the night before and then sleep in till noon or so the day I'm working. I still get about 5 hours of usable time, and I know I've gotten enough sleep.

This morning, however, I had a dentist appointment at 0830 that I had to wake up for. The prudent thing to do would have been to reschedule it for a more convenient time. But I wanted to see if the afternoon nap method of getting enough sleep works for me. I've tried it in the past, and I know I have trouble falling asleep during the day. But recently I've found that taking Benadryl knocks me out fairly well, and I'm reasonably good at staying asleep once I get over that initial wakefulness.

Well, I got home from my appointment (and a couple of other errands) at around 1000, and, unsurprisingly enough, found I was not sleepy. I had something to eat, talked to Dan online, and then decided that if I didn't try to take that nap fairly soon, the Benadryl would leave me sleepy at work and, obviously, I don't want that. So around 1100, I went to bed, took my Benadryl, and tried to sleep. I did fall asleep, and did stay in bed through 1600, but I'm not sure about the quality of the sleep I got. It felt like I was awake every half hour, although there were all memories of waking up, so I must have gotten some sleep in between.

The most difficult part about this is that I didn't fall asleep last night till around 0330, so I only got about 4 hours then, and those were not really good either. I guess I'm just going to have to keep pouring on the caffeine tonight, and go back to my usual sleep pattern starting tomorrow.

Result: If I'm going to work nights, I'm going to have to keep that nocturnal schedule, or get better knock me out drugs.


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