When should I sleep?
May 1, 2014 12:57 PM Subscribe
And how does a terrible, light sleeper maximize rest?
This question is kind of two-fold.
I just accepted and began training for a part time job that has third shift hours, sort of. My schedule will alternate each week and look something like this:
Week 1: Monday, Tuesday 3am – 9am; Saturday, Sunday 3am – 10am
Week 2: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 3am – 9am
I may occasionally have more than 3 consecutive days of this shift.
I trained this Wednesday and Thursday, and I tried a 2-nap approach that worked okay. I got 3-5 horizontal hours before the shift and then another 3-4 hours after. I won't say I got that many hours of sleep because honestly trying to go to bed that early didn't work out the first day, but worked much better the second when I had accumulated sleep debt.
I would like to maximize daylight hours, which is why I was trying the 2 naps instead of trying to get 8 hours in somewhere (I doubt it's going to be possible for me to go to bed late afternoon to get 8 consecutive hours; I tend to be more awake going into the evening), but I'd also like to maximize rest and I'm not sure if I'll still be high functioning on the 3rd or 4th or nth consecutive work day on this sleep schedule. I would still like to have something of a life, shop during the day as needed, run with the dog regularly, etc. I have a few scheduled things like a Saturday morning dog training class and a Thursday early evening running group.
I'm going to try to do the following to have consistency:
- always go to bed at 9-10pm working and not working days, and always get up around 6-7am on off days
- I have blackout curtains so daytime sleeping shouldn't be disturbed with light
- kick cat out because he is a constant snuggler
- only have 1 cup of coffee at 2:30 am on work days (I am ultra caffeine sensitive and usually have none)
Do you think this is doable or intelligent long term? I work from home so there's no commute or appearance prep.
Also, for any sleep in general, how can I improve quality? I am the lightest sleeper ever and I just seem to need more than other people (probably because it's never a solid 7-8 hours, it's always a toss and turn, cat interrupted, noise interrupted, etc. 9-10. I can limit some of the distractions, not drink any caffeine or have sugar, stay away from screens before bed, and do some obvious things, but ugh I'm still pretty tired all the time. Naps usually make me feel groggy and give me a slight headache. Any suggestions? Are there any OTC medications that will only knock you out for like 3 or 4 hours at a time? Sometimes I take melatonin, but it lasts too long for a work shift.