Staying Up All…Night

formal night out

formal night out

The part of B’s job that I dislike the most is his hours. His squadron does 24/7 mission work, broken into three eight hour shifts that turn into ten hour days with the requisite pre and post work changeover times. There are days, swings, and mids to cover the full twenty-four hours. They rotate periodically so that no one group is stuck with the sucky hours permanently.

According to B, the suckiest shift is days because it requires waking up early. He hates doing that. According to me, the suckiest shift is mids. Because he works all night and then sleeps most of the day. At least for the other two shifts we both sleep at roughly the same time. The downside to swings is losing evenings together, but mids causes that too, since he has to quit drinking alcohol eight hours prior to work.

We’re currently in a pseudo-mids cycle. He works a couple of nights, then has a short day off, then works a couple of days. So we’re constantly bouncing between staying up late and going to bed early. Which means my poor sleep cycle has been off this whole month. I’m mostly staying up to a reasonably late hour (remembering that I work an afternoon shift myself) of 0200 and then getting up around 1000 so that we’re only a few hours apart on sleep cycles. But with all the waking up when he comes home or when he gets up leaves me with very short segments of unbroken sleep.

The good news is that we are the party beasts who keep everyone out too late on weekends. We do enjoy that part. Once everyone else goes home we cuddle up on the couch with a movie or co-op video game and play to our hearts content. Another upside is that waking up with a number that has a one at the front instead of a zero just feels indulgent, even if you did only get six hours of sleep.

I don’t think it’d be that bad if we could just stay on a nights schedule, except for the whole me having to fall asleep in an empty bed because that’s never fun. The end result of our current schedule is that we’re both constantly tired and either trying to go to bed early (never works out well for me) or struggling to keep our eyes open. And I’m the non-coffee drinking genius who gave up all forms of soda for Lent. The lack of caffeine has been excruciating to get through.

Do you or your spouse work shifts? How do handle changing schedules?


About texancountess

I find myself in the calming roar of the sea, floating gently on the foam of the breaking waves. Blue. Green. Gray. The colors of the sea mark the boundaries of my soul. The tumbled glass finds its polish under the relentless pounding of the waves upon the shore. Thus am I. Rough transitioning to polish, refinement ever a process, finding my niche in the storms of life.
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7 Responses to Staying Up All…Night

  1. Mary says:

    Matt and I have different schedules. He works overnights, always 11p-7a. My shifts vary, anything from 730a-230p to 330p-1015p. It sucks! The worst is when he has a few nights off in a row – he has to stay up all night anyway to stay on schedule, so I try and stay up as late as I can with him. It’s tough, though, when I have to work early – I can’t stay up as late as I want. Same goes for my days off – more often than not, he has to sleep during the day even if he’s off at night to stay on schedule. He’ll stay up “late” for me, too, though – noon or 1pm – and we can do a few things, go to a museum or do a race or something. It’s certainly a challenge, though not impossible and not the hardest ever. It still totally stinks, though!

    • That’s pretty much the problem we have too. The only plus that we have is that my hours are all afternoon hours, though it still doesn’t help in trying to balance out weekend fun. I try to remind myself that this is just a phase in life and that hopefully it will pass quickly.

  2. Army Amy says:

    I am such a creature of habit. Even though I’m not working these days, I still have a “bed time” and time that I wake up (9pm and 7:30 am respectively) on weekdays. But I’ve just had a heck of a time getting my sleep back on track following our most recent trip to the States and back. Every day I’ve nap (I know I shouldn’t!) then I find myself wide awake until 3 am or later. It’s been rrrrrough. Here’s hoping I get back to it sooner rather than later.

    I love that you try to adjust your schedule for your hubby. You could just as easily sleep when you want to, but you try to make time with him a priority, even with the ever-changing schedule. Sounds like a good partnership to me!

    • Aww, thanks. I do try to rotate with his schedule since mine is pretty flexible.

      I have the roughest of times adjusting back and forth between the US and Europe when traveling. It makes trips home really hard. Jet-lag is a huge nemesis for me, especially since I struggle a bit with insomnia anyway.

  3. It sounds like that would be a difficult situation to deal with. I haven’t had to deal with that (yet), but there have been a few times when my boyfriend’s job has threatened to start making people work night shifts. I do believe that if a couple has a strong relationship, they can make any sort of schedule work!

  4. My husband works 24-hours shifts but we’ve gotten used to it. He wakes up at 5 on the mornings he works, which isn’t too bad (we usually wake up no later than 7 even on weekends!) However, if he has had a busy night, he does sleep during the day. He’s been working a lat lately so he’s been tired. I can’t wait for him to get on a normal full-time schedule where he won’t have to work as many days!

    • I’m so ready for us to be on a normal schedule. I can’t even imagine having to work a 24 hour shift and I admire y’all for sticking with it. And for being morning people, we are most definitely not those.

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