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?