kitties off topic

Working the Midnight Shift

My sleep schedule is also topsy-turvey.

Sorry about the lack of a post today. I’m in the midst of trying to reset my completely dysfunctional night-owl sleep schedule to something resembling a normal one, by pushing my schedule forward by several hours a night until I basically cycle back around. Apparently this counterintuitive approach can be more effective at resetting circadian rhythms than trying to push a schedule back 5 or 6 hours. But in the process I sort of lose a day, and at the moment my schedule is completely wack. Today, I went to bed at noon  and got up at 8 PM; I’ll be up until 4 PM tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite late-night songs, by punk poet John Cooper Clarke, called “Midnight Shift.” (This is the opening segment to a documentary about him called “Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt.” Sorry the quality is so poor.)


42 replies on “Working the Midnight Shift”

My insomnia says that counter-intuitive as it is, it’s easier to stay up a few hours later than go to bed earlier — you just aren’t tired yet. Waking up at midnight is definitely weird though, so good luck!

I have this exact same problem, as it happens. Which is why I’m awake right now.

I have some weird circadian abnormality where I`m always awake at night and always tired during the day. I thought that maybe moving to the other side of the world last month would solve that, since it`s night during the day in America, but not really. I`d like to try this method but don`t have the time now. Good luck!

argenti, I know you asked this in another thread, but swearing is fine here. I really only moderate and/or ban when someone goes after a particular person in a really nasty way, or uses offensive slurs, etc. Or if I just get sick of someone.

I go through this process every few months. My body doesn’t seem to want to live on a 24 hour schedule so I really have to fight not to be up 18 or 20 hours and sleep for 9. It’s worse when I have a lot of work to do, since I’m self-employed and my office is just upstairs there’s no good separation of work time from everything else and I keep saying “just need to finish one more thing… okay that’s done but I still have this one more little thing” and so on until the sun is coming back up.

Thanks for the clarification, I generally don’t go after people, but could probably make a pirate blush — wouldn’t want to piss off the regulars/your-mod-ness dropping too many f-bombs though. (Manners, I was raised with some)

Dracula, don’t you turn to dust when sunlight hits you?

That picture REALLY threw me off until my brain realised it’s an upside-down cat, not a weirdly deformed giraffe.

Noadi have you considered you might have something like this:

It is pretty rare and more common in people who are totally blind (their circadian rhythm floats off of the normal 24-hour cycle due to lack of light stimulation) but it sometimes happens in the sighted.

People sometimes try things with light boxes to adjust their sleep-wake schedules. If you can get access to one (I believe there are a few models that are under $100 now) you may be interested in reading up on how to do that. There is some evidence that they apparently can help regulate mood disorders as well (not just seasonal depression but also regular depression and bipolar).

I will chime in and say I have also found that pushing my bedtime progressively later and “going back around” works decently if you are able to do it.

kladle: Actually I’d never heard of that. Now I’m down the rabbit whole of wikipedia. Honestly I think Delayed sleep phase disorder is probably closer to the way I am because I will for stretches go to sleep around the same time, between 4 and 5 am. I had the worst time when I was working “normal” jobs or going to school, for my last job I was routinely getting only 2-3 hours of sleep because I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep until 4am and had to get up at 7am. Now I’m self-employed so I can cater to my body’s whims most of the time.

I was hoping that when I moved in with my boyfriend that our sleep habits would synchonize a bit but no such luck, I’m right back to my normal habits and we’re scheduling sexy times and kink because if I’m coming to bed at 4am I can’t wake him up if I’m horny because he has to be up early for work.

lol this is what i do. every month or 2 i have to go forwards to reset as i refuse to get up early. i guess alot of self employed people have these problems.

This is what I do and have been doing, finally back on days! woot! There’s kind of no other way to do it. It takes awhile, and you feel like you’re always telling people, my sleep is messed up, I’m in the interim of correcting it. It takes awhile, you can have an off day too, but you just keep going and it works.

What really sucks for me is that I can get on a pretty normal sleep cycle for a good long time, but one bad night can fuck the whole thing up for weeks.

That picture REALLY threw me off until my brain realised it’s an upside-down cat, not a weirdly deformed giraffe.

Omigod thank you!! I was so disturbed by what I perceived as a picture of a goat with feet growing out of its upside-down head. Until I read your words, I honestly didn’t see the cat at all.

My daughter and I are the same way. I’ve always been a night owl, and have had night shift jobs just to avoid having to get up early in the morning. We tend to get up later and later and later. This can be very inconvenient if we want to do something during the day, but our sleeping schedules are screwed up. Being that we’re both this way, I’m sure it’s genetic.

Thanks for much for the information. This is so helpful. I always knew I had some sort of sleep disorder, but didn’t know what it was. I remember as a kid always having such a hard time falling asleep at night and being tired in school. I think I day dreamed more at night than sleep dreamed.

Off-topic, and this was mentioned before last week when it aired (I watch most TV shows on the internet about a week later, when they unlock on the network site), but the Bob’s Burgers episode “Dr. Yap” has a great subplot about the “Prince of Persuasia”, a PUA guru who claims to know how to make a woman’s glands produce a hormone called ‘Insatia’. Among his advice:

-When you get into an elevator with a woman, press a higher number than she does and then make a big deal about it.
– Never make her pancakes. Force her to make you pancakes. In the middle of the night.
– Be the tallest guy in the bar, and brag about how long your buttcrack is.
– Sing a song you supposedly heard on the radio, and make fun of her for not knowing it.

It was pretty much spot-on.

I do this too! Or I would, if I didn’t work night shift anyway, so it isn’t unusual if I have to be awake during the horrible wholesome daytime hours to end up sleeping 4pm until 11pm, or some variation. Usually I sleep 9am-5pm. Much better than when I had to work day shift and routinely slept 2-4 hours a night, though!

[quote]Omigod thank you!! I was so disturbed by what I perceived as a picture of a goat with feet growing out of its upside-down head. Until I read your words, I honestly didn’t see the cat at all.[/quote]

It’s like an inkblot test! What do you see, the cat, the goat or the giraffe?

Seriously, though, I’m just glad I’m apparantly not the only one who found that camouflaged cat a little challenging. >_>

I’ve been on a huge “fixing my sleep” kick lately, and I can’t recommend the book “The Promise of Sleep” by William Dement (the guy who named the parts of the sleep cycle!) enough. Sleep is awesome.

It’s like an inkblot test! What do you see, the cat, the goat or the giraffe?

I saw a llama.

I’ve always seemed to want to live a 25-26 hour day, as I want to stay up for 17-18 hours and then sleep 8. I can make it be 24 hours by taking melatonin and calcium-magnesium supplements before I go to bed. Apparently magnesium helps some people sleep. It’s also a laxative, though, so you can’t take too much of it. Unfortunately, my husband is the opposite and has to fight to stay up until 9:30 every night and caffeine doesn’t help him any. It just seems to make him sleepier if he drinks it at night.

Wow. I’m simultaneously heartened to see that I’m not alone in my sleep weirdness, but sad that so many of us have sleep issues. I’m pretty sure I’m wired for a 25-hour day.

Today has been a bit of a surreal day — so many hours of sunlight! But now it is time for bed.

Oh, and I didn’t mean to alarm anyone with the cat picture. I think a good rule of thumb for MBZ is that if you can’t tell what a picture I post is at first glance, it’s probably a cat.

“It’s probably a cat” is a good rule of thumb for any pic on the internet 🙂

“Apparently this counterintuitive approach can be more effective at resetting circadian rhythms than trying to push a schedule back 5 or 6 hours. ”

That’s what I’ve always done and people called me crazy for it!

… well, no one actually called me crazy, but I’m pretty sure some thought it…

So I took my cat to the vet yesterday. He had been fighting and had a whopping great abcess making him miserable. It burst while the vet was examining him. She kept puss there last night so she could drain it properly under general anaesthetic. Then I have to give him antibiotics and pain med for a while. Does anyone think the vet is overdoing it? My friend says with a cat abcess you only need to bust it and let the air get to it.

My kitten had an abscess in her mouth, and we had to give her two courses of antibiotics (or courses of two different antibiotics, maybe is more accurate) before it really healed. I don’t think the antibiotics are overdoing it, personally, but IANAV. Hope your kitty has a speedy recovery!

An abscess in the mouth sounds horrible, poor little thing wouldn’t be able to eat! Did she need two antibiotics because the first one didn’t work?

I think the antibiotics for my little fella are not a bad idea – it was a bloody huge abscess. It was knocking him out that seemed odd – maybe it’s my attitude to how much medical care is appropriate to cats that is out of whack.

(Rereading my comment I really shouldn’t have said “puss”, it looks too much like “pus”)

And thanks for the correct spelling of abscess – neither way looked right when I was typing 🙂

It was on the inside of her lip. It didn’t seem to affect her appetite, but suddenly she looked like a lopsided chipmunk because of the swelling. The first antibiotic didn’t seem to work so we had to give her something stronger.
I think the general anesthesia might have been over the top, but it depends how docile the cat is. Even with my scrawny kitten they were talking about having to give her a general in order to really examine her if the antibiotics didn’t clear things up. Luckily, course #2 worked!

I see what you mean about the anaesthesia. They have anaesthetics for animals down to a fine art these days, so I suppose it’s better for cat and vet to knock ’em out and get it done in 2 minutes, instead of fighting the animal for 10 minutes.

It takes a lot to affect a kitten’s appetite, eh!

Finally got onto a computer that can do video, thinking Yay! Now I can watch Cloudiah’s funny cat video!

And this is NOT what I was expecting XD

Good morning, everybody! I’m up! Have been for several hours!

My schedule rotation continues apace!

Magpie, hope your kitty gets better!

My kitty came home this afternoon with 5 stitches and a drain. But yes, he is feeling much much better (and hungry!)

Urgh. I’ve been sleeping twelve hours a day, exhausted most of the day, then feeling wired at night. Not good when I have to get up at half seven. (Also, it actually takes a significant chunk of time out of my day when I’m sleeping ALL THE GODDAMN TIME.)

I don’t know WHY, either. Usually it’s a warning of impending malnutrition crash, but I’ve been eating properly, I think. It better not be stress, if it’s stress I’ll be so pissed…

Beh. Mentally ill LBT is mentally ill.

I have a strange relationship to sleep. I like it. I don’t do enough of it. I am better suited to night waking than not. When I was in my teens, I was about 14 on, 10 off, if given the chance to set my own schedule.

Lately (i.e. since about 2003) I’ve been sleeping less. This causes a bit of the same sorts of problems as Noadi mentions, in different manifestations. I’ll go to bed with my partner and want to read, which keeps her up; and she needs a lot more sleep than I do.

When I’m not sleeping with her I tend to get to bet about 0200-0300, and wake about 0830-1000, depending.

if my sleep falls below about 6 hours for long (esp. if I have to be active) I start to slow down; but I can run on about four hours a night for about seven weeks; though I get a bit stuporous after about three.

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