As I sit here at work, I wonder if I will get any sleep tonight. You never really fall one hundred percent asleep when you work an overnight shift. We can hear our station’s phone ringing, so as soon as it does, whether it be for an emergency room transport or a wrong number, we treat it as though we are going to need to get up and hit the road again. I feel conditioned to become alert, and ready to respond whenever I hear a phone ringing. This must be what post-traumatic stress feels like. The only way I can sleep sound is in my own bed. When I talk to some of my co-workers with military backgrounds, I see myself joining the military if the educational route goes horribly wrong (which I highly doubt.) However, this feeling of being triggered to react by something so minuscule as a telephone ring makes me wonder if all of that nobility & patriotic ideology is worth pursuing.
My current work-related attitude is to simply stay awake until the late post-midnight hours so I may sleep soundly. Another issue about working overnight is when people attempt to fall asleep to prepare for the night to come, and struggle in their attempts to only be awoken right as the sleep cycles begin to take hold. I find this more difficult to cope with than staying awake for a little longer, to only fall asleep right away (possibly before you get back to station.) Broken sleep is more unbearable than a complete lack of sleep; I speak from personal experience.
Some co-workers are having a Halloween party tonight. My partner is trying to get sleep at this point of calm in the work day. We have plans to join them tonight in the festivities, then hopefully get some sleep in the early Sunday hours. Those are my plans for the rest of my work day. Sunday’s plans all depend on the amount of “work-sleep” we get tonight. Maybe we will get lucky and have a full Sunday’s worth of plans, or perhaps Sunday will be spent in bed; all day.
-Cheers to work-life