By: Brad Manock
I currently work the night shift; I sleep during the day and work at night. This can make life a bit odd. People generally go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning; people also expect others to conform to that schedule. People who are nocturnal are still generally thought of as the lazy, online gamer type. After living a nocturnal lifestyle for about three years I have noticed quite a few pros and cons of this lifestyle that I will discuss in this article.
Have Some Lunch..Breakfast..Dinner With Us!
The largest and most noticeable factor in living a nocturnal life style is the schedule of meals. Generally people eat breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon, and dinner in the evening. When I am by myself I usually eat breakfast at 3 P.M and dinner at 10 P.M with random snacking at all other times. This is not a big deal unless I am in a house with other people. If I am visiting my mom’s house for the weekend and wake up at 1 P.M the first thing I will hear is “I made spaghetti you want some.” I would usually decline and instead pour a bowl of cereal because that is breakfast time to me. However once everyone else goes to bed and I am left alone again I will heat up that spaghetti that I declined many hours earlier. Another common situation is that I wake up, eat a huge “breakfast” until I can’t possibly eat anymore, and then I get offered dinner. About a half-hour after I pack my stomach to capacity someone will say “I made some burgers” and give me two without even asking if I wanted it. Living off of leftovers and being excluded from meals are a huge part of the nocturnal lifestyle.
Wake Up When We Wake Up You Lazy Piece Of Shit
Another negative factor of living nocturnally is the fact that occasionally, I have to be awake at the early hours of the morning. If I have some kind of obligation at 7 or 8 A.M I will just not go to sleep at all and stay awake until that obligation is taken care of. I am not the type of person that can just go to sleep with ease. If I lay down to sleep and I have to be awake for something, I will just think about whatever it is that I will need to do and I don’t fall asleep. After an hour or two I will then think about how I am not going to get any sleep and be extremely tired for the next day, which will worry me and keep me awake even more. I do eventually fall asleep, but usually I get EXACTLY the worst amount of sleep. Not enough to feel restored at all, and too much to keep my mind alert at all. So whenever possible I just don’t sleep before early morning obligations. 7 A.M is to me, what midnight is to most normal people. Once I am dealing with my early morning obligation I try to appear alert and keep it a secret that I have not slept because if that secret gets out I seem like an irresponsible asshole. “You didn’t sleep at all?!” Then they give me a squinting look as if they are thinking “what that fuck is wrong with you?” I try to explain that I work the night shift but their response is always “well you should have slept a little bit at least” which I already explained, is not a good idea for me.
Ahh Peace And Quiet
There are positive parts of the nocturnal lifestyle, most of which fall under the spectrum of “having to deal with people less often.” If I am driving around at 3 A.M there is no traffic ever, there are semi-trucks and the occasional police car but that is about it. If I accidentally go down the wrong way on a one way street during the day that would be a huge crisis, however at night if I accidentally go down the wrong way on a one way street I can just do a Y-turn and nobody ever notices. Driving is generally a social activity so I tend to be a poor driver in traffic. If I have to go somewhere but I do not have to get there in a timely manner, I will just wait until night where I do not have to deal with traffic. People often tell me I need to drive during the day because it is safer, fuck that, there are way more people during the day.
The single most awkward moment that comes with living a nocturnal lifestyle is being in the same house as someone who gets up so early that it overlaps with the end of your night. Every time I have ever hung out with some friends to play video games or something, they have a parent who gets up at 3 A.M for their early morning job. They open the door of their bedroom to get ready for work and see that my slacker-ass still has not left. When other people start to wake up I know I have used up my “avoid people” portion of the night and I need to go to bed.