Friday, July 28, 2006

Sleep and this working girl

I am not a morning person. And these days, when people hear that someone is not a morning person, they assume that that person is just a lazy bum who cannot get his or her bottom out of the bed. I have never really been a morning person. In fact, I remember as a child some painful rituals I was subjected to, just so I could get up on time to go to school. It is sad that the world is designed mainly for day walkers. So what do you do when, in your most natural self, you would be a whole lot happier sleeping in the day and working at night?

Well, it is such a pleasure to act like myself, even if it is only a transient occurrence. In the past couple of weeks, I have been enjoying being quite like a bat in my sleep habits. This change in sleep behavior took me back to memory lane, and I remembered that even when I came home during college breaks, with no school to "discipline me," I would wake up in the afternoon and go to sleep in the early morning, when most people were preparing for work--and this worked for me; I was well rested and active. But it didn't suit some of the people around me, so I had to stick to the world’s schedule.

Now, thanks to a blessing, I can live out my natural sleep patterns, before school and the outside world interfere again. I go to sleep around 6am or so, and I wake up in the early afternoon (roughly noon to 2pm). I was telling an acquaintance of mine about this (we were just coming back from an evening meeting), and he said to me, "How do you do it? How do you get any work done?" Well, the late night hours are (and has been) the most productive period of the day for me. So when people are off to work, I can have undisturbed sleep. And when I am ready to go to work (in terms of my academics, writing, reading, and otherwise), people are getting ready to sleep or are already asleep. It works for me. Then he turned to me and said, "No wonder you look rested. I feel so tired; I need sleep soon." And I said to myself, "Well, my day is just beginning."

Very shortly, reality is going to disturb me again, and I am going to be reluctantly waking up for 8am appointments. I still have to stay up later than most people would, in order to cash in on my peak productivity hours. I cannot imagine how anyone can go to sleep at 10pm, wasting all those precious, efficiency-rich hours. But this is just my preference. I can adapt pretty well to a “day” working schedule, but I would much rather prefer a “night” working schedule. At least I know that during my residency (after medical school), I won’t have too much problem doing the graveyard shifts.

It is one of the beauties of life: our differences. I don't understand how people go to bed at 10pm, and some people don't understand how I go to bed at 6am.

Be honest. Is there a significant discrepancy between when you wake up (and sleep) and when you would prefer to wake up (and sleep)?

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At 29/7/06 12:01 AM, Blogger Susan Abraham said...

It's nice knowing just that little bit more about you, Rose.
I too am not a morning person. I do make an effort to wake up to pray and to start my work like checking my mail and also doing some serious writing but it can still be painful. Coffee helps.
I too wondered with astonishment as to how I could once upon a time wake up before a sunrise to go to school.

At 3/8/06 4:22 AM, Blogger Rosemary Esehagu said...

Hello, Susan.

It's amazing what we would do when there is sufficient pressure. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't drink coffee--I, however, like the way it smells.


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