I am SO sick and tired of being sick and tired! Spring has been making its presence known in Maryland for several weeks now and my allergies are going CA-RAZY! Despite the Zyrtec pill I take every day and the Benadryl pills I take every day that I work, I've had a sore throat for almost 2 weeks, my nose is stuffy and runny at the same time, my ears are itchy, etc. Basically I am miserable... combined with the fact that I can't ever seem to catch up on my sleep, no matter how hard I try.
So... I've been thinking, for the first time EVER, about putting in a transfer to go to dayshift. *GASP* I know, I never thought I'd say it either. For most of my life I've been called a night owl. For some reason, I just function better at night. In the past decade that I've worked at the 911 center, I've worked every shift there is. When I first started here, we worked 12-hour shifts on a rotating schedule of 4 days on/4 days off. I worked a year of 7pm-7am, followed by a year of 7am-7pm. Then we switched to 8.5 hour shifts on a rotating schedule of 5 days on/3 days off. I worked evening shift for 6 years and at the time, the hours worked well for me and my lifestyle. I could stay up late AND sleep late... it was like the best of both worlds! Most of the time I stayed up for almost the entire night before going to bed when the sun came up. Then I'd sleep almost all day until it was time to get up for work again. The problem with this is that I felt like I never got anything accomplished. I thought about it and decided that if I was going to be up all night, I might as well be at work and get paid a little more for it. So 2 years ago, I transferred to the midnight shift. And since then it feels like no matter how much sleep I get, I'm always tired.
Don't get me wrong, midnight shift has it's advantages... like the 7% shift differential, the out-of-classification pay I earn each time I'm in charge of my co-workers (atleast 3 days a week), a significantly slower call volume, and the fact that I've got quite a bit of seniority compared to other people on the shift. But it also has disadvantages too... mostly the exhaustion I feel virtually every minute of every day. If I transfer to dayshift, I'll lose the shift differential and the out-of-classification pay and the seniority... but in exchange for that, I'll gain a more "normal" lifestyle. I can sleep when the rest of the world sleeps, which means I'll no longer be fighting my internal circadian clock all the time. I can eat dinner with Brian every night, and participate in "normal" evening activities like taking a walk or watching TV.
My mom thinks that before I submit a transfer request to go to dayshift, I should experiment with a different sleep pattern. For the past 2 years I've been sleeping during the evening... that gives me the daytime hours to get any errands run or complete any other tasks that I need to and then I try to be in bed no later than 2 or 3pm. I sleep up until 10pm, then I take a shower and get dressed for work... I usually leave around 10:30 to make it to work by 11pm. As part of the new sleep pattern, my mom suggested that I come home from work and go straight to bed, so that I'm sleeping while Brian is working. Then when Brian comes home from work we can eat dinner together and spend a few hours of quality time together before it's time to go to work... and then I'll still get to keep my shift differential along with the other advantages that midnight shift offers. I know what my mom is suggesting makes sense, but part of me wonders what it would like to lead a completely "normal" life instead of trying to adapt my schedule to the rest of the world.
What do you think I should do?