Nursing school has insanely screwed up my sleep schedule, which now goes a little something like this.
1200 – Wake up. Curse the sunlight. Feel awkward and embarrassed about sleeping in so late.
1215 – Do the morning routine. Walk around my empty house and feel lonely.
1300 – Study and finish homework.
1500 – Get ready to go to school…feed Harley the Guinea Pig, print off whatever notes or handouts I need for lecture, make and pack dinner, etc.
1545 - Commute to school. Jam out to tunes. Sing on the top of my lungs in the car because I can do that without instilling feelings of hostility in people around me.
1650 – Scoot my butt into class. Worry, co-miserate, and empathize with fellow classmates.
1700 – Begin lecture. Refrain from doodling in the margins (not always successful.)
1815 – Scramble over to the cafeteria for our 10-minute dinner break. Trip, shove, and sucker-punch other students until I’ve gained access to the microwave to heat up dinner.
1824 – Run back to class, still chewing last mouthful of dinner.
1900 – Scheduled lecture time over. Teacher says, “Oh, and one more thing…”
1915 – Actual time getting out of lecture. Chat with other students on the way to the parking lot.
1920 – Jam out to more tunes on the commute home.
2020 – Arrive at fire station. Review material with paramedics. Get teased about being a nursing student by paramedics. Utilize high speed internet (I have dial up at home. Boo.) Field questions and reply with more questions from other nursing students via phone.
2200 – Return to quiet house, as everyone else has already gone to bed. Feel bad about never seeing family. Make myself a snack, and eat in the dimly lit kitchen.
2215 – Drag backpack upstairs. Open textbook, read material. Study. Work on next homework assignment.
0030 – Make myself another snack. Work on pharmacology.
0200 – Attempt to go to sleep. Get restless and panicky, wonder if there’s any other homework I need to work on that I’ve forgotten.
0300 – Find other homework to do, or material to study.
0345 – Wonder if I can do this after all/ Should I really go into nursing/ Stress out about sacrificed relationships, time spent with friends, time spent with family, pay and shifts at work, time to take care of myself. Catch up on blog reading to distract myself.
0415 – Attempt to fall asleep.
0430 – Stress out about inability to fall asleep.
0500 – Try to ignore the fact that I can see the sky start to lighten outside my window.
0600 – Hear family member’s alarm clocks go off.
0645ish – Settle into very restless sleep.
1200 – Wake up. Curse sunlight. Feel awkward and embarrassed about sleeping in so late. Rinse and repeat.
And I can’t seem to break this cycle. As the semester drags on, and workload increases, the stress only seems to build, and I feel like I never get to sleep during nighttime hours. Even on my days off, I can’t seem to settle back into a normal routine.
Anyone else work nights, or go to school in the evenings, have this problem? How do you deal with it? Or fix it? Or something?