Sunday, November 27, 2016

Try Shifting YOUR Sleep Schedule Back by 5 Hours

So, I've spoken about this many times before, but before I had a job, I used to stay up until like 4:00 AM and wake up at noon. I liked my sleep schedule. I had no desire to change it. And yet, no one accepted that. My ex and his family in particular would always just start telling me how to shift my schedule when I had never expressed any desire to change it. They never accepted how much it sucked to have to suddenly shift my schedule to wake up so much earlier. When I eventually had to change my sleep schedule when I got a job, everyone acted like it was just something that needed to happen and I felt like I had to act like it was less of a hardship than it actually was to me. But I realized something when I woke up this morning - an analogy that I wish I had thought of at the time:

Think about your normal sleep schedule - what time you normally go to bed at night and wake up in the morning. Now, imagine what it would feel like if I told you that starting tonight, you have to shift your schedule back by five hours. This means that you have go to sleep five hours earlier than you normally would, and wake up and start your day five hours earlier than you normally do. Think about how disruptive this would be to your life. Could you physically fall asleep that early? Could you drag yourself out of bed that early? Could you just change your schedule that drastically, that fast, without warning, because you just found out that you start a new job tomorrow or that someone else expects you to wake up that early, and they think it's unreasonable when you try to compromise for a time in the middle? What about all the things you had planned to do during those hours that you thought you'd be awake? How many things are you going to miss out on because of this sudden change? Just think for a moment about how disruptive this five hour shift would be to your life.

THAT is what it was like when I had to shift my sleep schedule, My first job came without warning - I was told that they wanted me to start the next day. And all the other times, my ex and his family just acted like it should be no big deal for me to shift for them. What you just imagined your day would be like if you suddenly had to shift five hours backwards is exactly what it was like for me, it's just that no one thinks of it that way because everyone thinks of waking up for a 9-5 job as normal. My sleep schedule was normal for me. And asking me to shift five hours back was NO DIFFERENT than asking people with more conventional schedules to shift five hours back, and it was never okay for everyone to act like it was.

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