When you own a restaurant, you are subjected to many late nights, particularly on weekends. A fine dining venue is open until ten and then there is the cleanup and preparation for the next day that can take hours. It seems endless, but I didn’t complain at the time as I loved every minute of running my place. I put my heart and soul into its success. However, as a night owl, I didn’t enjoy a natural sleep cycle. In fact, my circadian rhythms were a mess. I would come home from work and watch TV, listen to music, or email friends. I also looked at the mail, watered the plants, and played with the dog. No wonder I couldn’t nod off for hours. Plus, my mind reviewed the day’s events and what our special would be for the next.
It wasn’t a problem until well after retirement when I realized that I had to amend my night owl ways or have sleep deprivation for the rest of my life. I knew that fatigue would soon ruin otherwise good days. I had plans for my post-career time and I wanted to pursue all the travel, hobby, recreation, and relaxation I could. To do this with vigor, I needed a good night’s rest. I promised myself that I would retire to bed early, turn off my cell phone and laptop, and dim the lights. I would not eat or drink for at least an hour before my designated bedtime. And absolutely no exercise. I wanted to live a more normal life doing things at the appropriate time like everyone else. Everything I read says that people on a night shift have sleep disturbance regularly. Sometimes, they never adjust.
It is now time to reset the clock and I intend to use one to help out. The alarms these days are magnificent. You can wake up to pleasant lights from devices like these https://www.berightlight.com/science-wake-lights-sunrise-alarms-benefits/ and soft music or you can face a simulation of a true sunrise, as if you were looking out your window at the perfect time. There is no reason to suffer from a lack of sleep with these devices on the market. You can program them from your mobile phone to the display the colors you like or turn on natural sounds like waves, waterfalls, or birds. You feel like getting up immediately and in a good mood to boot. There is no better way to start the day except maybe with a steaming cup of your favorite coffee. That comes later. No blaring noises will prod you to rise as in the old days. But then you just kept hitting the snooze button. It was an imperfect system.
I highly recommend wake up lights and sunrise alarms if you have any trouble getting up because you couldn’t get to sleep within the requisite twenty minutes the night before or as a result of restlessness. You will feel like a brand new you.