I’ve documented in this blog a few times (here and here, to name two entries) that I am a “night owl.” However, I’ve always kept a staunch rule of not sleeping much past noon. Even if it meant shorting myself of sleep, I wanted to make sure I still had as much of the afternoon available.
I’ve not kept to that rule much as of late, and for the last week I just threw it out of the window.
My bed time has evolved to be around 4:30 or 5 am. As I always tell people, when my husband goes on the road I have a very hard time going to sleep before the sun starts to rise. It’s a strange mental safety blanket, but it also keeps my sleep schedule a little off from what most people would consider “normal.”
Aside from that, it also will be affected by if my husband is driving the bus while on the road.
It started years ago, when he was the only driver for the artist he worked for at the time. We credit his driving for the shift in our relationship from being just friends to being more. As he drove through the night, he’d call me for company and to “help him stay awake.” I’d stay up all night on the phone until I knew he was safe at the next hotel in the next city. Then I’d grab a couple hours of sleep before starting my own day, only to do it all over again the next night. We really got to know each other then.
Today, I think of it as our just being a team. We work together and help each other out.
The last two weekends, my husband worked as both keyboard player and bus driver. We joked at one point that this was like “old times” as we talked through the miles.
The first run didn’t affect my sleep schedule too much. It was actually pretty normal, and even my husband had no trouble getting his sleep needs back on track. However, it was the sudden change of plans last Tuesday/Wednesday that resulted in a sleep-mess.
Between staying up with him as he drove to Indiana on Tuesday night, then staying up to pick him up Thursday morning from the bus, my husband and I both went on what I’d call “a bus driver schedule.” Sleeping through the day. Up all night.
However, this last weekend ended up all mixed up. A 7 am bus call meant up all night didn’t really work. But when you get up at 5 pm, its hard to go back to bed at 10 pm! So, my husband grabbed a couple naps. I did too, since I planned to follow the bus to Saturday’s show. We hoped it was enough.
We left our house at 5 am (bed time, right?) to get the bus, since it takes a little over half an hour to get to the bus lot followed by a little over half an hour to where the band is picked up. We were both doing good, though, at that point. Drove 3 hours to the gig, and my husband set up his gear and sound checked. We grabbed lunch and then finally got to the hotel to sleep around 1 pm.
We were both wide awake, and it took a little while for sleep to come. Once we did both fall asleep, though, we slept well. I think we could have slept into the night if we had the time! But it was up, shower, supper and showtime. Tear down. Load up the bus. Then wait to get to leave.
I drove home, but my husband had about an 8 hour drive to the next gig. I stayed up through the night to make sure he made it there okay, and he did fine. It ended up another go to bed at 11 am day, up at 5 pm.
I was able to nap periodically through the evening as my husband drove back to Nashville. I talked to him a few times to perk him up when fatigue started to set in on him. I really felt for him as at that point the crazy sleep times were catching up to him, but he loves what he does and he takes it very seriously. He wants to do the very best (and safest) job that he can, and I wouldn’t give up staying up with him to make sure that happens for anything. Truth be told, I find it a little fun to “ride along” and I hope he gets more drives!
But, as I said, I got to nap through the evening when he didn’t. As such, he’s sleeping soundly while I am still wide awake. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll turn my schedule back to normal… So here is where I have to ask: Anyone have any go-to-sleep tricks that work for them when they find their schedules off? Be it from travel or work or just insomnia? I am all ears with eyes wide open.