As the blaring sound of an alarm clock pierces the serene and tranquil silence of the bedroom, a fatigue riddled body stirs beneath the warmth and comfort of a beautiful, yet hidden sleep sanctuary – otherwise known as a doona.
The body struggles to move, as every muscle and every limb aches from relentless fatigue.
Turning towards the clock positioned on the bedside table – their heart sinks with disappointment.
There must be some kind of mistake.
It cannot be.
Surely there are way more hours left before the start of our next shift?
It is after all, only 3am.
This scene I’ve described above, no doubt sounds familiar if you’re reading this post right now.
In fact, as a fellow shift worker, I’m sure it resonates with you in more ways than one.
And whilst many of us would refer to this as a typical “day” or a typical “night” whilst working 24/7, I’m going to call it something else.
I’m going to refer to it as continual circadian rhythm dysregulation. In other words, the recurrent disruption to our natural sleep/wake cycle as a result of working long and erratic hours.