Nights are strange.  I’m on night 3 of 7 at the moment and I don’t seem to be able to sync in as well as I usually do.  Woke up about 16.25 this afternoon which is the second day in a row.  Makes me wonder if there’s an alarm going off that I’m not aware of. 

A few years back, living in London I had a period where I kept waking up at 3.30 in the morning for no apparent reason.  All I knew was that I would groggily come round into consciousness and find myself awake.  After about 2 weeks of interrupted sleep I mentioned it to my flatmate who provided the answer.  She was diabetic and tended to get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, usually some time after 3am.  The toilet was right next to my bedroom and when you turned the light on it started the fan.  The fan was loud but only stayed on for about 4 minutes after the light was turned off, so every night when she turned it on, the fan would start and it would wake me up.  In the time it took me to come round to consciousness the fan would turn off so I was never aware of it.  She started using the upstairs bathroom after and I slept better.

Similar to the way sounds in the morning merge into my vivid pre-waking dreams.  I love that time of the morning.  Like your surroundings are trying their hardest to wake you, countered by your mind trying its hardest to keep you under.

As a house officer in Redhill last year I loved nights.  That massively long and empty corridor to patrol, en route to the inevitable pointless calls and drug charts to re-write.  Then saving a few wards to last, knowing the nurses were nice and would provide you with a cup of coffee, some biscuits and conversation, staving off the return to A&E to clerk a few new arrivals.

I don’t use the ‘q’ word but a lot of the time on this job it is ‘calm and civilised’ which is fine as you can do other things.  I know most of the others sleep but I’ve never been able to do that.  If you sleep at night then you don’t feel tired during the day and don’t sleep meaning by the time the next night comes round you’re exhausted.  If that night then turns out to be busy you feel like shit.

After these nights my job here is done.  I get a week of post and that takes me to the end of the rotation.  Then I have 3 months off interspersed with a variety of other pursuits.  I cannot wait.

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