Workin’ on the Night Shift!Posted: June 16, 2011
I’m writing this post at 4:30 a.m., EST, on my day off from work. Am I an insomniac? Not quite. I’ve just recently moved to the morning shift!
When I tell people so, they usually say “Oh, I’m sorry!” In television, AM shows often have the reputation for being the “B Squad”, where you go to prove you’re dedicated enough to the business to be placed on a nightside show. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I worked the morning show at my first station. It wasn’t pretty. I had to wake up in the middle of my “night” (you know, noonish) for doctors’ appointments, trips to the bank, and story planning meetings at work. My fragmented sleep schedule showed. I gained weight, had no energy, and was depressed from the lack of a social life.
But this time I think it will be a little different. A couple weeks in, I’m really enjoying it. I sleep during the day, and my time management skills are a lot better now. If an appointment needs to happen, I stay up “late” after my shift, get it done, and then head home to sleep away the afternoon and early evening. Many of my a.m. show friends go to bed around 4 p.m., but that just doesn’t work for me. Plus, if I sleep during the day and wake up around 6-7ish, I will allow myself the time to have dinner dates with friends, go to the gym, and watch the evening news, all before I head to work. I get there feeling awake, caught up, and ready to roll.
Now that I’ve thrown myself into the night shift life wholeheartedly, I’m finding out that I love morning show people. They’re slightly crazy, but in a good way. You have to love what you do to get up at this time, develop a Vitamin D deficiency, and put the news on the air at a time it feels like the whole world is asleep.
This is not to say that I will want to do mornings forever. I’m sure at some point, my body is going to demand that I cave in and sleep at a time predetermined by my circadian clock. As I make a life for myself here in the Tampa Bay area, I’m sure I’ll start to miss more and more social events. I’ll wish I had a normal life. But that’s the thing about news, isn’t it? You never really have that life, no matter what.