It’s always 4 a.m.


(Another posting from my time in rehab in Palo Alto, this one — about my body’s schedule — originally written up on 12/4. As before, it’s very much a bare-bones posting — there’s a lot about posting to my blog that is still a cognitive mystery to me, thanks to alcohol poisoning.)

For a long time, my “natural” schedule was to go to sleep around 8 p.m. (unless the prednisone I was taking made me crazy and unable to get to sleep until exhaustion took over as midnight approached) and woke around 4 a.m. (one hour into MSNBC’s Morning Joe show, which begins at 6 a.m. Eastern time. I generally awake on my own, within about 15 minutes of 4 a.m. So it’s “always 4 a.m.”

As I emerge from alcohol poisoning and alcohol withdrawal syndrome, a natural schedule has asserted itself very clearly. I become sleepy at about 7 p.m. and doze off then, despite interruptions for medication, checks of vital signs, blood draws, and the like.

I then wake up, on my own, at very close to 3 a.m. on the nose. I am in fact jerked into consciousness suddenly at 3 a.m. And I’m up and into my day. I started writing this piece at just after 3 a.m. in fact.

So: now it’s always 3 a.m.

I puzzled over this for some time, until I realized that 3 a.m. PST is in fact 4 a.m. PDT. My body is still on Daylight time.

I’m not sure how to fix this, or indeed whether it needs fixing. Here at the rehab facility, I get CNN rather than MSNBC, but when I go home — tomorrow morning! — I’ll be up for the beginning of Morning Joe.

I have long been an unfan of the Standard – Daylight time alternation, which I find surprisingly hard to adjust to. I would like us to pick one scheme and stick to it. I don’t really care which one.

[The aftermath. Back home on 12/5 and full of excitement over how easily I managed physical movements I had fretted about; I had in fact been cleverly prepared for these by the rehab’s therapists. So I was giddy and my mind raced on until way late, until I eventually dropped off to sleep. Thinking: well, at least this should reset my body clock. But no: up at 3 a.m. again, dammit.]


2 Responses to “It’s always 4 a.m.”

  1. Gadi Says:

    I agree 100% about the time change. Just pick one and stick with it. Flip a coin for all I care.

  2. Sleep | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] sleep schedule. The topic of my 12/6/20 posting “It’s always 4 a.m.” From that posting (written when I was still in a rehab […]

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