Are you stuck in a drinking rut? Pouring yourself a glass of wine as soon as you get in the door without even thinking? Ordering a double G&T because you’re waiting for a friend?
It’s a routine a lot of people can relate to; going through the motions and using alcohol as part of that.
This can be particularly pronounced if your work schedule differs from the standard 9-5, with a report from 2004 finding that people who worked night shifts were more likely than their day-shift-working colleagues to experience physical fatigue, smoke and abuse alcohol.
This week’s Spill It diarist is one of those night shift workers. Although they don’t top the list of the biggest drinkers we’ve had on the series, you can spot a pattern around tiredness and drinking to sort out a sleep pattern, which is common among those who work irregular hours.
I work permanent night shift from Monday to Thursday so basically during those days I just work, eat, and sleep. So today I have had no alcohol.
I love a Friday. I have finished my night shift but I will only sleep for about 4 hours to try to re adjust for the weekend. I buy myself a box of wine thinking it will last a couple of days (who am I trying to kid).
I rarely drink during the day but by 6.30pm I have settled into my spot by the TV on my first glass. One leads to another because I tend to drink quickly.
By 11.30pm I have finished the box & I am exhausted. I eat my dinner at this ridiculous hour and then go to bed.
I don’t get up until 11.30 feeling worse for last night. I am always slow to get organized.
I’m always in night mode, so most of the day goes by before I go out. I go food and drink shopping and yet again I get my box of wine.
I like to cook on a Saturday night, so I quite happily conjure up something delicious while swigging away. Again by about midnight I am happily merry (drunk).
I always know its time for bed when my wine is gone. And it is.. Again.
I got up at 10.30am which is early for me. Mainly because I feel sorry for my long-suffering wife. We go out shopping and have some lunch, then we walk the dog.
Having caught up on household chores I am back in my spot for 7pm for a replica of the previous couple of nights.
I tend to sleep in as long as I can on a Monday as I am back on shift tonight. I feel rough when I get up at 2pm and on a bit of a downer because it’s a work night.
So, its just coffee and juice for me today.
I don’t get to bed until 8.30am. I sleep until 3.30pm, and when I get up I just go through the motions until it’s time for work. Another alcohol free day.
The same as Monday and Tuesday . I don’t miss drinking during the week but I am definitely looking forward to Friday night.
Having been a night shift worker for 17 years , I realise that I am very nocturnal. My ‘day’ normally starts in the evening and I know I am stuck in a bit of a rut. I am also a creature of habit so I rarely vary from my routine unless I’m on holiday.
I’m 53 now & I keep telling myself I need to live a healthier life. Its always going to start next month, but I cant see myself changing because I am quite content with things as they are. Roll on Friday!
Total units for the week: 74.4
Total units in a week recommended by the NHS: 14 units (for anybody regardless of gender). Obviously, if you’re able to get lower than this, even better!
Spill It is a weekly series out every Friday. To get involved email [email protected]
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