Not too long ago I was looking into ways to get better sleep, since I have a lot of trouble sleeping. I didn’t find much of anything that I haven’t already tried, but something did come to my attention again. It was the insanity of advice directed only at first shift people.
In case you don’t know what I mean, I’m talking about the kind of advice that says if you want to sleep well, you have to be in bed by 10:30 PM every night and be awake by 6:30 AM every morning. It’s the advice that says if you want to lose weight, you have to have your first meal by 7 AM and never eat after 9 PM. It’s all that stuff that basically tells people that the only way to be healthy or happy is to be on a first shift schedule.
The thing is, that’s impossible. There is absolutely no way that the world could continue to function if everyone had the same schedule. There have to be second shift, third shift and swing shift workers. There have to be people on call to work odd hours and overtime. There’s no way that every person could have the same schedule, so why do these so-called professionals write up advice that is directed only at first shift people?
Now, I know that the non-first-shift people can do some math and figure it out, but we shouldn’t have to. That kind of advice can bee seen as implying that anyone who doesn’t have a certain schedule can’t be healthy or happy. I’ve actually seen some that flat out said that if you’re not awake at sunrise and in bed shortly after dark, you can’t be healthy. That’s just wrong. If that was true, then all first shift people would be healthy and happy and all other people would be sick and miserable. It doesn’t work that way.
I think that any article that’s supposed to be written by a professional should take into account that the reader may be on a non-day schedule, and present the information in a way that most people could use unless they have a wildly varying schedule. I know that I’ve been frequently annoyed by first-shift oriented articles, and I’ve seen scads of comments from people wondering what they should do since they’re not on that schedule.
I believe that anyone can be healthy and happy, but it can be difficult if none of the information out there, or at least little of it, is made useful to the masses rather than just a specific subset. I’ve actually left comments on such articles when I can, and I think that others should too. If enough people make these professionals aware that there are a lot of us out here on other schedules, they might start writing information that we can easily use as well.