Well, my brainwave optimization was a spectacular failure. In fact, I feel steeped in depression far worse than the anxiety I had before. I hated the whole process and am bitterly resentful about the loss of a whole week. I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I could have the whole week off to do it. But I work nightshift, and I wonder if that is a culprit.
Normal people could get up normally on Monday, go sit in a chair in the dark getting woken up every 20 minutes, and probably manage to derive benefit from it. But not a nightshifter. I had to get up in the middle of the night (equivalently), not drink coffee, and then tolerate dozing off and being woken up repeatedly. I don't see how any brain functions optimally or could be healed in a state of total circadian disruption. Also, it pisses me off to be repeatedly woken up when I'm exhausted and falling asleep. It pissed me off increasingly as the week went on.
My therapist's solution was I should quit my job and get a 9-5 somewhere. What? I like my job, and I choose to work nights. There are consequences. Fair enough. But when I'm not made to go against my natural rhythm and woken up repeatedly, I don't feel hostile like I do now.
Anyway, I was talking to my gran about this last night, and she said, "I don't understand the confusion. Change the AM and PM on the clock, and you can understand the issues with working nights, right?" I love my gran. That would seem logical, but so many people don't get this. My ex-husband never did. I almost divorced him because he would never let me sleep. He'd wake me up at noon or 1:00 and say, "Why are you still asleep? Normal people don't sleep this late. Are you depressed?" My response ("Is your PhD in STUPID? I worked until 7:45 this morning!") apparently never got through. I had to go get him up at 2am and decline to let him fall back asleep, thus causing him to be exhausted as HIS job, to get the point across. Why is it so hard?
The inconvenience, I understand. I just spent 15 minutes on the phone trying to get a hair appointment because my stylist's appointments were all at like 10AM the mornings after I work. There's no way I can do that. But the confusion over the effects of sleep deprivation, I don't understand. Regarding this brain wave stuff, I said, "Imagine you had to get up at midnight and come in here and try to get through this." The response: "Well, it's not a perfect world." I know that. But in this case, it's so not perfect that I just couldn't DO IT. You run up against a physiological barrier at some point.
I'm luckier than many vampires, too. My friends have largely grown accustomed to statements like, "I can't do that because I sleep on Saturdays." I don't have the spouse who wants me to never get any sleep or kids who get up early. Largely, I can do what I want. And I like it that way. It's weeks like this one that really jolt me and make me realize I'm living an odd lifestyle. I'm glad I can return to it now. I hated my week off and am glad to be going back to working a few nights and sleeping all day. How whack is that??