Home » Gate Guarding » 10 O’Clock and All’s Well!

10 O’Clock and All’s Well!

I haven’t been completely successful in tracking down the origin of 10 o’clock and all’s well! In medieval towns, night watchmen guarded against invasion, thieves, and fire. Town criers made their alarm or all’s well announcements on the hour. I’m uncertain what happened if a fire should start, at say, 10:20.

During the Civil War, the prison camp guards, North and South, were required throughout the night, to call out their post and the hour:

“Thus,” recalled one prisoner, “at ten o’clock the cry would begin ‘Post number one — ten o’clock and all’s well.’ ‘Post number two — ten o’clock and all’s well …

In  rural southern Texas, we don’t have any town criers and I’m the only guard within hollering distance. We have some rural roosters, but they’re pretty quiet until the early morning hours. Still, at 10 o’clock all is well.

11 o’clock, now that’s a different story.

Almost nightly, between 11 and 12 o’clock, some persistent banshee incantation must subconsciously enter my hitherto alert brain and lull it into inactivity.

If I’m typing, my dyslexia manifests itself in five out of ten words.

If I’m knitting I drop stitches. By the time I’m alert enough to know I’ve dropped them, it’s usually many rows, some times many days later. At which point, I resort to taking a piece of yarn and tying the hole together in the back.  I’m a persistently unambitious knitter of long rows and squares.

If I’m watching TV, my finger stays permanently indented on the fast forward arrow until I’ve skipped, not only the commercial, but the next 9 episodes of Cold Case.

If I’m reading, my eyes slowly meet in the middle, lose focus and flutter shut.

The feeling of sleepiness when you are not in bed, and can’t get there, is the meanest feeling in the world.  ~Edgar Watson Howe

I wouldn’t say it’s the meanest feeling, but with the bobbing of my heavy head, the startlingly loud ringing of the bell races my heart as I leap to my feet! It’s akin to a mild panic attack.

This doze zone seems to last for about an hour or sometimes two. I’m almost always quite wide awake at 6 am when it’s time for me to go to bed.

It’s a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed while it’s light out.  ~Bill Watterson

What is this strange malady? I get up around 2pm. At 11, I think it’s time to go back to bed. It’s crazy. It’s dark of course and quiet (now that our wild pig snaring men have left for Louisiana) but still, with my schedule, it’s early. When I used to get up at 6 in the morning, I wasn’t particularly tired at 11.

I think I may know what the problem is. 11 o’clock is my afternoon.

Since I get up at 2, 11 is like 1 or 2 in the afternoon for a regular person.

You know how it is when you get that mid-afternoon haze at work and nobody’s made fresh coffee? You need some even though it’s too hot for coffee anyway, and you drink the dredges because you can’t write a complete sentence without it.

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.  ~Author Unknown

The only thing that seems to keep me awake is too much coffee and food. I don’t often fall asleep while eating. The problem is this method requires constant input which has led to every pair of my jeans straining to contain me. So now I’m on a diet. That means I’m now hungry and sleepy.

I’ve only been at this for 6 months: working nights, not dieting. I’ve only been at that today. Some night are certainly better than others. Maybe I just need a little more time to adapt.  How about you other night owls who work, or have worked nights? Do you have any tips?

The fog has cleared for now. 1 o’clock and all’s well, again!

I’m not asleep… but that doesn’t mean I’m awake.  ~Author Unknown


10 thoughts on “10 O’Clock and All’s Well!

  1. We do 7 a. m.. to 7 p.m. I ;sleep from 7 a,m, to noon or when I wake up. (Never after noon) Relieve Rob for an hour in afternoon. Take nap in afternoon. I also take short naps during night. Probably sleep too much!! With the heat, I look forward to night so it cools down, However, I would not want to do it on a permanent basis. There are just too many things I enjoy doing in the morning.

    • Jill – well that’s certainly an interesting schedule! 😀 I only see the sunrise on days that we move – 7 or 8 times since last December. I do miss the mornings, but I like the cooler quiet nights. I have to be drop dead tired to nap. I’ve always been in awe of people who could nap or power nap, like you and Luke.

  2. I also tell myself that I just stayed up late. i.e., 3 a.m. Then my mind and body fall asleep very quickly at 3:15 am. It works great. I usually wake up around 8 am and then go back to sleep till 11 am. I am not tired at all when I get up. Try the 4am and tell yourself your just staying up late. It works great for me and will work for your mind as well. Cheers, K

    • LOL! You have an interesting mind, Miss K! But, I have to admit, it makes some crazy sense. I’ll try that. If I go to bed at 4 and tell myself I just stayed up really late I should be really tired when I sink into the mattress! Great tip! 😀

  3. Andy and I started out with 5am-5pm for him and 5pm-5am for me. The 3-5 am was killing me. I got cranky and snarly. Not that the crews minded. But they kept bringing me chocolate to try and make me happy and cheerful.
    Oursolution was to move the shifts to 3pm-3am. Then I go to bed at 3:15. Sleep till 11 am or noon. It works better all the way around and Andy doesn’t have to be in the hottest part of the afternoon. It feels much more “Normal” to my internal clock. Maybethat will work for you as well…

    • I’ve been thinking about moving the hours – Heidi loves to get up early and I fall asleep better in the dark. May try 4 tomorrow and see how that goes. We share the hottest part of the day so neither of us has to take the full force of the heat. 😀 Good suggestion, Kathy, thanks!

  4. Yeah I am the night person over here and I found many years ago while in the Military if you can take power naps its helpsa lots,, Set your alarm clock for 5 or 10 minuates and take a power nap or two until you get overthe sleepies..Of course the trucks don’t always cooperate

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s