I love hearing from readers who respond to my articles with questions, comments, and sleep stories of their own. My readers make up an incredibly bright, thoughtful community, with a lot of strong opinions and a lot of motivation to harness the power of sleep for mind-body health.
Your emails, tweets, and messages stand out for all sorts of reasons—they’re curious, thought-provoking, sometimes funny. And then, every so often, I get a message that sends a chill down my spine, as I did with the one I’m about to share with you.
Let me be clear: I don’t know this reader’s identity. This person wrote to me under complete anonymity. But what he says has the ring of truth, in alignment with the scientific evidence on shift work, sleep, and circadian rhythms. Here’s part of the note:
I work as an air traffic controller, and I’m curious how much you know about our schedule and if you’ve ever specifically studied it or been asked to comment on it. We work what are known as “Rattlers”, which is a varying schedule