So, here I am prepping for 2018 Harvest in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the middle of March, the end of summer here and absolutely gorgeous. I am situated right in the middle of Marlborough in the quaint little town of Blenheim. I have been here 2 weeks and you can bet I have been to every bar here. I am staying in a house in the centre of town with 7 other boys. Sounds like a smelly headache but these boys are actually super sweet and don’t smell that terrible. There are 2 bathrooms, I only use one for obvious, less smelly reasons and I have a bedroom separate from the hall of rooms the boys currently occupy. It’s just off the kitchen, close for midnight snacks. You instantly feel transported to the mid 70’s as everything is either wood and tacky brass trim with brown or “burnt orange” hideous carpet designs. There is a miscellaneous collection of mismatched couches and well-worn reclining chairs… Home for the next 8 weeks.
Half the house is on days, half the house is on nights. I was rewarded with the night shift. The switchover from days to nights was a tough one. I can now successfully say I can make it through the entire night without crashing, we were pulling 12-hour shifts and they flew by. Getting there was extremely hard and I regularly crashed at around 3 am. The problem with night shifts was sleeping during the day. Being so deprived of the sunlight you craved the attention of the morning sun. Around 7 am, once the sun rose it was like you were instantly revived with all this energy.
Some tips I learned along the way:
Vitamins – Since you are on a weird schedule and don’t get as much sun as normal, some kind of vitamin supplement proved to work great. Specifically, in New Zealand, they have a supplement called Berocca which is very similar to Emergen-C. It is a tablet you add to water and dissolves. Also great for hangovers 😉
Dark – Try and keep your room as dark as possible. Close all windows, blinds and shades and hope for the best.
Fan – While I never actually invested in a fan, I imagine it would be magical. I instead went the cheap alternative and used ice packs or a ziplock bag full of ice cubes to cool down mid-afternoon. That’s some sketchy ass shit, make sure you double bag the zip lock back to avoid waking up wet. However, both options work.
Sleeping Pills – These can be found in a variety of forms. Magnesium works, Melatonin works (although not available in NZ) or even cough and cold medicine for night time. Although I wouldn’t recommend the last one, I did do it and it worked great. Not meant as a long time solution, just the first couple days to knock me out during the day.
Life Cycle – Try to keep the same schedule but at night. So normally, during the day you would wake up say an hour before, have to breakfast. Go to work, come home from work and eat dinner. Hang out, watch tv or something for a few hours before going to bed. Keep that same cycle. If you work 8 pm to 8 pm, go to sleep around 10 am. I promise you won’t crash as hard around 4 am.
While I would also recommend not pulling any all Day’ers/Nighters, you will remember those days or nights you stayed up till 2 pm and then had to work again at 7 30 pm. I know I drank my way through harvest and made many good friends while doing so. In fact, I change my mind. Do engage in such activities. You will only regret it for 24 hours.
Sleep when your dead,