Houston Matters

Working the Early Shift: The Life and Health of Houston’s Early Risers

For most Houstonians, life follows a fairly predictable schedule. Wake up around sunrise, work or go to school during the day, run errands, socialize, or decompress at night, then sleep, and start all over again. But that pattern – and the environment that is Houston – looks and feels very different if you work the […]

For most Houstonians, life follows a fairly predictable schedule. Wake up around sunrise, work or go to school during the day, run errands, socialize, or decompress at night, then sleep, and start all over again.

But that pattern – and the environment that is Houston – looks and feels very different if you work the "first shift." Thousands of Houstonians start the day before the sun comes up, and check out by early afternoon, while the rest of us have barely made it to lunch. What is the Houston experience like for early risers? How does working early mornings affect their health and well-being? Their social life? What do and don't they see and experience about Greater Houston?

Today, we talk with three Houstonian first shifters about life in Houston when your workday starts long before dawn, and ends at midday. We welcome your thoughts, too, for METRO police officer Tricia Sims, The Breakfast Klub restaurant GM Terry Price, and News 88.7 FM’s own Morning Edition host and reporter David Pitman.

Then, we discuss the long-term health impact of a non-traditional sleep schedule, like Houston’s first shifters experience, with Dr. Mary Rose, a clinical psychologist in behavioral sleep medicine at the Houston VA Medical Center. Dr. Rose is also an Assistant Professor in the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep department at Baylor College of Medicine.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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