During my surgery clerkship during my third year of med school, I woke up every day at 4AM. Yet I was rarely sleep deprived. Why?
Because almost every single day, I took a nap.
In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure how I managed this. But somehow I was doing a lot of ambulatory surgeries, and there was always a gap in-between surgeries, or at least a surgery I could skip out on. I never felt like I was doing anything wrong. I was just taking advantage of some downtime.
In retrospect though, it seems like I must have been doing something wrong, doesn't it?
I slept in the resident call room, which was always empty in the morning. I was on surgery in the middle of winter, but the call room was always nice and warm, like a womb. There were also no windows in the room, so it was pitch black with the lights out. I would put my head down on the pillow and be asleep in thirty seconds. Sometimes when I'm trying to fall asleep in my bed at home, I fantasize about that call room.
Even though I wasn't particularly secretive about it, I don't think anyone knew about my daily naps. Overall, I got good comments on that rotation and nobody wrote, "Student sneaks off every day to take nap."