When Charles Everett of Westbury worked the graveyard shift as a correction officer on Riker's Island, he made sure to get at least seven hours sleep every night. The midnight to 8 a.m. shift was the most problem-free, he says, but the hours were "going against the normal grain. You are supposed to be sleeping at night, not walking around."
Everett, who turns 69 today, retired from his correction job more than two decades ago and now runs a small bus and car service with his wife, Pearl. They have two children and three grandchildren.
His hours are no longer upside down, but getting enough sleep is still important to him. "I try to get as much rest as possible -- and the more I get the better I feel," he says. "And if I can take a nap in the middle of the day, I feel even better." A good night's sleep helps him feel more energetic, so he can exercise at a gym two or three times a week.
Everett says he's also able to sleep well because he keeps his worries to a minimum. "Whatever you can control, control," he says. "What you can't control, leave it. Don't worry about it. There is nothing you can do."