i have come to the conclusion that as long as i work third shift, i am not going to have any semblance of a "regular" sleep schedule.
i work 9pm-7am, tuesday night through saturday night. ten-hour days don't seem much different than eight-hour days when i'm at work, but i really feel the difference between having sixteen hours per workday of not-work versus fourteen. between that and the craziness that is my [lack of] sleep schedule, i don't do a whole lot during the work week other than get ready for work, go to work, sleep, and maybe veg out for an hour or two.
then, my weekends are just long enough that i decide i can unset and then reset my sleep schedule over them. since i don't socialize at all during the week, i generally build my sleep schedule between saturday morning and tuesday night around whatever social engagements arise. often they involve leaving town; sometimes (like this weekend) they don't. either way, it's a very inconsistent way to arrange a sleep schedule, but it's what i need to do to stay sane on some level. i'm willing to make sacrifices, but a complete sacrifice of my social life is not one i'm willing to make. if i have to sacrifice having any kind of regular sleep schedule, so be it. i've given up enough of my social life for various reasons lately; i'm not surrendering any more of it.