Now Or Never

What's keeping you up? What Canadians are doing in the middle of the night

For millions of Canadians - night shift workers, insomniacs and new parents - when the sun goes down, they're just getting started.
(Lisa Muswagon/Trevor Dineen/Jennifer Ashley)

When the sun goes down, millions of Canadians are just getting started - from night-shift workers to new parents, insomniacs to late-night musicians.  

On this episode of Now or Never, we're setting our alarm clocks for 2:00 a.m. to find out what it takes to live your life while everyone else is asleep.

At 2:00 a.m., 18-year-old Mac Fontaine is at work, filling online grocery orders for strangers. He took the job a year ago so he could manage his Type 1 diabetes overnight, and his mom Jenn could finally sleep through the night for the first time in 14 years.  Hear how the reality of managing his illness is affecting him, and how his mom is struggling to let go.

Now or Never host Trevor Dineen has battled insomnia for most of his life. Now, after weeks of less than three hours of sleep a night, he's trying to fight back. He gets advice from hundreds of listeners (and fellow insomniacs) on their tips for getting a good night's sleep. 

Jennifer Ashley worked as a stripper all through law school, and eventually traded in her law career for stripping full-time — mainly because of her aversion to the 9-to-5 routine. But now that COVID-19 has closed down clubs, Jennifer's found a new way to get back on stage. 

For the last four years, health-care aid Tes has been working the night shift at a personal care home in Aldergrove, BC. And not all those night are peaceful. She shares what it's like to be with people at the end of their lives, in the middle of the night.  

Parents lose about 350 hours of sleep during their child's first year of life. That doesn't surprise Lisa Muswagon, who is up every night at 2:00 a.m. nursing her baby Carlee. Hear how she's trying to overcome a low milk supply and help a colicky baby who sounds like Mariah Carey when she cries. 

Edmonton musician Matthew Cardinal of the band nêhiyawak does all of his writing between midnight and 5 a.m. — and those stretches of quiet, uninterrupted time are the key to his creativity.