Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sleeping Can Be Hard Work

I've been asked by folks back home which I have found more difficult to deal with - the 24-hour dark or the 24-hour light. For me, it has always been the 24-hour daylight. Though initially I do find it refreshing after a winter period of low light, the novelty of it slowly fades as my body and brain cannot adjust fast enough to the rapidly lengthening light.

24-darkness is great for sleeping, especially on weekends(!) and since I spend most of my time working indoors I do get some exposure to light, though admittedly it is artificial light.

Once April and May arrive, I find it very difficult to keep my body regulated to a 24 hour day. At times, if it wasn't for my watch, I would have no concept of the time of day. Only the positioning of the sun gives me any idea of the time though the light level remains more or less the same whether the sun is in the north, south, east or west.

On more than one occasion, I've woken up in a panic, having forgotten to set my alarm clock and thinking I was late for work as the sky was so bright, only to discover that it was 5 or 6am. I quickly solved the problem of trying to fall asleep at "night" by covering my windows with tinfoil. My roommate swears by the use of cardboard which does the trick for him.

Recently, I've gotten into the habit of taking a short nap after work which helps me to sleep longer at "night". By closing the door and blocking my window with tinfoil, plus a blanket and a set of blinds, I manage create a level of darkness conducive to sleep.

When I think about the lengths I've gone through to get a good sleep during the light season, I end up laughing to myself. I just finished with getting through 3 months of darkness, and here I am doing my level best to block out all the light from my room.


Clare said...

It's funny but I've never found the need to block out the light to sleep. Perhaps a lifetime of shiftwork cured me of that. I love the fact that when Hilary wakes me at 3:00am I've all the scenery brightly lit before me, and then it's back to bed sans tinfoil