This year I’ve made a conscious effort to cope better with the darkness of Winter. So far I have gone without seeing the sun for a month. But this doesn’t mean there is no light during the day. At around 11am to 1pm we have a blue light that can be classified as ‘day’.
Surprisingly, I haven’t missed the sun – yet. I have been going about my daily duties without stopping, wishing, longing to have real light again. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been affected. Even though my mind is aware of what is going on and is trying to manage it, my body is the thing that is making life hard in the darkness. I have fallen into a very bad sleep routine – staying up into the wee hours of the morning and getting up at lunch. In the last week I haven’t been able to fall asleep at all. I just doze and turn all night hoping that a new sleep position will be enough to make me fall asleep. I’m in the first stages on insomnia.
You can understand how people can get insomnia during the Midnight Sun season as the sun is up for 24 hours. No matter how dark you make your bedroom (blacking out the windows with reflective foil for a complete ‘in blackness sleep’) somehow the sun in the air can be felt on your skin that screams ‘Awake! Awake! It is a beautiful day!’ But getting insomnia in the darkness seems a little backwards.
It was only today that I realised why I was in this bad cycle of sleep. My body naturally rises when the sun rises. During the dark season the ‘sun rises’ (or the light comes) at around 11am. With my body being used to an eight hour sleep, I find it hard to go to bed before 3am in the morning. For my last week of no sleep (I am now officially a Zombie!) I have realised it’s because I haven’t been using up my energy. It’s been particularly cold this Winter. The last days have been down to -10C/14F – not a good temp to go outside to play soccer or sit on a swing. So the energy in my body is not being used, especially from all the good eating at Christmas, and therefore it doesn’t need hard-core sleep to rejuvenate. This is why you see Norwegians outside come rain, hail or snow. I guess I’m going to have to re-commission my alarm clock (since becoming a stay at home mum I never use it). You’d think the kids would get me up early but they are also on this weird sleep pattern. Moose’s studies have finished for the year – he has no obligation to get up and go early in the morning and therefore has fallen in sync with us.
Lets see if we can turn this around. It can’t be tonight as we are supposed to stay up being New Years Eve and all. But tomorrow is a new year (and some would call it a new decade) so I guess ‘now’ is the best time to start!