Friday, June 6, 2014

Late to bed, early to rise


When people talk about the cold, dark Swedish winters, someone inevitably brings up the endless, summer sun. On all my previous trips here it was over Christmas, so I had plenty of experience with the former. But the latter? It wasn't until we began to be woken up by the rising sun at 3:45AM that I started to get this whole non-stop-daylight thing. Then, as if the mornings weren't enough, in the evenings we began to be tricked into thinking we could watch another episode or two of Homeland because it was still so bright out, but then a glance at the clock revealed it was already 10:45PM. That picture above? Taken last week at a quarter to 11PM. I could have been sitting outside reading if I wanted. (I wasn't, we just discovered the aforementioned Homeland and have been binge watching, thank you Swedish Netflix!).

My sleep was thrown off a bit at first, but now we're getting better about resisting the urge to stay up just because it's light out with a few tweaks.

First, we just accept we cannot stay up with the light because we inevitably get up when the sun rises, so we go from 7-8 hours of sleep to 3-4. Not good.

I've also stopped lighting candles every eve, as they fill the apartment with even more light than that from the sun and we're trying to achieve the opposite.

When we do turn in, I batten down the blinds in our bedroom to block out the day (night?) light, but first crack one of the windows so fresh sea air wafts in to lull us into a deep sleep. While we do keep the door to the living room open so air circulates, I make sure it's only ever-so-slightly open, since the living room is drape-less and thus practically glowing by 4AM.

Oddly enough, as long as I can make it into bed before 11:30PM'ish (such a dramatic change from NYC!), I wake up fully energized between 6 and 7AM, so rather than fight it, I just get up. In the quiet hours before R rises, I can work out, have some coffee/tea while I check the news, blogs, email, Facebook, Instagram and what not, and then sit down to study for a few hours before a nice brunch and heading off to school on my bicycle. By the time post-dinner hours roll around I'm already starting to droop enough that even the sun-lit sky can't keep me out of bed.

One year ago: Date night, sort of

3 comments :

  1. I think I'm more tired in June than any other month because I basically have no idea what time it is. I stay up way too late, rise too early, and there's usually way too many activities. Luckily I go euro and take July off for vacation to help recover.

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    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right! Swedish summers are beautiful—but exhausting! It's like a form of torture...always a bright light shining in our eyes! :) But, you've got an excellent recovery tactic. Too bad we did the opposite and vacationed pre-summer.

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  2. You're absolutely right! Swedish summers are beautiful—but exhausting!
    It's like a form of torture...always a bright light shining in our eyes!
    :) But, you've got an excellent recovery tactic. Too bad we did the
    opposite and vacationed pre-summer.

    ReplyDelete

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XOXO,
J.