When people from the Lower 48 ask how I sleep through the long days of summer, I just shrug and say ‘you get used to it’. So … that’s a big stinking lie. Truth is, all that daylight is a pain in the ass, but you would rather have all this sunshine the opposite.
Today, June 9th, is just 11 days away from the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year. Today we officially have 19 hours, 7 minutes, and 57 seconds of daylight. From here on out, we will just add another 14 minutes to the daylight. At this time of year, however, there is no time of day where it gets completely dark. There is always a glow in the sky, something just short of dusk. It’s a stretch to say you see it anyway, since the official sunset is just before Midnight, and sunrise is well before 5AM. Anyone on a normal sleep pattern (or circadian rhythm for you nerds) will be out before sunset and/or after sunrise. So, like it or not, you are dealing with daylight when you sleep.
Many use ‘blackout’ shades, which are basically really good window shades. Others say they use sleep masks, like they do in the old timey movies. Me — I just don’t deal with shutting out the light. I like it when the windows are open and cool air is coming in, and that means leaving shades open too. There was a movie in 2002 staring Al Pacino called Insomnia about a Los Angeles cop sent to an Alaskan town to help with a murder, but is tortured by the constant daylight. There are scenes where he has loads of cushions and screens up around the windows, but the crevices of light are blinding in their brightness. That’s what has me worried of happening.
Instead I find my circadian rhythm just generally messed up. I fell like my body believes any sleep I get at “night” is no different than taking a nap — so it feels like it can catch up on the rest whenever it wants. Mid-Afternoon, just after breakfast, while a hockey game is on at a bar, whenever.
Truth is, having this much daylight is great, because there is so much that always seems to get done these days. I rather have that then the alternative. You do get used to it too, to some extent. It’s what normal is now, like the normal of darkness during the winter. But don’t get me wrong, it’s just a different type of suck.