Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wide Awake in Blargistan

I. Am. Exhausted.

It's not just the work. Nor is it jetlag -- I managed to duck that this time. No, it's just that Blerg City goes to bed late, and it's taking its toll.

How late? Well, in the summer, in this neighborhood, it appears to be near midnight on weekdays; much later (earlier?) on weekends -- say, 2 in the morning. No kidding: go to any public space on a Saturday night at 9:30 or even later, and you'll see loads of kids out playing. Like, grade-school-aged kids. And maybe you're thinking, "Well, nothing says that you have to be out as late as a nine year-old!" But here's the rub: part of the reason that Blerg City goes to bed so late is that, this time of year, it doesn't get dark until sometime around 10 p.m. And my brain can't force me to sleep when the sun is shining. In fact, full dark is usually the "let's start winding down" trigger for my brain, which means I'm ready to sleep about two hours later. Which is untenable if I want/need to be up at a decent hour. I'm one of those folks who operates best on 8 1/2 hours a night, and while I can run a deficit for a night or two, I can't do so indefinitely.

But I think I may have it beat. Here, two weeks into my umpteenth trip to Blerg City, I realized something wonderful: my room here has blackout curtains. Now, these are meant to keep the heat out. But I also realized that I can impose an artificial sunset an hour or two earlier. So, I'm going to try that tonight and see if I can't push my bedtime back at least to 10:30. 'Cause carrying a 2-hour sleep deficit for every night for two weeks straight makes working in the archives next to impossible.

3 comments:

Earnest English said...

Oh your post made me laugh! Where I live it doesn't get dark until 10pm. It's quite hard to convince a kid to go to bed when it's not dark outside. Blackout curtains are absolutely key to life here. For any of us. Aren't they the best?

Belle said...

I too am discovering the attraction of black out curtains, and this from someone who has used nothing but sheers at every window for 20+ years. It's not the night-time thing that gets me; it's the 5AM wake-ups!

Historiann said...

HA-ha. I'm with Belle: it's the 5 a.m. morning light that gets you. (Sometimes you want to wake up then, but when you don't, you don't.)