Sleeping in the Dark

Hello Dark, You’re Not My Friend.

I can never remember which is daylight savings time – the fall back one or the spring forward one.  Honestly, I don’t care which is which, I just wish we’d quit falling and springing, I don’t like either, they both give me jet lag.  Whichever one makes high noon the one with the sun directly above seems like the right one and we ought to keep it there.

That much we can control by legislative fiat.  What I’d really like to control is that which we cannot change, that is, the tilt of the Earth’s axis and its trip around the sun.  I cannot bear the shortening of the days.  As much as I hate sweating (and as much as I am a prodigious sweater the minute it gets above 75 degrees) I am a summer girl through and through because I need sunshine to be happy. 

In the winter, when it gets dark around five, some chemical in my brain[1] says it’s time to start shutting down.  Around seven, I look at my watch and I’m surprised that it says seven and not ten.  From that point forward I feel like I’m just sitting around waiting for it to get late enough to go to bed.  Productivity comes to a grinding halt around 4:30.

There’s no morning makeup time either.  It’s not like going to bed early makes me an early riser.  Without sunlight coming through the windows, I’m not likely to wake up naturally until the sun comes up either.  I can force it with an alarm clock, but waking at 6:00 in complete darkness feels like waking up at 3:00 am, even though I might wake up naturally that early in the summer. 

In other words, for about a third of the year, you can get some use out of me for about five and a half good hours.  Conversely, for another third of the year, I’m good for almost twelve hours, so on a yearly basis I guess it works out.  Still – you tell that to all my deadlines.  “Sorry, deadline. You’re going to have to wait until June.”  My deadlines reply, “I can’t hear youuuuuuuuuuu!”

Flannel sheets do NOT help.  At all.  Neither does a warm puppy.  I wrap myself like a burrito in the soft sheets that hold in my copious body heat, and my sweet doggie sleeps on my feet.[2]  Since I wear a CPAP, I can cover my head with the blanket and still have an oxygen source. I am cut off completely from everything uncomfortable and unpleasant and unlikeable in the world.  Why would I ever want to remove myself from that kind of paradise? 

Now that I think of it, maybe it has nothing to do with the dark.

[1] A ten second internet search says the name of the chemical is gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA.  This may or may not actually be its name, but I wanted you to know that I did, in fact, bother looking.

[2] Wherever he is in the house, when he hears the wooden bedframe squeak as I haul my carcass upon it, Lincoln comes running, collar a-jingling, to lay on my feet. It’s the best.

If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website,, on Twitter, or on Facebook.   Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply