I’ve been struggling to get back to a normal sleep schedule after our recent vacation in Puerto Vallarta, seven timezones earlier than Germany. I think I know where at least part of the blame lies — and it’s not in my bed.
I noticed the effect ambient light has on my sleep schedule and quality a couple years ago. I’d trained myself, or so I thought, to get up pretty much every day at pretty much the same time (barring extreme situations like 34 hours of airports and airliners). Then we stayed the night in the guest room at some friends’ house where the rising sun could not gradually cast light into the room. I misjudged my sleep time and got moving about 3 hours later than I expected. The difference became clear fairly quickly: that room was insulated against sunlight like a tomb. When I stepped out into the hallway, the streaming broad daylight nearly knocked me over.
Add this apparently pretty strong light dependency to an unusually stressful February with multiple business and personal trips near the end of a long, dark winter, and time zone shifts galore both at home and abroad in March, and I suppose it’s no big surprise that my sleep schedule is screwed up. I’m going to try lowering our shutters completely to tombify our bedroom and relying on alarm clocks and/or Sleep Cycle again to get me back on track — at least until the light-sensitive parts of my brain get used to that big glowing artificial moon* outside our bedroom.
Here’s to a solid night’s rest.