May 30, 2002
Adjusting to life up north

It's 9:01, and the sun has just set.

Growing up in South Florida, I never understood why people up north talked about it being dark at 5PM. Because of its latitude, Florida has less variation in the length of time the sun shines—it's usually about 11-13 hours. Life in San Diego was similar, although the amount of time between sunrise and sunset was more noticeably different. However, up here in Washington, the sunsets (in the summer) are way too late for my body, and it's playing havoc with my circadian rhythm. I'm not used to going to bed an hour after sunset, which is what I have been trying to do here, since I awake at 4:45 every work day. I imagine that I will have a similar problem in the winter, when I will want to go to bed at 7pm, because sunset was 3 hours prior. I am sure I will adjust, but it is certainly a struggle sometimes.

posted on May 30, 2002 09:11 PM


Those are the reasons I really like light-blocking shades and natural-sun lightbulbs. Aren't you glad you don't live in Alaska?

posted by susanna on May 31, 2002 07:32 AM

That's nothing -- I went to Scotland in the summer (mumble) years back, and my Florida biorhythms freaked out at a sun that basically never set. (It kind of dips below the horizon around, oh, ten pm, and everything gets sort of gloomy, hence the famous "gloaming" that Scots are always talking about in those poems.)

posted by Andrea Harris on May 31, 2002 12:11 PM

If I didn't have to do such tedious things as, oh, go to work five or six days a week, my particular circadian rhythms would attempt to "correct" themselves to a 28-hour day, which would be useful if I were going to be posted to Deep Space Nine orbiting the planet Bajor, but is otherwise a pain in the neck.

I wake up every morning at 4:39, and I have no idea why. My best guess is that a freight train has gone by and by the time I've roused myself enough to verify that it is indeed 4:39, it's out of earshot. If I had four or five days off, I could stay up that late and find out, but if I actually had four or five days off, I'd be hitting the road. (Come July, when I have twenty-four days off, I'll be somewhere off the beaten path, looking for a quiet place to blog.)

posted by CGHill on June 1, 2002 08:57 PM

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