Waking with the light

I’m a very light sensitive sleeper. I have a lot of trouble sleeping when there’s light (unless a cat assists me!) and I tend to wake with the dawn. Around midsummer, this can leave me a sleep-deprived wreck if I’m not careful. For a long time now, winter has meant waking in the dark, and I’ve also found that difficult. My body is pretty clear that if there is darkness, I should be asleep, so midwinters can be… odd.

This year my son is studying for a degree course and I no longer have to deal with waking up ahead of going to school. We used to get up as a household because it is in many ways the nicer thing to do, and with a cycle ride to school, the mornings were early. In winter this has never suited me. So, this is the first winter in 18 years where there’s no alarm, or small child, and my body can do what it likes around waking up.

I find it a lot less stressful waking with the light. There’s no awful push first thing in the morning to force myself out of bed. I’m still waking fairly early, as my window faces towards the dawn, and pre-dawn light seeps in through the curtains. It feels so much gentler.

Clock time and alarm time go with industrial time. We have work and school lives that run by the clock – and there are advantages to this, but it is hard on the body. Our bodies are different, and what we need at different times of year and at different life stages can vary rather a lot. It is a wonderful thing to have some flexibility around that and to be able to let my body set the pace. Everything else this winter looks set to be challenging, so it’s helpful to have at least one thing lining up to be easier!

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Waking with the light

  • River

    I gave in and recently bought one of those “sunrise” alarm clocks where the light gradually increases to wake you up, and it’s made a massive difference on a dark morning. Ideally, I’d wake with the actual dawn throughout the year, but the 9-5 job makes that a challenge. The light is a second-best but still pretty decent solution I find.

  • Michael

    I always found waking up by turning on a light very annoying if not down right rude. My mom used to wake me up by flicking the light switch on and off. Many years later I stopped using an alarm clock to wake up by and got a timer switch for my bedside lamp, set to turn the light on at a certain time.

  • Sheila Murrey

    I need the dark to sleep well too! Totally pictured what you meant when you mentioned help from a cat. 😉

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