Monday, June 12, 2006

Long day

I think the near perpetual daylight finally claimed us last night (or late last day, depending on you look at it.) According to Environment Canada the sun is now setting at 10:52 p.m. and rising again at 2:16 a.m. So while we're not getting 24 hours of sunshine, we are getting 24 hours of daylight Saturday night I looked out the window at around 1 a.m. and there was a beautiful red sky out there, just like you would find at sunset. That's about as dark as it gets.

There are ways to prevent yourself from going mad with insomnia. Sometimes you just get used to it because you've lived here long enough. I know that Claire, who has lived in the land of 24 hour sunshine for probably more than a month now, and probably has another six weeks to go, used to do shift work with the RCMP. That means he can sleep through just about anything.

We've tried to do little things. We declare night in our apartment around 9 a.m. by closing the curtains and turning on lights. Your body starts to wind down a bit. You make sure you stick to your sleep routine and try to block out as much light as you can in the bedroom. Some people take to putting tinfoil up on the windows to block the light. We haven't gone that far yet, but too many more nights like last night and we might.

We just slipped last night. We had company over, with Simon up from Newfoundland to do some work in town. And we were glad to have the company, even if Simon seems to be handling the daylight thing much worse than we are. But you get wired up when there is company in town. And we didn't close the curtains on time. And a few other non-related slip-ups.

That means we tossed and turned last night. Both of us. Which means we are the walking dead this morning. We likely won't be alone. Iqaluit can sometimes resemble a Romero movie at this time of the year, especially since there is no Tim Hortons for your fix to get you going (there are other coffee shops, but for some, it's not the same).

Cathy will have it worse than me, though. I have a cozy office to head towards. She has a classroom. As I was driving Simon home last night around 10:30 in the bright sunshine, I passed in front of her school. There were about 50 kids playing on the basketball court. Some of them were in her class. And they were there for many hours afterwards, I'm sure.

So if you think all the daylight screws up adults, imagine what it does to kids. And worse yet, imagine the sleep deprived adults that have to take care of the thoroughly messed up kids.

No wonder this place gets weird during the summer months.


Clare said...

Yeah I pretty much destroyed my circadian rhythm years ago, and the light never seems to effect my sleep. My daughter on the other hand does.

BTW thanks for the link, but you've got your URL mixed in with it so it doesn't work.

Simon said...

I'm sure I awoke every 1/2 hour from midnight to 10am.

I figure sooner or later exhaustion will just kick in.

Ed Hollett said...

Sleep deprivation is one of the ways of inducing stress both in military training and, oddly enough, in interrogation and cult programming.

It tends to do a bunch of odd things to people.

Of course, I have no idea what happens if the people are odd to begin with.

Maybe you and Lono will be just immune. (j/k)

towniebastard said...

I suspect working for the government combined with sleep deprivation and being generally weird is likely not a good combination.

Which pretty much means most of the population of Iqaluit is completely insane,