Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 48: Blinds

Land of the midnight sun has been blinded.

I woke this morning at 4:30 with a blinding sunbeam across my eyes coming from Hudson Bay. Every attempt to return to sleep failed as the sun continued to shine. And it was a beautiful morning, with the orange light encasing the spruce against a pale blue sky, but I didn't fully appreciate it's splendor when all I wanted was another two hours of sleep.

I like laying in bed, watching the tundra from my pillow. I like watching how far the fog clouds visibility, the silent lightning brilliantly illuminating the fogged sky for less than a second, or the streaks of lightning that crack against the metamorphic Canadian shield rock, the roaming polar bear across the lake, the ptarmigan hopping and flapping around his nest, the Bonaparte's gulls that soar over the white spruce forest to find food for their chicks, the sunrise, the moonrise, the sunset, the blanket of stars... I fall to sleep to the tundra in my window, and I wake up to it.

But today, blinds were installed that will shield this light and obliterate these scenes.

Now I have a choice to pull down the blinds or keep them up. Of course I would have to convince my roommates with whichever choice I decide upon, but that is a later issue. At the moment, I only wish to contemplate this choice.

Humans, like most animals and plants, follow a circadian rhythm.

Gene expression showing circadian rhythm in plants with 
different genes being expressed in the day and at dusk. 
Video from the Seth J. Davis Lab

BBC talks about circadian rhythm in humans.

So my questions are: Is the sun messing with my circadian rhythm, my bodyclock, or is it already messed up anyway? As in, I should be sleeping after lunch or only for a few hours and then working and then sleeping again for a few hours? How does the clock really work? Will covering the sun at night make it work better?

But if I close my blinds to restore the night, I will lose the sight of the morning the moment I wake. I work to be outside in that. Nature is such a beautiful sight to wake to. Yet I also want to sleep... What to do...

1 comment:

  1. I like your post because it highlights that struggle between the idealistic image of staying up all night, working on something that you really enjoy, burning that candle at both ends, the magic of being up 3AM while the world sleeps, or just more generally, that desire to want to push ourselves just beyond our reasonable limits, and the reality that we do operate on cycles, daily, monthly, yearly, and so on. Maybe you guys will keep them open sometimes, to enjoy the nature that you are there to enjoy, but once in a while close them, to be rested enough to enoy it.

    Facing that tonight, body wants rest, the mind wants to knock out my last ever school project. We'll see which wins!