Help – Who turned out the lights?

I think I might have turned into a dormouse. Suddenly, I cannot wake up in the mornings. Er, better re-phrase that – anybody who knows me is well aware that I am not a lark. Keep me up until all hours of the night and I am fine. Not a party girl, but nattering to friends, watching some rubbish on the television or writing great screeds of whatever is important to me right now I can do well into the wee small hours. Morning is not my favourite time of day. And silly o’clock times are likely to make me wince. About eight is usually fine by me. And occasionally I can do seven if there’s something important going on….

But it’s getting worse. Right now, the mornings are dark, oppressive and getting cold. This is not an incentive for me to open my eyes. They glue themselves firmly shut and it takes two cups of my weird tea to get them open. And breakfast as well. And the nights are drawing in, so it’s darker earlier as the days shorten towards winter.

It is definitely the time of year coupled with the horrible weather. Something about the lack of daylight has niggled me and my internal clock is extremely displeased with the idea of mornings. And next week end it is all set to get worse as we put our clocks back by one hour.

I hate it.

Isn’t dark enough? Isn’t it difficult enough? Isn’t it horrible enough without we make it one hour darker and one hour more horrible. Oh, I know the argument: Scotland will be whipped into darkness until about noon. But in the summer, you are much better off: you have evenings. You have long summer evenings when it doesn’t really get dark at all. If you drive northwards in August around dusk, the light doesn’t appear to change all through the journey. It’s weird. Down here in the south, we are in the process of losing what evenings we have and then our mornings disappear as well. Can’t we call it swings and roundabouts and get you to get up later? Adjust your day instead of all our clocks?

Or maybe we could have another time zone – a north/south one instead of east/west. You fall back by one hour next week and we stay the same. With our current gloomy mornings not getting any darker. Just gloomy and miserable. And the nights getting darker earlier….

Oh grief.

Or maybe I should just move to somewhere less dark and miserable.

Or maybe I should hibernate?








Bet you didn’t know it was Global Oneness Day. Valerie Davies sent me this link which you might like to take a look at and send on.

29 responses to “Help – Who turned out the lights?

  1. A confession: I was diagnosed a few years ago with Seasonal Affective Disorder. The shortened days directly affect my mood, adversely, and I’m an early riser, which compounds it. I now, in the dead of winter, use a therapy light for 15-30 minutes when I wake up in the morning. It’s like coffee without the jitters, amazing stuff.

    • Sounds brilliant. I hate the dark mornings. Hate the dark days when the sky sits on your head and never seems to lift. Can’t say it is Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I definitely get the grumps when it is so dark. Doesn’t have to be hot, just daylight. Like to live in places that face south just because so many more rooms get the light in.
      Once lived somewhere with a kitchen in the basement – quite dark – and at the same time worked in a place where the only window was a small skylight. Was very depressed. Didn’t work for me at all. Now I know, I would never do anything that daft again!

  2. Join the dormouse club. There are a lot of us out here!

  3. I also suffer from SAD (have done for about 20 years) and always dreaded the winter evenings. However, now that I am no longer bound to an office, being fortunate enough to travel around the UK as part of my (day) job, I have noticed a small improvement in my moods.
    However, like Patrick, I have a (an?) SAD lamp, a compact LED version that I keep in the van.
    Another thing that’s helped is St. John’s Wort and if it gets really bad, I add 5-HTP to the mix. Both are available on-line or from your local Holland & Barrett (UK only – I don’t know which US suppliers keep these).
    I would highly recommend these completely natural remedies. Might take a few weeks for the effects to become noticable, though. And this is the best time of the year to begin – before it all closes in on you.
    Let me know how you get on!

    • This lamp thing sounds really good. I shall have to investigate all these things and see if I can get myself to wake up! I just want to pull the covers over and hibernate!
      Just told Patrick, I once worked in a place where the only window was a small skylight and at the same time I was living in a tall Victorian house with a kitchen in the basement.
      Got very depressed.
      Didn’t suit me and I am quite a happy bubbly person normally, but I didn’t know what on earth was wrong with me.
      A dose of flu at Christmas turned me into a gibbering idiot and I pretty much stayed that way until the Spring when it was so much lighter!
      Thanks for the info. I will see what I can find out about all this.

  4. My dr. prescribed daylight lights for my depression, but the insurance company wouldn’t cover it. Then discovered I have a Vit. D deficiency, just like everyone else in the greater Chicago area. I just take by D and suck up the lousy weather. But, Scotland!? You live in Scotland? I soooo want to go to Scotland. North. South. I don’t care!

    • No not Scotland. No, Heavens, not there. Freezing up there. Moaning that they pinch our evenings: the clocks go back this week end so it isn’t quite so dark in the mornings if you live in the south. Unfortunately, that means we lose our evenings too – dark in the morning and dark in the evening!
      I live in Suffolk in the east of England – that bit that sticks out as a bump into the North Sea. It is supposed to be the driest part of England. Only this year nobody told it.
      We seem to have had the wettest summer on record. And it hasn’t been sunny, had trouble getting daylight most of the time and now daylight seems to be disappearing altogether!!!
      YuK! Roll on Spring. Yes, just been diagnosed with Vit.D deficiency as well and have the pills to take now.
      Maybe that will help.

      • We, too, have the dark mornings and dark evenings. Actually, they are dark late afternoons. So depressing! Good luck with the Vit. D.

        • Thank you – yes dark late afternoons just abut sums it up! Whereabouts are you? I’m guessing Eastern USA?

        • Being very thick, because just remembered you said Chicago earlier!! 🙂

          • Yes, I’m in Chicago, but rather west of the actual city. I live in a large suburb with a prairie preserve very nearby. There is abundant sun on a prairie because there are so few trees, so I get lots of sun when it’s available because that’s where I run. During the cold months, though, Chicago area is frequently overcast, even on “good” days.

          • Overcast – see that’s what I don’t like. And that’s pretty much what we get here too during the winter time. Right now in autumn, we often get beautiful crisp frosty days with bright sunshine and clear skies, but not at the moment. This year has just been wet wet wet!
            Let’s hope we both get some bright days this winter. 🙂

  5. We are so lucky – I live in South Africa. An overcast day is an event. In our rainy season we wake up to sunshine. Around 3pm the clouds start building up, a quick 4pm peak-hour traffic thunderstorm and by 5.30 the sun is shining again! I am a night owl. I HATE waking up in the morning!!

    • Yes, but I do think this night owl is turning into a dormouse. The need to hibernate is quite enormous! Wake me up in the Spring! Your rainy season sounds a lot better than ours – it seems to have rained for the whole of this year. Think this was the wettest summer on record.
      Lovely BBC forecast warm weather for this week – unfortunately they forgot to say that it would also rain all the time! And Friday, it’s supposed to be cold.
      Add in ‘Dark’ and it’s definitely dormouse season!

  6. I am the direct opposite. I LOVE gloomy, rainy and grey days. Love ’em! I accomplish so much on those days. If it’s slightly chilly… even better! I’m weird, I know. 🙂 I hope you get this resolved. Keep being you!


    • Yes, I agree, definitely weird!
      Doesn’t have to be hot, in fact I would rather it wasn’t, because then I can’t get anything done, but I do need it to be daylight. Hate the sky sitting on my head all the time.
      Just been diagnosed as VitD deficient, but I think everyone in the UK probably is after the awful summer we just had.
      And I think there’s every chance I shall never change – my dormouse tendencies at this time of year are not new – night owl that hates mornings, hates the dark ones even more!

  7. At the risk of annoying you all…I love the dark days as autumn descends. I find it cozy and conducive to writing by the fire. But I also love the long, lingering evenings of June. I blame this quirk on my Scandinavian heritage–I’d love to experience winter, with endless dark, and summer, with endless light, there some time.

  8. ahhh, you just reminded me why I have a love hate relationship with this time of year. Fall is absolutely my favorite time – blue skies (on the good days) beautiful colors and cooler days, but oh the dark and it’s getting worse for us in a week or so when the time changes. I too am not a morning person. I could not make myself wake up until around 10ish today and that was only because my mother knocked on my door and stopped in for a visit so I had to crawl out of bed. I usually feel alert in the late afternoon, early evening this time of year and am good to go for several hours. Hope you manage to get through the dark. 🙂

    • It’s a case of having to manage, isn’t it? Think there are quite a lot of us that hate the dark times of the year. I’m luckier than most because I don’t have to get up at an obscene hour and go to work.
      My computer sits here, patiently waiting for me to turn it on, which is not until the sun is safely up – assuming it is there somewhere behind the clouds!

  9. Pat – just a heads-up…there are only eleven days left until the shortest day! After that, the days begin to get longer again. Hang on in there!
    I would have told you on the more-significant 7th that there were only 2 weeks left, but I completely lost this post until today!!! Must be mid-winter blues 🙂

    • Thank you Andrew. That is great news. However this year I do not have time to even think about having winter blues. So madly busy the time is flying by.
      Also have been away, which is always good in the winter. And apart from a blast of that white messy stuff, the weather seems to have been bright and sunny – brilliant for us! 🙂
      Here’s hoping the sunshine keeps going.

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