Sometime shortly after dawn this morning (about 4:25 a.m.), I had to break out the sleep mask for the first time this year.
This may be a new record in terms of a late start of the Swedish sleepless season for me. I'd like to think it was because (as promised by the locals shortly after I moved here) I'm finally getting used to the extended summer daylight. But I suspect it's probably more to due with the fact that I've been on vacation for most of the last two weeks, and have thus been able to stay up later at night and stay in bed longer in the morning.
But that party is over now, and the alarm is once again going off at 6:15 a.m., which would be completely reasonable if there was any chance in hell that I was actually sleeping between midnight at 6. The new darker walls in our bedroom (AKA The Batcave) are definitely helping…but Malmö now has visible daylight until almost 11 p.m., and it still takes a couple of hours after the sun sets for my body to wind down enough to actually go to sleep.
So basically, on a good night, I'm asleep by 1 a.m. But less than three hours later, the sun is on it's way back up and by 4:30 it's bright enough to wake me. So out comes the sleep mask…which just isn't comfortable enough to wear all night. And once I've woken up enough to actually get it on my head the right way, I rarely fall back into a good sleep…even though the clock radio isn't going to go off for another couple hours. Aaaargh!
Of course this doesn't even begin to touch upon the whole temperature issue…which is another critical factor for decent sleep. The thermometer has climbed into the low to mid-80's for three consecutive days now, which is really HOT by Swedish standards. And given that The Penthouse-Nordic is on the top floor of a six-story building…its easily five or six degrees warmer inside than it is outside.
But here's the real kicker…in addition to being unusually warm right now, there's NO WIND. That's the one thing you can (nearly) always count on in Malmö (and Landskrona where my office is located)…a good stiff breeze to make it feel cooler than it actually is. Seriously, windchill is a factor year round here. But yesterday was dead calm and today isn't much better.
Maybe I'll be able to con Dr. Darling into going for a swim tonight? Because I think my only hope of getting a decent night's rest may be to exhaust myself before going to bed.
Or drinking heavily.