This is the first time I'm working through winter having left the irregular student schedule behind. I finally get just how strange it is to be leaving work when it is already dark. Stepping out at six to seven in the evening and finding that it is night time is very strange and a little disconcerting.
I'm fortunate enough to work in a bright office with plenty of windows and it is still light when I walk in to work at eight. As such, I haven't had the experience, that I've heard some people describe, of going the entire day without seeing natural light.
I'm fortunate in another way. I'm not much of a mornings person but at the end of last week I bought this:
It's brilliant. Slowly lights up over half an hour and then wakes you up with a gentle sound at the end.
I bought it on Friday and it has now been 'road'-tested. First, how good is it at waking you up?
So far I've used it for three work days. For one I was very tired and it got me out of bed quickly and into work without too much grouchiness. Today I was a bit tired but basically fine and I got up easily. Yesterday I was very rested and I almost bounded to work. It really does make getting up in the morning much easier.
Second, are you sharper on waking up?
I had the alarm wake me up on Saturday morning to do an interview at 8am on slopping out in Scottish prisons with Talk 107. A relatively challenging radio interview if you want to do it well without sounding simple or unpleasant and risky when you've just woken up. It went really well. I didn't have any morning grogginess and was on top form.
It's pretty expensive but this is an unflashy but genuinely useful gadget. I'd highly recommend it.