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From dusk till dawn and back again

With the arrival of the new season, our blogger Miss W switches up her schedule and is somewhat surprised at the results.

I’ve always considered myself a night person. When I moved to Ibiza – a place famous for attracting nocturnal creatures from all over the globe – I truly felt like I’d come home. I’d discovered a place where everything seemed to happen after the sun went down; where you could dance till dawn or work till dawn – and for a solid period there, I even managed to combine both. My life was a dusk till dawn affair for many years (with the odd sunny beach day thrown in for good measure) but what I didn’t realise for a very long time was that there was another type of lifestyle happening on the other side of the clock… enter the dawn till dusk brigade.

Of course, over the years my lifestyle eventually shifted gears enough that dusk till dawn activities became – as they are for most people – more of a weekend affair and my days were pretty routine (life as a middle aged party girl just does not appeal to me). Despite this, I have always clung to the idea of being a night person; I still stay up late reading, watching movies, talking to friends in other hemispheres, writing articles, researching travel, obsessively cleaning – you name it, I’ll start doing it as soon as the clock strikes 12 (midnight, obvs). Then, when morning rolls around as it inevitably does every single day, I have to hit the snooze button five times and drag myself out of bed to face the day.

More recently – as in the last month – there’s been an even bigger shift in my daily behaviour. You see, I’ve been working on some projects that require me to be up, dressed and out the door before the sunrise – and while in my former life, I would have just stayed awake and powered through, these days I can’t really afford to be tired, hungover, snappy or inattentive on the job. And so, I have had to forcibly adjust my sleeping schedule for the time being. The first few days were really hard – because of course, my overactive mind couldn’t fall asleep just because my head was on the pillow at 10pm. It’s just not that simple.

On that first morning – bleary eyed and clutching a highly inappropriate energy drink as I trudged up the cobbled streets of Dalt Vila in the dark, I was rewarded with a vision so magical it was well worth getting out of bed for. Sure, I’ve seen like a zillion sunrises coming home from Ibiza clubs or at an after party – but there’s something different about your energy, as you’re waking up as the sun is rising. It’s like you’re in sync with the sun – the stronger it gets, the stronger you get, and by the time she’s high in the sky you’re, well, you’re not actually high, since you’re not in a nightclub, but you’re buzzing all the same. The cobwebs you felt when you woke up have been shaken off and you see everything in vivid, living colour.

Of course, by the time 5pm arrived I was well in need of a siesta – as regular readers of this blog know, I love a good siesta on the best of days, let alone on those where you’ve been up since before the dawn. And man, was I tired. In fact, I could liken it to jet lag. My body clock was well and truly messed and and trying to auto-correct itself. So I foolishly had a nap and then wouldn’t you know it, later that night when I was trying to lullaby myself to sleep, I was wide awake as usual. And then the next morning was a replay of the one before.

And so it went on… but over the course of two weeks, my body clock started to do as it was told. The more sunrises we saw (and when I say we, I mean me and my body clock), the more we came to realise that they are every bit as magical as sunsets. It’s just that there aren’t a whole slew of bars playing Balearic beats (or full-on tech-house depending on where you choose to watch them) dedicated to them. But that’s what makes the sunrise even more special; it’s the silence that surrounds it. The breeze rustling the tree tops, the birds slowly starting to chirp, the waves lapping the shoreline – the sounds of life unfolding naturally, as it should be.

After a month of life in the dawn till dusk brigade, I found it easy to drift off to sleep at the time I allocated as my bedtime. I no longer needed to hit the snooze button five times – I was naturally waking up j-u-u-s-t before I’d set that alarm every day. And the most surprising part (for me) is – I was waking up bright eyed and raring to go. On those days where I wasn’t required on location, I’d get up early anyway and make the most of those blissful early hours at the computer, before the emails and the whatsapps and the whatnots all started pinging. I really had to wonder – had I turned into (gasp!) A MORNING PERSON?

Ultimately, time will tell. My sunrise project is now over and I’ve got the choice of returning to life as a night person, or embracing this new morning persona and seeing what comes with it. In a way, I wish I could fuse the old me with the new me to create an around the clock character who gets the benefit and beauty of the sunrise hours combined with the fun and fabulousness of the night. But I know in real life, that’s not sustainable. Well, not for long anyway. Right now, as the season has changed, there’s a chill in the air early in the morning that already has me reaching for my Ugg boots and woolly sweaters when I get out of bed. There is a very fair chance that as the temperature drops even further, the duvet will entice me to stay in bed longer. But… we will see. Watch this space.