Many Alaskan residents are used to being asked the question, “Is it really 24 hours of darkness in the winter?” The short answer is yes, but only in some parts. It can definitely be a challenge to get used to the vast differences in daylight during summer and winter months.
During the summer, we can experience up to 24 hours of daylight, and in the winter 4-5 hours of daylight is the average during the darkest months. This can be a hard transition for anyone, not just new residents to our great state. So how can a person handle the Alaskan cold and darkness during the winter months?
Here are a few suggestions to keep you going during winter:
- Plan winter vacations to get some real Vitamin D, like Hawaii or Mexico. Getting out during the middle of winter can really break things up.
- Walking outside during lunch or on breaks to get fresh air and soak up any daylight, even if its only for a minute or two.
- Take a daily dose of Vitamin D capsules.
- Stay active. Indoor and outdoor activities are endless. Its easy to fall into a slump, so make sure you stay social and involved in the community.
- Set your alarm clock. With the short days, it makes it hard to get out of bed and easy to fall asleep at four in the afternoon. In the morning, wake up as soon as your alarm goes off so you’re not tempted to roll over and fall back asleep.
- Consider getting a light box to help with the darknes. Itis important to speak with a sleep disorders specialist about the type of device, the time to use it during the day, as well as the duration of use.
If you can make it through the winter months, Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and it will make it up to you with the phenomenal summers.