Have you ever lived in a place where there is constantly light pouring in through your windows at all hours of the day? And even though the sun sets at 4:30pm and the world is dark until 8:30am, you wake up every morning, after 8 or more hours of sleep, and STILL feel tired?

Welcome to our world!

Moving to the city is usually accompanied by many changes and getting used to the strange waking hours of your neighbors is one of them…especially when they leave glaringly bright lights on all through the night with what seems to be no function whatsoever since they never actually seem to be present in those rooms of the apartment. perhaps they’re just making sure the local power companies stay in business — who knows.

At any rate, it was bright as day in our bedroom ever night when we went to bed, not to mention that our neighbors could watch us through their windows like we’re stars in their own strange little movie. Or hamsters in a cage.

During one of our trips to IKEA a few months ago, we bought some drapes for our bedroom and the living room. And when we took a trip back to the farm shortly thereafter, we also brought back all the drapes we’d had in the house there (since they were the same as those we’d bought for the living room and we figured we might find a use for them at the apartment. But because our ceilings here are so high, we expected to call a handyman to come put them up as we did last time. Unfortunately, we had since then lost the guy’s phone number and just weren’t getting anywhere with finding someone new.

Until this past weekend when Stefan had finally had enough.

On Thursday, he came home and put up the new curtains we’d bought. And I have to admit, they looked even better than we’d expected they would.


In fact, with the chairs and lamp we have over there…it makes the room look not only finished, but actually fairly romantic as well. Hehe. 😉

But once Stefan, who really has suffered the most with their being no drapes since he sleeps facing the windows, got a little taste of what a slightly darkened room meant for his sleep patterns — he wanted MORE! So we hauled out the white curtains we’d had at the farm and went to hang them up — only to realize that we didn’t have the right length of rods anymore. In other words…a dreaded trip to IKEA.

Now there are many things I love about IKEA, but visiting it on a weekend is not one of them. And apparently, now that vacation is officially over here, everyone in Berlin decided to go to IKEA on Saturday. And I mean EVERYONE. I have never seen an IKEA store that full before. Mackenzie was really looking forward to going so she could play in the ball pit in the kids area (who doesn’t love free child care, right?) but it was just not going to happen . There were at least 20 kids and their parents waiting to get in there as well…so she was forced to become one of the wandering zombie IKEA shoppers with us, flowing down the lazy river that IKEA has created so that you pass through every possible department that they have and hit every impulse buy know to man!

At any rate, by some miracle, we actually managed to buy exactly what we needed (plus one stuffed horse which was half price as a consolation prize for Mack) and left the store after paying only €14.86. We used one of their quick check out counters where you ring everything up yourself and I swear I thought it was broken. Or that someone would jump out of the corner and make us buy something more so we left with no less than €30 worth of items…but no. It was all good and we left the store happy and satisfied.

Then promptly returned home to install the second set of curtains and admire Stefan’s handy work.

When you’re far away, you barely notice that there are two sets of curtains. And in fact, the white ones blend perfectly with the color of the windows. So although we were considering getting gray curtains like Mack has in her room, I think we’ll just stick with these that we already have.


Naturally, I’m thrilled that 4 more curtain panels which were sitting on our couch have a home and look awesome in it. And our bedroom is officially pitch black at night when you’re not by the windows, which totally rocks. Seriously, if you get out of bed at night, you have to grab a phone as a flashlight because it’s just so dark in their otherwise.

Next on the list of improving sleeping conditions may be some sort of light on a timer that will come on when the alarm sounds at 6:15am. But I have to admit that after getting nearly 8 hours of sleep in a completely darkened room for the last few nights, it’s gotten easier and easier to get up in the morning. And actually, sometimes we both wake up a minute or two before the alarm goes off, feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. I can’t even remember the last time I got up at that time of day and felt ready to get out of bed. Not to mention the fact that you get a TON of stuff done when you are up at 6:15 and go to bed at 10:30. Sure we feel like old foagies some times…but on the other hand, being this productive is worth it!

Do you have a great sleeping oasis? What are your favorite qualities about it? Or are you struggling with your sleep?