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St Petersburg, Daylight hours and SAD

 
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j3ssm3ss



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: St Petersburg, Daylight hours and SAD Reply with quote

Me and my boyfriend are currently looking into jobs in St Petersburg starting in October (one of several possible destinations). Having lived in Japan the last 2.5 years I'm no longer used to the dark winter evenings and getting up in the dark for work. I suffered from SAD back in the UK and noticed it wasn't an issue at all in Japan where it gets dark around 6pm all year round.

St P really intrigues me, it sounds like a beautiful and interesting place to live, my only concern is the potential for SAD. What are peoples impressions of living there through the long dark winters?
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expatella_girl



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 218
Location: somewhere out there

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew quite a few foreigners in Moscow who used those SAD lamps and said they were pleased with the results. I never tried one.

The good news is, even though days are short and dark in Russian winters, there is so much to do at night. Concerts and theatre and ballet and cafes and music, many of the Russian arts really come alive in the winter. So being out and about in the evenings is very good fun.

And the snow. It actually brightens up the landscape. The beautiful sparkly snow (ok, that's before the street cleaners shovel it into piles of dirty brown muck)--the snow in the streetlights, in the parks, reflecting pink and blue, can really be beautiful.

[where I live now it rains all winter and I hate it. I'd much rather have snow]

There are winter outdoor things to do. Ice skating is very popular and there are zillions of outdoor skating rinks. Cheap and fun. Many people do cross country type skiing.

The best thing you can do for yourself in Russian winter, even on the overcast days, is to be sure to be outside as many daylight hours as possible. This really helps reduce the feeling that it's always dark.

Really the darkest depths of Russian winter are only about 6 weeks long, and then by mid January the days do start becoming noticeably longer. In Moscow you gain 5 minutes of daylight every day after the winter solstice.
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j3ssm3ss



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for this!! It really confirms my expectations.I love snowy winters, i hate the rain in the uk. Are the days ever bright and clear when the sun does come? It does sound a wonderful place to be.

The info gave was for Moscow, St P is quite substantially further North though so the darkness (and light) wil be more extreme. Anyone out there living/has lived in St P who could add?
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White ice



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the old BBC weather website, Moscow averages 0 hours of sun in December and 1 hour per day in January.

http://web.archive.org/web/20080922003807/http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT004430

Is this really the case?

Find it hard to believe it is this overcast.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9330
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I am reading the stats incorrectly, but the info doesn't reflect conditions here in Moscow. It is quite dull in the winter months, but there's always daylight.
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White ice



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Perhaps I am reading the stats incorrectly, but the info doesn't reflect conditions here in Moscow. It is quite dull in the winter months, but there's always daylight.


i believe it is referring to hours of sunny weather rather than hours of light.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 9330
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha. That would make more sense. Still, while it is dull and overcast in the winter generally, I wouldn't say that December is always without sunny days. The days are short, certainly, but sometimes they can be fine. Maybe this is different averaged over the last 50 years, however...
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