If you’ve heard Ellie Goulding’s hit single, “Lights” you may have caught some of the lyrics. Goulding sings, “And I’m not sleeping now, the dark is too hard to beat.” Within the song the singer unravels a story that touches on childhood memories, Biblical mythology and (of course) a nod to royalty. But what is the song actually about?

Goulding talked to 97.1 AMP/Los Angeles about her inspiration while she was writing where she admitted that she’s afraid of the dark and sleeps with a light on.

“Sometimes if I’ve had a couple of drinks and I come back and just like lie on my bed and fall asleep I wake up and realize that there isn’t a light on and I have to turn a light on,” Goulding said.

She isn’t ashamed of sharing her fears, though. “Lights” gives an insight into her childhood, making the song a “good introduction” and “good foundation,” Goulding said.

Fear of the dark is particularly common and can keep you from sleeping. CBS News reported in June 2012 that, “More than half of the college undergraduate students involved in a new study who reported not being able to sleep also were shown to have a fear of the dark, measured by blink responses to sudden noise in dark and bright surroundings. Good sleepers were able to adjust to the noises, but bad sleepers were severely affected by it.”

Goulding’s lyrics show this might be the very adjustment problem she’s having. Goulding sings, “Noises, I play within my head/Touch my own skin and hope that I’m still breathing.” Sounds like the nightmare scenario of a bad sleeper.

Her fear of the dark, linked to insomnia, may be what gets creative types like Goulding out of their beds and into writing, even in the wee hours of the morning.

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local with additional reporting by Robyn Luttrell, 97.1 AMP/Los Angeles


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