Few people call it dark ages now, but the reference remains. I don't think medieval times were perceived as that dark, to the people who lived during that age. They must have been outside most of the time, living by natural light. Once daylight fell, few could afford man-made light sources such as candles or oil lamps. The option remaining was sleep, not too hard to welcome after all that physical labour.
The air was fresh, the waters clean, the forests full of wild game. Sure, houses went up in flames all the time, kids often died before even reaching their teens, dentistry was harsh but there must have been moments during medieval times that we can only imagine.
I keep doing that.
To help me, I'm enjoying these Yale lectures.