Particulalry short wavelengths (such a UV light) have been shown to suppress melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. The authors also show that:
All subjects had an elevated cortisol level in the 90 minutes prior to
onset of light exposure compared with the corresponding clock time on
the previous day
So there's a kind daily memory in the diurnal system. In the case of cortisol, 555 nm (green light) affected hormone levels just as much as UV.
However, if you take people out of the sun cycles, they still maintain very close to the same cycle for some time. Michel Siffre is known for his six-month cave stay (he even kept his rectal temperature). Wiki says after a month, his cycles started to vary from 18-52 hr "days", but I've never seen that data so I can't comment. Lack of sunlight can cause mental instability, so you'd really need more controlled experiments than Siffre provided (I'm sure they're around if one digs, Siffre's work is decades old now).
Biological clocks are dominantly regulated by genetic and proteomic processes, but will take cues from the sun. However, many people can suffer a mental disorders (Seasonal Affective Disorder) from not having enough sun. In Alaska, you can buy a light to treat it during the dark winters. So the sun doesn't need to be there for the rhythm to be there, but the light can mess with the rhythm if it is there..
Other then light intensity and frequency content, sights and sounds probably don't matter much (unless of course, they're loud and wake you up, ruining your sleep schedule). What's probably most important is to have a consistent schedule and not let it get interrupted. Jet lag, interrupted sleep, drugs, alcohol, inconsistent sleeping schedules can all make waking uncomfortable.
It does vary between people. They can have a different genetic regime, but they can also have a different developmental behavior regime and/or a different environmental reigme.
 Steven W. Lockley, PhD1,2; Erin E. Evans, BS, RPSGT1; Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD1,2; George C. Brainard, PhD3; Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD1,2; Daniel Aeschbach,
PhD. Short-Wavelength Sensitivity for the Direct Effects of Light on Alertness, Vigilance, and the Waking Electroencephalogram in Humans. SLEEP, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2006