xvi. Treatment28 November 2005 at 23:35 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 13 Comments
Tags: 36-hour trick, Doctors, Light box, Light therapy, Melatonin, Sleep diary, Treatment
It sounds so simple. Take no naps. Take melatonin at about 9 p.m. To bed after 10. Sleep soundly until about 7. Turn on the light box, which stands on a shelf above the monitor, and do e-mail and stuff for almost an hour with 10000 lux entering the eyes at the slight angle from above.
Keep a sleep diary showing exact sleep times (including the occasional nap). Analyze it together with the sleep specialist every 5th week. Hear him say “You’re doing well,” even when that seems to be more than slightly exaggerated.
Never mind the occasional 36-hour trick. Many patients never do stop staying up all night and all the next day now and then. Seems to be a necessary adjustment, not just an old habit.
Melatonin does make one sleepy. Morning bright light does, apparently, shift the body temperature minimum earlier, so that it is not difficult to awaken at about 7.
So it is that simple, when it works.
The doctor does admit (reluctantly, I think) that some patients never do adjust to this regimen. I understand that. My body knows that it is being fooled. Appetite (and who knows what else) has not shifted. I’ve lost the creative, productive hours of 1-4 a.m., and they haven’t popped up anywhere else.
Conclusion after a year: it is possible, but no more. Might it have been satisfactory, if tried at a much younger age? I do suspect that it might have been…