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SAD light: help me troubleshoot?

(7 Posts)
trainedopossum Wed 18-Oct-17 14:44:32

I'm using it quite close to my face and for longer than I used to (currently at least an hour) but I don't seem to be getting anywhere with it.

Would it help to try new bulbs or use it at a different time of the day?

My main problem is that it feels like my body and/or brain don't know whether it's night or day, so I feel tired all day and wide awake at night. It seems like no matter how tired I am (like the day I did a Pilates class, walked the dogs, went for another 1hr walk in the evening etc all on very little sleep the night before) I still struggle to turn off at night.

I walk for an hour every evening around 5:30 and will try to add a second walk earlier while it's brighter out. Limiting caffeine to early in the day (none after 3), limiting alcohol etc. Grateful for any suggestions on how to improve this situation. Am having a little panic at the thought of months of this.

Glovebug Wed 18-Oct-17 14:47:14

What time of day are you using the light?

AppalachianWalzing Wed 18-Oct-17 14:55:25

What brand of light do you use? How long have you been feeling down?

I had a cheapish SAD light years ago (a dawn simulator) and it did nothing. Years later I invested in a Philips blu light which was totally different.

I would try and cut out caffeine entirely, it can get to a point where that's the only way to reset yourself.

Use light clock for thirty min every morning, try and exercise and give it ten days?

trainedopossum Wed 18-Oct-17 15:18:29

Thanks for replies. smile

Using the light for about an hour after waking (so while I have breakfast, check my email etc). It's a Beurer TL60 (10k lux).

I don't feel down exactly, just suddenly finding it hard to wake in the morning and increasingly hard to shut off at night as though my body wants to make my days later and later. Also carb craving out of nowhere. I've reduced carbs painlessly over the last year (not low carb, eating bread/pasta/potatoes occasionally), don't even notice it anymore, then bam I wanted pasta and bread every day. These are my main symptoms every year. I'd say it has been about two or three weeks since I noticed it.

Isn't a light clock less effective than a SAD light? Or is it just that they work differently? I don't have the link in front of me but I read recently that a dawn simulator is good for waking for some people but that it doesn't treat the same issues as a SAD light (which needs to be used during waking hours).

Re caffeine, I am already limiting myself to four cups of tea a day. Not sure how I would manage on nothing <runs screaming loses will to live> but I could try to keep it to two before 12, for a start anyway. I can't believe that would affect sleep 12hrs later - ?

Thanks again.

AppalachianWalzing Wed 18-Oct-17 17:55:20

Well, my husband ended up totally messing up his sleep cycles a few years ago. He cut back on caffeine, which didn't do much. He cut it out completely and it helped.

The carb cravings definitely happened to me. Also a v low mood and lethargy. And yes, the light box is the best I think. At the moment I'm on a fairly even keel, and it's mostly keeping caffeine limited, light box in the morning, and a walk to and from work of about 30 min each way. At the moment, neither of those take place in darkness- I'm anticipating I may need to up he light clock once that changes.

trainedopossum Wed 18-Oct-17 23:30:34

AppalachianWalzing interesting re caffeine. Years ago I accidentally detoxed myself drinking decaf tea that was labelled so subtly I hadn't noticed it (though it didn't taste nice and wondered if I was getting a sinus infection or something). The second day without caffeine I had a splitting headache unrelieved by painkillers and couldn't keep my eyes open. I had a four hour nap in the middle of the afternoon. hmm

So I wouldn't be looking forward to that exactly, but I understand you can do it more gently by drinking green tea. smile

It might be worth a try. I will persevere with the light box and afternoon walks.

trainedopossum Wed 18-Oct-17 23:32:31

Arrggh carb cravings. Pasta is like a mood-altering drug to me right now.

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