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>Interesting. So if I stay indoors, curtains closed, my circadian rhythm won't be reset (going into day mode) as much effective as getting good sunlight or light therapy right after I wake up?
Yea. You'd essentially be in the same boat as night shift workers and all the health problems they deal with.
I've used one in the past when my schedule didn't permit me to always get sunlight at the right times. My device, which was one of the cheaper units on amazon, bit the dust a while ago. So right now I'm just making a point of getting direct sunlight in the morning everyday.
SAD devices are definitely worth it if you aren't getting sunlight in the morning regularly.
The two things that have improved my sleep issues the most are giving up caffeine and using a light box.
Caffeine never kept me up at night, so I resisted giving it up for years. But when I finally gave it up for a month as an experiment I found I needed less sleep, and it was so much easier to wake up in the mornings.
The light box is a new addition, but it's been amazing. The trick for me is to use it as soon as I wake up for about thirty minutes. It helps me wake up in the morning, but most importantly I find it so much easier to fall asleep at a reasonable time. I didn't expect that, so it was a pleasant discovery.
I have separate tips for day sleepers, all of which I do myself. But since your wife has been doing it for a long time, they may not be new to you. I'll still tell you what they are.
Make sure everyone in the house respects that she's on the third shift. No waking her up to get her to do something or talk to her
Use blackout curtains and turn off the doorbell
No caffeine after lunch time
Don't switch back to first shift on your day off. General rule of thumb, don't swing more than 5 hours off your normal schedule. When I worked first and my husband worked third, he would sleep 8am-4pm working days and 5am - 1pm on days off to spend time with me. Swinging is the single worst thing she could do to her sleep.
Try taking melatonin before bed, and using a light box when first getting up. This can trick your circadian rhythm. I have this one and I really like it. Just make sure you aren't in the room when she uses it, or it'll ruin your sleep.
Put the phone on do not disturb
Otherwise, THC is actually not a good sleep aid. It will mess with your sleep. If she still has trouble, it would be considered shift work disorder and a sleep doctor may put her on trazadone or something, or do a sleep study to make sure it isn't apnea. Shift work gets harder as you get older, but sleep apnea gets more common too, especially if she has gained any weight.
The only thing you really need is to make sure the lamp is 10,000 lux. One like this one should work fine too, no need to spend $300.
Here is my current happy light.
Talk to your dr about the right vitamin D level- this is something that will show up in a routine physical blood test. I was deficient in vitamin D and I take 5,000units a day.
This: [link] is the sun lamp I have. It's small, so can easily be transported back and forth to your job.
Just doing what you do, for a half hour in the morning, with it on the highest intensity, really helps with energy levels.
This is the new and improved model. I got the original one 15 years ago for a (requested) birthday present. I was traveling a lot for my job, and I could throw it in my suitcase and use it in the hotel room before I had to go spend the day teaching home healthcare nurses how to do charting on a laptop.
And yeah, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who voluntarily looks insane at night!
I found a pair of <strong>these</strong> Lightphoria lamps on eBay for just $20.
Seems like the best option by far, and it looks like you can still find them popping up for around that price every week. They’re lightweight (to the point that people complain about them falling over if they plug them in too far way), smaller, come with a travel case, and even let you choose between 5000, 8000, and 10000 Lux.
Its possible that the lack of exposure to sunlight in winter is affecting your circadian rhythm. Consider getting a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp and try 1 hr exposure each day in the morning. If nothing else, it'll probably improve your mood.
Here's an example of what I mean (no affiliation)
It is a lamp for seasonal depression. I actually get SAD so that's why I use the lamp. I also live between two mountain ranges, so we naturally get about an hour less of sunlight here anyway. D:
Here's the lamp I have: [link]
Second year teacher here:
I recently started using one of those sun lamp thingies.... Not the ones for tanning, but the ones that simulate sunlight. It's most commonly used for Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD), but I had a bit of the blues so I tried one out and it's good for SAD because it helps with balancing/fixing (or whatever) your circadian rhythm (I think that's what it's called). If you use it for like 30 minutes when you get home from work, it'll give you some more energy to stay up later.
I have gotten SUPER tired/antisocial this time of year for the last 3 years now (student teaching did it to me, too), so I figured it was a seasonal thing, which is why I tried the lamp. I've been using it for about a week now and it's wonderful :)
Hey bud, normally I'd have a ton of exercise tips, but it sounds like you already know what works and just have to find the time. If you need more time, try working out from home. An adjustable dumbbell set and a bench are really all you need, heck you could make due with just a pull up bar and your body weight, as well. Let me know if you want advice finding exercise alternatives you can do at home.
You mentioned you might be suffering from SAD as well (less daylight in the winter worsening mood). I do too, and something that I recently found actually, honestly works is a sun lamp. Every morning I wake up and spend 30 minutes in front of this little thing reading/doing computer work/stretching my hamstrings/meditating. It's just critical that your face is 1-1.5 feet from the light, but you shouldn't look directly into it. Here's the one I got for $60. It helps me feel more awake all day, and GREATLY reduces the frequency of days where I feel deeply depressed. It doesn't make me feel like I'm magically the happiest person on earth, but it helps me feel normal instead of having that weird cloud of anhedonia over my head in the winter. My doc prescribed it, and I'm so glad she did!
Something like this? [link]
I think you leave it on as much as possible to treat SAD. It's a bit expensive but if you can set it up on a timer it might work great as a wake-up light too.
Consider getting a SAD light. You may missing out on some serotonin.
As for drinking - I wish you the best of luck. If it makes you feel better, I've never consumed alcohol. It's easier when your friends don't drink. Otherwise, a lot of social events revolve around alcohol.
I have not tried light therapy but I do want to. The only thing that has prevented me is the cost. I don't want to spend $100 and find out that it is another useless gadget for me. I also work in a windowless office and my doctor checked my vitamin D levels and found they were low. I found this one on Amazon which is cheaper and gets good reviews: [link]
For getting out of bed:
Buy one of these guys and attach it to one of those cheap timers and have it turn on 15-30 minutes before your alarm clock is supposed to turn on.
I think Costco also sells a light therapy thing in the states but it's about the same price and half as powerful.
I have this one https://www.amazon.com/Sphere-Gadget-Technologies-Lightphoria-Energy/dp/B004JF3G08/ref=zg_bs_13053141_12?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZNA1EJ79ETGXPWSNY466
There are a ton of them on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Health-Personal-Care-Light-Therapy-Products/zgbs/hpc/13053141
Lots of difference price ranges. Basically, it mimics sunlight and kind of tricks your brain into thinking you're looking at the sun. I like to put it on the corner of my desk while I work. It looks like a sunny window out of the corner of my eye.
I love my happy light. This is a light for Seasonal Affective Disorder but I find it helps me in general. When I feel rough I sit in front of it and it starts to help right away. At least one study has shown that light therapy is effective for PMDD!
It says that model isn’t available anymore. I have one at my house and one at my job.
This is what I have - the Verilux brand is good too and well reviewed!
Light boxes have a HUGE range of price variability and quality, but thankfully there is no need to purchase an industrial box for $$$$$ to get the maximum benefit. It can be hard to know what to pick and there are many good, inexpensive ones on the market. This one is what I have used for a couple of years and like it. 10,000 lux is what I look for in a light box. I also use my light box for a lot longer than 20-40 mins in the am in the depth of winter.
The treatment for SAD may be effective with just a light box, but more interventions may be needed. Other interventions that are important to consider with SAD include (and are low cost/free):
Many people do take anti-depressants to treat their SAD and that can help.
If you live with others, please discuss your SAD and the interventions that work best for you. There are NEVER (unless it is a major holiday and only for that day) sweets, pastries, candies, cookies, chocolates in our house because that is something that I need to not fall into the simple carb trap. Regardless if you live alone or with others, think about what you can do in your environment to support your interventions. For example, I have a happy light on the wall beside the vanity mirror so I can get the extra time with the light in the am while I'm getting ready. I have a light by my computer monitor that I have on during the am. All my devices have f.lux on them.
While a diagnosis can point the way to a helpful intervention, they are not the intervention. There are some big overlaps with SAD interventions and treatment for depression. If you already have some familiarity with those, that will help. Like any treatment/intervention the key is consistency. And, like most other simple things, it is very, very, very difficult to do.
I hope some of this was helpful, and hope that you find what works for you. Good luck!\
edit: formatting errors
JFC, I'm so sorry to hear about this.
You said you got your hormones checked--do you mean your thyroid levels at an Endocrinologist? I suddenly got worse this year, and I found out that I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (autoimmune of the thyroid). Sometimes they just test your surface TSH levels, but with Hashi's, it fluctuates (thyroid stops working well, then tries again to work etc.) So you have to test the "antibodies". Give it a go, if you haven't.
I've been through several birth controls in my life, but there was also one instance where I became SEVERELY fatigued on it. Like ridiculously fatigued like you've mentioned. I'd never had that kind of fatigue happen before, so my brain is always like, "did I get lupus?" or something.
But turns out, once I stopped the birth control, I was better. That one messed up my energy.
I second the light therapy box if you're stuck indoors. I have this one and it's great. There are cheaper ones too.
Also vitamin D! Seriously! If you aren't getting enough sunlight, your fatigue will get worse if you are vitamin D/and calcium deficient. Also your b12 levels/iron levels, if they are low can contribute to fatigue. (Low iron specifically, can make you anemic--but you have to watch this vitamin, because too much IS very harmful.)
Have you got your vitamin levels checked?
I live in Japan, and I'm thinking about applying for some caregiver help--but unfortunately, I've been out of the States for so long, I don't know how it works. But I do know such programs MUST exist for people with disabilities.
It looks like someone underneath me (mynipsareonfire) knows a little bit about it. Please take all of their advice.
I think of course, even though you don't want your grandparents to be your caretakers, you can ask them, just for this--to help you fill out the forms for the people to come to your house and judge your disability and talk to you about it. Do be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You can tell them this will get you back up on your feet a little.
Anyway healing vibes and energy to you. I don't have a lot myself, but I wish I could give some to you.
I have a cheaper one and it works fine: [link]
My doctor said it should be 10,000 lux.
And yes, Vitamin D is also essential.
You should be taking a Vit. D supplement here. I take 5000 iu in the winter because I prone to low D levels. I also have this SAD light: [link]
I think I may have used the wrong term- I meant one of these.
Not sure if it has a timer/alarm on it, but there are products such as this one that mimick sunlight and could be of use.
This one appears to be one of the best. http://smile.amazon.com/Lightphoria-000LUX-Energy-Light-Lamp/dp/B004JF3G08/
seasonal affective disorder?
My doctor recommended light therapy and it has made a huge difference for me in motivation.
This is the one I bought:
To add to this. There are bright LED lamps that are used in the mornings to combat seasonal affective disorder. They are in expensive and I bet you could squash your poor mood by having that lamp on for 15 min in the morning before you put your contacts in for the day.
I found an amazon linkto the one I use.
But there are others for $30
I moved from a hot, sunny country a long time ago and winters still get to me.
I ended up getting one of these. It helps. [link]
Too bad this isn't a thing.