In an effort to alleviate the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which I may or may not have, I have recently acquired a Dawn Simulator which is supposed to wake the sufferer up gradually by half an hour of increasing light (and then a beep just in case). You can use it at bedtime too, in reverse of course, going to sleep by a gradually diminishing light, at which point I suppose it becomes a sunset simulator. The object is to regularize your circadian rhythms, whatever they are. It has a rather fetching sunray effect too, extending beams across the bedroom wall in a display which reminds me of nothing so much as 1930s adverts for the healthgiving properties of Weetabix or Ovaltine.
Last night I bit the bullet and plugged it in with the intention of programming it. There was a flash of light as I did so, which I suspected wasn’t meant to happen. I then lit the touchpaper and retired while my 13 year old son, who believes me to be totally technically inept, got to grips with the manual.* After a while he threw in the towel, exclaiming, ‘It’s not working and this manual is incomprehensible’. Now it was my turn, and I very quickly ascertained from the troubleshooting section, and the simple expedient of trying another bulb (luckily we had the same type)**, that as I had suspected, the bulb had blown. After this, all was plain sailing, and I set it to light my way to sleep and wake me up gradually this morning. I don’t notice any great difference in wakefulness yet, in fact I slept really badly last night, but these things work gradually, and the coffee at the Indian restaurant last night might just have been a bad idea (normally I don’t drink coffee after noon!).
I will persevere, as well as spending a sensible amount of time (like, more than five minutes) at the light box I already had at my desk. If getting up time could be pulled back from 8.30 to 8.00 am, this would revolutionize my life.
*(Son is of course right about my technical ineptitude, but I am considerably more ept than he thinks I am.
**Well, it was also a screw in candle bulb, but didn’t have the extra factor of being a ‘neodymium bulb’, which the one supplied by the manufacturer claims to be. What is a neodymium bulb? In fact, is there such a thing as neodymium or is it something David Icke invented?