Re: Knock, Knock....Anybody home?



Trinkwasser <spam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 17:50:16 GMT, wmmckee@xxxxxxx wrote:


On 25-Aug-2006, Trinkwasser <spam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Does it tend to come on at this time of year?

Hi Trink,

I cannot say as I have noticed that my sleep habits change much with the
seasons.... I frequently just wake up after a couple of hours, or so, and
have to get up.... I just use the time to do whatever interests me. I guess
that is one way I manage to read so many books.

BTDT. Also usenet, websites, and catching up on the decent TV
programmes I recorded earlier. And with my other hand I can scan and
manipulate photographs etc. Here's one I took earlier <G>

I've always tended to have an overextended daylength, around 26 - 28
hours would suit me fine (I always believed I ended up on the wrong
planet) and as with several other things there's a cyclic seasonal
aspect on top,

The natural free running length of the human sleep-wake cycle is more
than 24 hours, because generally speaking it's easier to entrain free
running oscillators into synchrony with shorter cycles than longer
ones. If you find yourself drifting past the 24 hour cycle in your
wake-sleep cycling, then your body isn't getting enough clues to
entrain its cycle, clues such as the extremely bright light of mid-day
compared to the very dim light of night. That's largely Mr Edison's
fault. Taking a regular morning or lunchtime walk in the bright light
of outdoors can do the entraining.

I tend towards the hibernatory in winter and spring
into alertness, comparatively.

Many people do. It's a natural tendency in non-equatorial animals
which helps them adapt to the changing seasonal day lengths. You can
fight it by using *very* bright lights, kilowatts instead of the usual
wimpy domestic lighting. There's lots of commercial light boxes which
are aimed at assisting circadian rythm entrainment, but most of them
are too weak to do a good job unless you have them right in your
face. A kilowatt of tungsten-halogen has the right spectral properties
and power, and is better than almost anything sold for the specific
purpose, and far cheaper. But since you can't sell that for ten times
what it's worth with a patent and "medical approval" that remains a
"natural remedy" that's too low in profit for anyone to be bothered
marketing it.

I have been going through a period of napping after dinner, then
getting up again. Just occasionally my nap has turned into a full
night's sleep, or anyway a full night until the full bladder wakes me.

I freely admit to being biochemically weird though, I can drink coffee
and sleep like a baby.

That's a biochemical weirdness shared by enough AD(H)D sufferers (like
me) that it's sometimes taken as suggestively diagnostic. When I'm in
the right biochemical state a cup of very strong coffee will put me
quickly to sleep.

Same for sedating type antidepressants, they seem to make me sleep
worse by reducing the contrast between awake and asleep: permanent
jetlag.

Jet lag is when at your circadian rythms are out of synchrony with the
day-night cycle. There are a number of them, and some are more easily
entrained than others, so you can end up with some of them running on
different schedules to others. Depression is usually accompanied by
such circadian rythm unco-ordination, and some depressives find that
keeping their circadian ryhthms co-ordinated prevents depression.

Stimulating drugs make me both stay awake better *and* sleep
better.

You might like to try a morning or noon walk in the outdoor
brightness, and reducing the colour temperature of your late evening
lights. Don't worry, you don't have to give up coffee as well :-)

--
Chris Malcolm cam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx DoD #205
IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
[http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]

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