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filling the void

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Delayed Circadian Rythm

I "suffer" from a condition known as DCR, or Delayed Circadian Rhythm. What this means is that I have a slower than average (24h) circadian rhythm. In practise, this means that I have trouble getting up in the morning (like most people in my profession), and I prefer staying up at night, which is also when I have the most energy (yet again like most people in my profession).

I'm not entirely sure I'm really suffering from this though. I mean I know getting up in the morning can be a bitch, but I've always attributed it to the fact that going to sleep at 4 am doesn't give you the necessary 8 hours to get up at 6 or 8 or whenever.
Suffering or not, there is a cure. There are several companies that make these devices, but I took some circadian rhythm test at http://www.apollolight.com, which seemed sincere enough. They gave me a tailored answer that seemed to be in line with the data I filled in to their form.
Apparently you can either take time-release melatonin capsules just before you go to bed, or you can purchase a lamp or light box (they strongly advice to get their brand, of course) that you would use on a schedule every morning to get your circadian rhythm back on track.
I have heard that these lamps can do wonders for you, and I'd love to have them permanently installed in my fixtures, but according to people in the know, that'll only exacerbate the problem, which in this case I guess would mean that you stay awake all the time.

I do know this, living in countries with long winters and few sun hours per day (if there is ever sun, rather than just a white-grey cover of clouds) makes Markus a dull boy. The virtue of being a student (there aren't that many virtues, trust me) is that you rarely have to get up particularly early in the day.
I don't mind the late nights though, and the early mornings I can live with. The biggest problem is that I feel sad and depressed during the day. I'd really like to get rid of that particular annoyance in my life, and then I could happily live with the rest.

EDITED TO ADD: I check Seasonal Affective Disorder up on wikipedia, and BAM!, it says that Swedes are common sufferers. Almost 20% of the population, apparently. The only two regions of the world mentioned are the US and Scandinavia. Very telling about my part of the world at least.

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2 Comments:

  • Apparently, i am the biggest victim of this thing. However, I always linked such behaviour to my desire to prolong a day as much as possible. So, since I go to bed every time a bit later than I am actually ready for bed/tired, I shift my sleep schedule time ahead.
    On another hand, I always felt TERRIBLE getting up at 7-8 even if I went to bed at 22-23. So, probably it's not just a habit :)

    Pasha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 24, 2007 at 8:32:00 PM GMT+2  

  • btw, i have the same score - d49

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 24, 2007 at 8:38:00 PM GMT+2  

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