If you are not familiar with the condition as it is reported, Seasonal Affective Disorder is an association of crappy weather and crappy feelings.
Enter: Alice In Chains.
Not quite. But I also enjoy Soundgarden.
I have heard of Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD as it applies to house pets), and Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D to upright mammals), first hand accounts both.
Dogs eating a bathroom when an owner leaves for work.
Humans listing corresponding symptoms detailing reductions in the quality of previously satisfactory functions. Or feelings. Or metrics. These are likely instances to be reported when someone does not feel the benefit, due to the distance and disposition of the Sun.
Vitamin D supplementation and ‘D’ in foods should be addressed to your specifications.
My personal experience with a lack of direct sunlight-being outdoors, irrespective of the temperature, is that in the winter months up here in the northern hemisphere, it takes less than a week before I receive a signal that something is missing.
This year, the signal came in the form of a sleep disturbance. A signal which I had not previously known to be an issue in the winter months.
I say again: I typically do not have trouble sleeping in winter.
I have had trouble sleeping my entire life, however.
With the measures from last autumn in place to help my quality of sleep, the table turned again as I noticed an interruption in nightly sleep which I can most directly associate with the absence of direct sunlight.
In order to draw that association, I was sure to observe several known contributors to sleep disturbance over the same period.
-My stimulant intake has been in check for over 18 months now (Copenhagen snuff, coffee, diet Coke)
-My room was warm and the blackout curtain sat in a tight seal around my only bedroom window
-I had exercised & logged, and practiced other stress resolution techniques regularly in the recent weeks
All checks in the box made, I looked at the hours I had been keeping and realized I was up 75 minutes before the sun and in some cases awake four hours past it’s departure.
Also, long days with no UV exposure or vitamin D3 supplementation.
I have kept away from milk for years, and use as little cheese/yogurt as possible. I prefer to limit my supplement intake to only 1 substance ingested per ‘cycle’. That is to say: right now L-glutamine capsules are testing well and I am not taking anything else. Dairy products and D3 supplementation have thier place with people, but it is not me, here this phase.
So, to take a proactive swipe at future degredation in productivity, I went into a tanning booth.
Yes, me and my $$$$$$ tattoo collection.
SPF 70? Check, but possibly a futile check in a bad box to start with.
Electronic dance music from Europe for the 4-6-8-9 minute sessions? Check.
I had to swing the pendulum the other way, and this was the angle I took.
Yes, I slept better. Yes, I got tan. I am not ashamed. It was free, and as far as I know it helped me. I wanted to be better.
Why was it important that I sleep better?
Recently I came to this conclusion: if anything messes with my quality or quantities of sleep, it is my responsibility to aim for a prompt resolution in order to preempt the future damage to the remaining elements of my life. These are
Sh*tty sleep makes no one a better person more than one night a week. Heck, after regular dalliances, go ahead and try to stay sharp and effective. After a few nights of disrupted practices, I’m ready to go ape on people.
Out & about all weekend, soon to watch your Monday melt into a stew of capsized priorities and chronology.
Well, that would be me, anyway.
I was taught in the military that you can not train yourself to receive less sleep and be as effective a mammal as homeostasis would indicate.
As a means of continuing to make noteworthy progress in easily tallied forms like running, lifting, as well as fat reduction and even sales made at work, I address sleep as though it is the bedrock for my ‘how’.
My ‘how’ of course, is the desired state of low-drag high efficiency. What I want out of my education with frankie Faires, Adam Glass, as well as Mike T. Nelson, is to be better in all forms. Exercise is just something I do. I have other responsibilities to myself, and have ignored them long enough. Sleep is key.
My quality of life, when increased, can Alley-oop the ‘whats’ in my life for a slam dunk.
Good sleep could mean faster physical recovery from awkward bending and reaching while cleaning the fitness center I work in.
Falling asleep faster could mean that i’ve made a real psychosomatic issue, which has been with me as long as I can remember, fade just a bit.
Here are measures I have taken, and will take further, in testing the associations and actions toward increased sleep quality & duration.
Yin & Yang. Light and dark. Waking and sleep can be the passing from one unto the other.
Daylight, lights, warmth, etc.
Blackened room, warmth, dogs in bed with me or in their beds, etc.
Day-Glo Nike wear. Super ignorant colors and sweatshirts that, when worn on another person, would make me want to knock them out.
Training/moving early. Even a stretch and a dog walk before the 530AM train, with varying degrees of frequency, intensity, and duration, can help align me towards the end of the day.
Speaking of early. . .yeah, being up early helps.
Special thank you and shout out to my client of ten years, Dr. Benson, who with her husband have been my true friends since we met. We have known punk rock shows and dogs and drinks together. To many more, L’chaim!
Am I allowed to pose that toast?
Dr. Benson likes to train at 6AM every day she can. 730AM on weekends. With Peet’s coffee on hand she is ready for every training session and never cancels or reschedules. Beyond that, her preference of morning training sessions has helped me retain the course towards synthesis.
Best in wear,