Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) seems to be what everyone’s talking about recently, along with all of its side effects and symptoms. For some of those side effects, a dawn simulator alarm clock might be the perfect solution.
Your body clock keeps its rhythm, stays consistent, when it gets the quantity and quality of light it needs. In autumn and winter, as it gets darker outside, your body needs more of that light. The first tool to address these effects of SAD was called a “light box.” Since it was developed, there have been many technological advances that now include a wide variety of light therapy devices and treatments patients can use to improve their quality of life during those SAD months.
The newest innovation in light therapy for SAD sufferers is the dawn simulator alarm clock. This alarm clock simulates the sunrise that you’re missing in the autumn and winter months. Customers who’ve used the dawn simulator alarm clock love it.
It just works.
The dawn simulator alarm clock can also be a boon to another under-served segment of the population: shift workers. One really quick way to shake up your natural body clock is by taking a night shift or swing shift job. In less than a week, you can feel the negative effects of an irregular sleep schedule.
1. You never seem to be able to catch up on your sleep – you feel so tired, sometimes, you resent even having to get up.
2. Even after you’ve gotten out of bed, you’re so exhausted it feels like your arms and legs are dragging the ground instead of holding you up.
3. You crave more sweets and carbs, comfort foods, many of which release those “feel good” chemicals in your body-chocolate for instance is said to simulate or excite the body to release the chemical that mimics the way that you feel when you’re in love. (If that isn’t a mood booster I don’t know what is.)
4. You go into “hibernation mode” wherein you move through your day mostly asleep ~ eyes open, but operating on autopilot, working your shift through body memory only because your brain is still mostly asleep.
5. You have a new-found ability to shower and sleep at the same time, as long as you don’t lose your balance or run out of hot water.
Shift workers are often blue collar workers in manufacturing and service positions, and that’s bad enough. But what about all the emergency and health care professionals that have to work long or irregular shifts? ER doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. All of these people are also susceptible to what has recently been diagnosed as Shift Workers Disorder (SWD), a disorder caused by sleep deprivation due to irregular or daytime sleeping habits. SWD’s effects include:
1. Reduced ability to make decisions quickly, etc. 2. Increased incidence of losing focus, getting distracted. 3. Decrease in short term memory. 4. Feeling sad, hopeless or anxious. 5. Lowered resistance to illnesses.
Unfortunately, most of the advice doctors give, other than finding a job with regular daytime hours, deals with components of the problem over which most people with SWD have no control. For instance, one article starts a list of coping strategies with this:
Try not to work more than a few night shifts in a row.
Go figure. And that’s just one gem among many just like it. Guess what would be a better solution.
How about something like this: create a routine wherein you sleep in a darkened room and use a dawn simulator alarm clock to wake you up? Then, regardless of what part of the day you sleep, your sleep pattern would always be the same.
The dawn simulator alarm clock may actually, if used regularly, help to re-establish your body’s circadian rhythm, making the hours of sleep you get more restful and effective.