Coming back from my trip through Asia, I thought that I was merely suffering the effects of jet lag. I had some rather erratic sleeping patterns in the first couple of days back, not falling asleep until the wee hours in the morning and then not waking up until it was almost time for dinner. I knew this couldn’t possibly be good for me, so I did my best to get back to a regular sleep-wake schedule.

Now that I’ve been back for a little while, I still find myself to be a touch on the sluggish side, having a particularly difficult time waking up in the morning. It’s not like I’m lacking in sleep either, because although I don’t drift off until 1 or 2 in the morning, I don’t (normally) wake up until 10 a.m. anyways. That’s a solid eight or nine hours, so I shouldn’t feel as tired as I do. I don’t partake in particularly strenuous physical activity either, so that can’t be it. I’m starting to think (again) that I may have a minor case of seasonal affective disorder.

I’m not feeling depressed, per se, but I do feel a severe lack in energy. This might have to do with the lack of natural sunlight that I have been receiving. having a very adverse effect on my sleep-wake schedules and thus, having a very adverse effect on my energy levels. I went through a similar experience last year, so it’s not like this is a one-off endeavor either. I’ve also noticed that I don’t get as much REM sleep as I normally do, not having as many interesting dreams as I normally do. They say that REM sleep is where you really get your rest.

So, I’m starting to wonder how effective are those daylight-simulating products that companies sell. They say that light therapy is supposed to be effective for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for whatever reason, whether it be the simple exposure to light (think of yourself as a plant) or something on the psychological level that perks your mood (and energy) by making you think of summer. Whatever the case, I’d be interested to hear about anyone’s personal experience with these light boxes. I haven’t found them in stores, but they’re widely available online.

And before you ask, no, I’m not interested in the light that shines from your ass. Even if it improves my energy level and regulates my sleep, I can’t bear to smell unfiltered flatulence and look at skid marks all day.