I got the light box/natural spectrum lamp/whatever you want to call it early Friday afternoon. I set it up while I was using my laptop, but after about 5 minutes I decided it had to be placed to my side – it irritated me to have it in my line of sight. (There was no manual in the box – weird! – so I had to guess at a few things.) After moving it I sat next to the lamp for about 30 minutes.

That night, I took ZzzQuil and went to sleep.

Around 3, I woke up . . . and couldn’t fall back asleep. I finally dozed off after an hour or so. Then at 5:30, June woke up. She was too fussy for me to deal with, and eventually I asked Jarom to go deal with her, since she refused all my offers of help. But even after she settled down and Jarom came back to bed, I couldn’t sleep. I think I was awake until 8:30, when Evan got up. Jarom was nice enough to let me nap for a while to catch up on lost sleep!

I thought maybe I’d used the lamp for too long the day before, or too late in the day, so I set a timer and used the lamp in the morning for 20 minutes. But Saturday night I still had trouble falling back asleep if I woke up. Normally, this is not a problem. At all. Lying awake for several hours in the middle of the night was not fun.

Yesterday I opted to not use the lamp and see what happened. Since I’ve had this cold, I just want to vegetate anyway, so I wasn’t expecting to accomplish a lot. I slept fine last night, and used the lamp for about 8 minutes this morning when I first woke up. We’ll see how tonight goes!

As far as a difference on my mood, it’s hard to separate what effect I’m getting from the lamp and what effect I’m expecting to see – and do. I love placebos. Regardless of where it comes from, I have felt more mentally alert, especially given the amount of cold medicine I’ve been taking. Aside from being unable to fall back asleep (which is a major issue), I haven’t been as tired. But, like I said, I suspect at least part of this results from my belief that the lamp will help me feel more energetic and productive and less meh. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do a control, though if you have ideas on how I can get a better idea of the lamp’s effects, I’d love to hear.

So: when it comes down to it, I’m undecided on the lamp. If I can work out how long and when to use it each day so that it doesn’t interfere with my sleep, I’ll definitely be a fan. If not . . . I’m not sure how much I want to keep something that gives me a boost of energy at the cost of a few hours’ rest.