Posts Tagged ‘health’

What Can Pose a Greater Cancer Risk than Smoking?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Source: Psychology Today:
 
What Can Pose a Greater Cancer Risk than Smoking?
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (online) raised questions about sleeping pills. The careful work that was done on this study demonstrates a strong link between sleeping pills and mortality (medical lingo for death), particularly from cancer.
 
…Clearly other strategies need to be looked at the provide relief for sleep. The authors say cognitive behavioral therapy is the way to go — it’s what’s called sleep hygiene. One key is getting up at the same time every day until eventually your body forces you to go to sleep earlier. Other strategies include making changes to your sleeping environment, light therapy (getting full-spectrum light early in the morning) and using relaxation strategies before sleep or upon awaking in the middle of the night.
 
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Comments: This article looks in depth at the downside of taking sleeping pills. Given they see a strong negative to taking them, we think it is right of the authors to then focus on what alternatives there are. We recommend reading this for their emphasis on the value of sleep hygiene.
 
 


Illuminating the biological basis of light therapy

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Source: Capital City Weekly

 

Title Illuminating the biological basis of light therapy

 

Light therapy has been of medical interest for centuries and many pre-modern hospitals included a solar room for patients. However, only in recent decades is the physiochemical basis of light’s effects on mammals beginning to be understood. Here, we will explore an example of how light affects a biochemical process important for mood and sleep-wake cycles. In doing so, we can gain insight as to how non-light mood enhancers may work through a similar mechanism.

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Comments: This article is an indepth look at the concept of light and what research shows about its effects on us. For those who are interested in the field, this is well-worth reading./i>

 

 

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How to: Have a Happier Winter

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Source: Seaholm Highlander

 

How to: Have a Happier Winter

 

With the holidays over and Spring break months away, the winter may seem like a long unnecessary cycle of overcast skies and frigid temperatures.

 

A combination of shorter days, less sunlight, and cold temperatures may cause heightened feelings of depression and sadness during the winter months. However there are several things you can do to improve your mood and make the winter more bearable.

 

Get Some (fake) Sun: While there may seem to be a shortage of sunny days during Michigan winters, take advantage of them and get outdoors. Sunlight releases neurotransmitters in the brain that improve mood. Enjoy the benefits of sunlight even on overcast days by using full spectrum light bulbs, which have been shown to ‘mimic natural sunlight.’

 

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Comments: For those living in the Northern hemisphere we are starting to see the peak of published material on how to deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder. This article (from a secondary school paper) has a good down-to-earth list of solutions for those suffering from SAD this year.

 

 

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Unhappy Holidays and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Source: American Soul Food

 

Unhappy Holidays and Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

Douse Yourself in Light.
When you wake and want to pull the comforter over your head, flip on the light or throw open the curtains instead. Look into the light. Use the force. Getting light into your eyes. Try a winter light machine or broad spectrum bulbs in your lamps both at work and home to make up for lost UV rays from the sun. Sunlight gets your circadian rhythm on track, helping to manage cortisol (your stress and get-up-and-go hormone) and melatonin (a calm and sleep hormone).

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Comments: For those currently in the grip of an overly long winter, we recommend the 10 tips outlined in this article for ways to beat the winter blues.

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Snippet: Make winter enjoyable by using all five senses

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Source: TulsaWorld

 

Make winter enjoyable by using all five senses

 

Light is the most crucial cure for winter blues. “Open the shades and soak up as much natural light as you can,” says Keller, who is a feng shui consultant and yoga instructor. “Get outside during the day for walks. Moving and even feeling the wind on your face energizes you. That vitamin D you get from sun exposure is so important.”

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Comments: This article gives ideas for those who currently feel trapped in the depths of winter. We like that it acknowledges the power of light in our lives.

 

 


Full-Spectrum Light (issue 52)

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Around the world different people are talking about how they use full-spectrum lighting in their day-to-day lives. We feature some of the best here.

 

HEALTH
ZZ’s Haphazard Pro Tips on Winter Grad Life
Get good lights and turn them on. Most of you self-respecting graduate students aren’t waking up at 6 am (unless you are unfortunate like me) and thus are only exposed to 6 or 7 hours of sunlight per day, which is not enough to maintain sanity. To remedy this, build a ”solarium”in your house using full-spectrum light bulbs that simulate sunlight. They can be expensive, but not as expensive as a therapist.

 

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Full-Spectrum Light (issue 51)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Around the world different people are talking about how they use full-spectrum lighting in their day-to-day lives. We feature some of the best here.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY
Tutorial: Photographing quilts
I am not a professional photographer, but I am convinced that just about anyone can take decent pictures of their own quilts; certainly good enough for documenting your quilts.

 

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Full-Spectrum Light (issue 50)

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Around the world different people are talking about how they use full-spectrum lighting in their day-to-day lives. We feature some of the best here.

 

HEALTH – EYECARE
15 Routines to Enhance Visual Fitness
Make sure you have good lighting while reading or studying. Whenever possible use natural or full-spectrum lighting.

 

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Full-Spectrum Light (issue 49)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Around the world different people are talking about how they use full-spectrum lighting in their day-to-day lives. We feature some of the best here.

 

ART
Walk In Light Sculpture to combat winter blues from James Yamada
American artist James Yamada will create a dramatic installation entitled The summer shelter retreats darkly among the trees, the first artwork in Parasolstice – Winter Light; a series of outdoor projects at Parasol Unit. During the darkest months of the year, visitors will be encouraged to enjoy the health benefits of exposure to bright light by sitting inside the sculpture.
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Full-Spectrum Light (issue 48)

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Around the world different people are talking about how they use full-spectrum lighting in their day-to-day lives. We feature some of the best here.

 

HEALTH
(Health) News: 5 Natural Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
The days are getting shorter. Fall has arrived in all its resplendent beauty. While the changing colors are lovely, insufficient daylight may find you down in the dumps and more tired than usual. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that at least 10 to 20 percent of the population suffers from some sort of seasonal depression brought on by shorter days

 

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