Archive for the ‘Circadian rhythms and energy’ Category
In a May 2012 journal, Harvard University researchers reported on ongoing research to understand the range of health effects produced by increased exposure to light at night, especially blue light emitted by electronics, including smartphones and tablets.
According to the report, many studies have identified a broad spectrum of serious health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and several types of cancer as being linked to nighttime light exposure, especially when such exposure is a daily work environment.
Exposure to light suppresses melatonin, which is a hormone critical to regulating circadian rhythms and sleep/wake cycles. Increased exposure to light is part of the reason so many report poor sleep. Moreover, blue light, which is emitted by many electronics and energy-efficient bulbs, suppresses melatonin for almost twice as long as incandescent lights. In short, the quest for energy efficiencies in lighting will have a significant effect on health unless some adjustments are made. Some options are:
-Use incandescent or warm tone lights for evening reading. Avoid LED’s, especially those with a lot of blue light.
-Avoid using electronics or working night. If you must, wear blue-blocking glasses, such as Slumber Shades.
Everyone should be alert to unintended consequences from the benefit of light in the evening. Energy efficiency savings are significant for everyone, but using them should not cost your health.
See: Blue Light Has a Dark Side http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2012/May/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
Working out in the morning is often the best way to get into a workout program and stick with it. But recent research under way at Appalachian State University suggests that there are other benefits to morning workouts, too.
Dr. Scott Collier’s research subjects exercised at 7am, 1pm, and 7pm, and then were monitored for sleep cycles and blood pressure. Subjects were between 40 and 60 and exercised moderately for 30 minutes. The study found a 10% decrease in blood pressure throughout the entire day and a 35% dip at night, as well as longer and more beneficial sleep cycles ONLY for the group exercising at 7am.
Lowering blood pressure is a proven strategy to avoid a heart attack. And who wouldn’t like to sleep better? Yet if you’re a night owl who has a hard time waking up in the morning, it may feel impossible to get up early for workouts. That’s where light assistance comes in. Exposure to light at 500-3,000 lux can reset your inner clock so that you almost feel like a morning person. Then you can gain the most from the morning exercise.
Here’s what we recommend for easier morning wake ups and exercise:
- Use the Biobrite Sunrise Clock to make it easier to wake up and feel alert.
- Use light therapy in the morning to re-train your inner clock so that you’re less of a night owl. *In fact, with a light visor, you can work out and receive light benefits at the same time, wearing it on a walk or a stationery bike.
By combining light therapy, and a morning exercise routine, you’ll reach your 2013 fitness and health goals in no time.
If you’ve been finding that passing 60 is causing you sleeping problems, you’re not alone. At least 40% of men and women over 60 suffer from sleep disorders such as:
• drowsiness during the day;
• waking up at night;
• waking up early for the day; and
• sleeping lightly.
Research shows that even older people who don’t feel they have a sleep disorder spend less time in deep sleep than they did when they were younger; the problem isn’t you, it’s biological.
It may feel ridiculous to awaken at three or four in the morning when you once were able to stay up until that time—and happily slept until 11. While there may be nothing lonelier than being awakened by your sleep disorder when it seems like everyone else is sleeping, you’re actually in great company.
Yet you deserve better! 60 and over should be fun fun fun. You’ve earned it. And it can be, because even if your sleep disorder is normal, there’s still a natural remedy that really works: light therapy.
Light therapy is a natural sleep aid. Fifteen minutes of treatment with the BioBrite light box or visor should show results in no time by recalibrating your body clock. You’ll sleep more deeply and for a longer time—and feel better during the day.
As always, speak to your doctor. Some sleep disorders have serious health effects and should be treated with medication.
Jet lag is more than fatigue—though the terrible fatigue you feel when you have it is certainly bad enough! When your body’s convinced that you woke up for the day at 3 a.m., or, depending on where you’ve been, stayed up until 3 a.m., it seems to beg you to quit.
Symptoms of jet lag can include insomnia and waking up early, and just not feeling well. It can even extend to digestive problems, muscle soreness, and menstrual problems in women.
There’s even evidence that chronic jet lag can negatively impact your brain. A study of flight attendants revealed a smaller temporal lobe in those who had insufficient time to recover between flights that cross time zones. Another study involving hamsters showed that the animals’ brains made fewer new neurons if they were subjected to the equivalent of a six-hour time zone shift.
Fortunately light therapy is a natural remedy for jet lag. For short trips within the continental United States and if you don’t travel a lot, you will probably find 15 minutes a day with our light box or light visor gets you back on track in no time. If you travel a lot, hopping continents as often as you visit the dry cleaner, you may benefit from the BioBrite Jet Lag Calculator, which will tell you how and when to use light therapy for a quick recovery. You can actually cut your recovery time in half this way.
It’s almost fall, and some of us are experiencing the fall funkies, the winter blues, or just the blahs, which increase as you experience less daylight and more gray days – a natural response actually, but not one that needs to overwhelm you. Get control of the seasonal cycle this time by using a light box or visor for your lux therapy, and a dawn simulator to help reprogram your body’s clock.
Let us know how we can help you with your fall/winter blues!
And, check out what our friends at Best New Alarm Clocks.com have to say about the SunRise Alarm Clock in Charcoal, and post your own review!
“Really great product, good company
This is a super product that provides a great way to wake up in the mornings. We wake up much easier and more refreshed with the Sunrise Clock. Great find.”
“Before buying the BioBrite clock, I read in one of the earlier reviews that the method of programming the clock was rather complex– This is not true.”
“I received my BioBrite a month ago and have been using it ever since. It’s fairly easy to set up and works really well for me.”
“What a fabulous alternative to a shrill alarm jarring you awake out of a deep slumber. The Biobrite is a sunrise clock that really works.”
“I have one window to my bedroom and not much light gets in at all. Before i got this when I woke up I had no idea if it was 6AM or 10AM.”
August is upon us! Here in Maryland, instead of our normal humid weather, we’ve been blessed with cool undercurrents. The breeze is blowing and the sun is shining indoors and out! Check out our latest SunRise Alarm review from our Fan of the Day – an Amazon.com commenter by the handle “Candy Austinlady.” She writes:
“I had a cheaper other-brand version of a progression wake up clock for a couple of years, but it wasn’t bright enough. This one …is bright enough! I use the sunset with white noise to fall asleep and wake up to the sun gradually rising in my room. Completely awesome. I wake up before the alarm can even go off. And I don’t feel jarred away by some big blaring noise and I wake up feeling awake and not drugged. This is a must – I’m not exactly a morning person, but I’m able to wake up by 6am and not be the mommy-monster!
“Yes, they are a bit more than your $10 Wal-Mart alarm, but it’s worth every single penny!”
Check out her review and others like it on our Amazon seller pages.
The summer is upon us! Are you waking peacefully or to the rush of fear shocked through your system by the bleet of a conventional alarm clock? Treat yourself to sunshine during the sunniest months and let us know how you feel! All of our models come with a 30-day no-questions-asked money back guarantee. But, once you try our clock, we have a feeling you’re going to want to use it every morning after.
Whether you’re a mother looking for the perfect infant-soothing device, a college student not wanting to wake their roommate when rising for an early AM class, shopping for an older person who loathes traditional screeching alarms, or anyone in between, you’ll benefit from our clock’s unique design.
Did you know about sleep debt? If you lose two hours of sleep a night, by the end of the week you owe yourself 12 hours of sleep! This sleep debt can feel even worse on top of stress or erratic sleeping patterns. Fortunately, there are ways to help ease the tension caused by sleep problems.
There are several classifications of sleep disorders. Light therapy is an effective treatment for a branch of disorders concerning circadian rhythm disruption. Disorders such as late night- (Delayed Circadian Rhythm Disorder) and early morning-insomnia (Advanced Circadian Rhythm Disorder) are especially aided by this type of therapy.
Using light therapy at strategic times can help you to reset your body’s internal clock and combat jet lag, fatigue, insomnia, and sleeping patterns due to shift work, because when you expose yourself to light at certain times, your body gets used to the new biological cues.
For those with a milder sleep debt, dawn simulation can be a soothing aid. Dawn simulation is not akin to light therapy, but both can work together to help shift circadian rhythms that are out of sync. Dawn simulation helps the user wake during hours before the first crack of sunlight. With a BioBrite SunRise Alarm Clock, a warm, glowing light gradually increases before reaching full brightness; mimicking the natural dawn, coaxing the user out of sleep efficiently and restfully. It can be very soothing to rise in this manner instead of jolting awake to an annoying traditional alarm in a dark room!
With light therapy, a patient sits at a prescribed distance from a light box for a certain length of time. That length is usually prescribed by a doctor, depending on the patient’s needs. The standard lux requirement is 10,000 lux at between 18 and 20 inches and the treatment should be every morning, from 20 minutes to an hour. The light box is great for those who have more sedentary schedules in the mornings. If they desire mobility, the patient may prefer to use a light visor, usually in the mornings after waking. By wearing a visor on your head, the light is positioned above the eyes more naturally than with a light box. And, because the light has further to travel to reach your eyes, the treatment time is usually cut in half. You should consult with your eye doctor before trying light therapy to see whether a box or a visor is best for you.
Note: With light therapy, your eyes must be open in order to receive treatment. Because with the dawn simulator your eyes are closed, dawn simulation is not a viable source of light therapy.
Check out our Web site to view the products discussed here. Feel free to give us a call with any questions at the number on our site!
We invite you to visit our site at www.BioBrite.com!