Archive for the ‘Light for Teens and Families’ 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.
What’s on your back to school shopping list?
While shopping for pencils and notebooks, don’t forget to include a SunRise Clock. Of all the back to school items you might consider, this amazing clock has the most potential to improve your student’s readiness to learn, athletic performance, and academic success.
Research confirms the importance of a good night’s sleep for everyone, especially sleep deprived teenagers. Their biological clocks are naturally set to a relatively late sleep schedule. Add the nightly digital distractions that most teenagers love, and the National Sleep Foundation reports that only 20% of teenagers get sufficient sleep at night. Research confirms that teenagers are the last people who should be waking early, yet most have to arrive at school very early and stay late to fit sports practices and other activities into a crowded day.
While sleep challenges are likely to persist throughout the school year, September is the cruelest month. If teenagers follow their inclination and stay up late and sleep in all summer, going back to school can be, literally, a rude awakening. Teenagers accustomed to sleeping until noon will be way out of sync with the schedule they’ll need to follow in September. Many of those students will be sleeping in class and drinking coffee and energy drinks to try to stay awake.
You probably can’t fight the school schedule, but you can help smooth your teenager’s transition from summer sleep patterns to the September school schedule. SunRise Clocks are an effective remedy for that too-early school bus. They mimic a natural sunrise each morning, and the gradually brightening light will wake your student naturally, helping them start the day with more energy and alertness. Parents also love the fact that the SunRise Clock wakes teens so effectively, avoiding the need for those nagging wake up calls and morning arguments that can leave the whole family starting the day in a bad mood.
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.”
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.
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