School is starting; time to wake up!
In the next month we will lose about 30 minutes of daylight. This can be a problem not only for adults but also for school kids. As parents, we know how hard it is to get your kids up earlier for school.
Trying to get up early can be a struggle; for kids and adults. Using bright light therapy, like the SunBox light therapy units, also used for winter blues can help in the late summer and fall.
We all know plants need light and we sometimes forget that humans do also. When and how much light we get regulates the control center in the brain called the hypothalamus.
“In spring and summer, you’re getting more light later in the day, and your 24 hour rhythms get shifted later,” Michael A. Grandner, Ph.D., a psychiatry professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, told weather.com. “Light signals to your hypothalamus what time of day it is. If all of a sudden it’s bright late at night (by using your tablet or smart phone), it might push your rhythm later. If you normally go to sleep at 10, your sleep time may be pushed out to 11, and it takes a while to readjust back to 10.”
Light presents a new health paradigm that can have a profound effect on your wellness. Scientist have studied how our eyes work. The retina, lined with two types of cells that convert light waves into the electrical current that sends signals to the brain at approximately 234 miles an hour. The rod cells, which are useful in low-light situations, and there are cone cells, which allow us to see colors.
New research has uncovered a third class of light-sensitive eye cells, called, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells’ (ipRGCs). These cells have nothing to do with our vision. They absorb light and set our internal circadian (24 hour) clock.
Researchers agree on one thing: that light, and particularly natural light, is good for our daily lives. As light changes throughout the day, both in color and brightness, it also affects our mood, sleep, alertness, brain hormones and health. Most people prefer a sunny days to gray ones, and some people can experience seasonal depression in the winter due to the shorter daylight.
Using SunBox light therapy for 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning can make a world of difference. It helps regulate your wake and sleep time. Good news is light therapy works fast and can improve your mood as well as your sleep.
Sleep Hygiene Tips
The promotion of good sleep habits and regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following sleep hygiene tips can be used to improve sleep.
- Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
- Use bright light therapy as soon as you get up or try a dawn simulator that gradually turns your lights on in the bedroom.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol close to bedtime.
- Turn off or silence your mobile phone and tablets 2 hours before you go to bed. The blue light emitted from these devices can interfere with sleep.
Get some morning light and you will feel better emotionally, and physically. It can help beat chronic tiredness, improve waking up on time.