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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Artificial Light

http://alevelpsychology.co.uk/news/eating-behaviour/is-artificial-light-making-us-fat.html

I taught psychology at the high school level and one of the subjects we looked at was artificial light and its effects on our lives.

Back in the day people went by the sun up sun down cycle for activity. It is no longer necessary to stop anything because it is dark - including eating, watching TV, or spending time at the computer. Our sleeping habits have gotten out of "sync". Many who are struggling often struggle with eating at night or in the front of the TV.

Ever had jet lag? Do you know about your circadian rhythm? Ever known someone who works third shift or perhaps you have had to endure this.

Info. on circadian rhythm -  http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/circadian-rhythm

We visited my husband's brother in Alaska during the daylight 6 months of the year. I didn't know when to sleep. I didn't know what day it was. There was no real night. The windows has to be completely covered so I would think it was night and could sleep. They have a real problem in Alaska with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) - suicide is bad there because of depression. It is recommended to use the lights that simulate daylight. There is also a high rate of alcoholism there.

I think I read that 20 minutes of sunlight is enough for our daily need of Vitamin D. Indiana gets pretty gloomy for long periods of time during the winter months. Perhaps this contributes to SAD because I know  people in the Midwest suffer from it as well as in Alaska.

Can you tell the days are getting shorter? I can here in Indiana. It's almost 7 a.m. and it is just a dusk kind of light outside. I need to water things with the hose and have to wait until I can see what I am doing. 

Can you identify with any of this?




8 comments:

  1. Ugh, Josh mentioned the night before last that "Wow, it's starting to get dark earlier, isn't it?" To which I stuck my fingers in my ears and yelled LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The oppressive darkness of New England winters is my least favorite aspect of living in the Northeast. I wouldn't say it has a marked affect on my moods or psyche, but I am always thrilled when Spring/Summer comes and the sky is still royal blue at 8:45PM!

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    1. We have days on end of gloominess here in Indiana but there is always something to do and ways to keep busy in order to pass the time until spring arrives again. I know I have several quilts to finish up and there are the holidays and then looking forward to getting outside in the gardens and yard. I guess if we had good weather all the time we wouldn't appreciate the nice days we get. Be careful out there today.

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  2. I have read so much lately about the good effects of Vitamin D on weight loss and cancer, but I had no idea how much sunlight was needed a day. Thank you!

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    1. You might double check it on the internet but I think this is correct. People take supplements but of course I think the natural way is best but during the dark months it might not be a bad idea but as always educate yourself first. Be careful out there today.

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  3. My in-laws live in Alaska and I swear, they have changed since choosing to retire there. And not in a good way.

    Last January, my mom had her 2nd open heart surgery and was in a very busy cardiac ICU in NYC for almost 2 weeks. The lighting situation was awful. The lights were super bright all the time. My mom ended up coming down with ICU psychosis, as a result of many factors, but I believe the confusion over what day/time it was, really made her extra confused, anxious, and scared.

    I noticed that it was still dark @ 6am this morning...Strangely, I don't mind the shorter days - mainly because it means my kids will sleep longer :)

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    1. Sorry about your Mom's problems in Alaska. It is a beautiful state but I could not live there. Kids sleeping longer is always a good thing. I really don't mind the winter months myself. I take a supplement that has Vit. D in it so that probably helps with me being a happy camper even in the winter. Take care.

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  4. Here in the northwest, we certainly suffer from lack of natural light for most of the year. A full 75% of people in our area have low vitamin D. I am NOT one of them as I am outside way more than most. Still the gloomy grey days do get old, very fast. Like Norma I ignore the change to shorter days as long as I possibly can. And... I head south to Palm Springs whenever I can, where the sun shines 350 days a year!
    I honestly think I wouldn't miss the winter at all if it never came as I sure have missed plenty of summers here in the Seattle area!
    My body loves a schedule and my circadian rhythm is very strong. I have a terrible time adjusting at all to any kind of time change- seasonal or geographical. My body fights it so bad. It makes me wonder what will happen when I move permanently.

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    1. You'll be fine after a short adjustment period I am sure. Bloom where you are planted and all that. I try not to get in too much of a snit over things I cannot change. I am not a hot weather person and am looking forward to autumn - my favorite season. Take care.

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