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S.A.D In Children?

S.A.D In Children?

When people think of depression they usually imagine an adult. However depression and anxiety can affect children as well. One type of depression that affects both adults and children is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is sometimes not recognized right away because the depression comes and goes according to the seasons. Some external factors that can trigger S.A.D are cold and dark weather or the chaos of holidays or the loneliness from not seeing friends because of school break. Clinical factors can also play a role in this specific type of depression.

The specific cause of S.A.D is still unknown. However Mayo Clinic has stated that the sudden decrease of sunlight in Fall and Winter could be a possible cause. The decrease in daylight can also cause a decrease in serotonin levels. Serotonin is nicknamed the “Happy Hormone” this chemical in the brain can affect many aspects of a persons life. Including the following.

  • Sleep
  • Mood 
  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Learning

If a child is acting different for example having a decreased appetite, not sleeping well, sleeping too much, acting grumpy or having new troubles in school these could be signs of S.A.D. If your child or children have any of these troubles especially during Fall or Winter it might be time to speak with a pediatrician.

The right hand hormone to serotonin is melatonin. This hormone is nicknamed the “Sleep Hormone”. The production of this hormone is signaled by darkness. With it becoming darker earlier in Fall and Winter the body might produce too much melatonin making a child feel sluggish. This sudden increase in melatonin can also cause a person’s moods to change.

People who have symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are advised to spend time in the sunlight. Daylight can increase the production of serotonin which can possibly decrease the affects of S.A.D.

Again if you notice your child has depression during certain seasons speak with your pediatrician so your son or daughter can receive the best care. 

Tips To Overcome Sleeping Problems

Tips To Overcome Sleeping Problems

Many adults toss and turn at night. There can be many causes for being restless. These can include loud noises, snoring, anxiety, habits, device use etc. The following are summarized expert advice on how to cope with sleeping problems.

Accept Waking Up-  Waking up in the middle of the night can be frustrating. If you accept this instead of getting annoyed with yourself you might be able to get back to sleep faster. If you lay in bed wondering what in the world you are doing awake you can make it harder to fall asleep. Simple acknowledge that you woke up and then take deep breaths to relax and drift off to dream land again.

Avoid being in bed too long- Do not just lay in bed wishing you could sleep. Instead get up and walk around a dimly lit room and get a glass of water, write in a journal or read a dull book etc to feel drowsy. Once you feel sleepy go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.  Also do not go to bed too early. Look at the time you need to wake up each morning and then count back eight hours this is the time you need to go to bed. Setting a time to wake up and a time to go to bed and sticking to a schedule can help your biological clock produce the correct amount of hormones for you to receive the sleep you need.

Set a routine- Sometimes with work hours, setting a sleeping schedule can be difficult. Instead try setting up a routine. A list of actions you do before bed. For example brushing teeth or other activities can help your body realize it is time for bed. For example reading a book to children, writing in a journal, washing your face, listening to classical music etc.  If you do have children, doing a bedtime routine with them can be beneficial.

Create a sleeping environment- If you are having trouble sleeping it might be that your bedroom is not a good sleeping environment. Avoid doing emails or other things on devices in bed. Also do not have a television in the bedroom. Things you can do to create a peaceful sleep environment can be, adding black out curtains, and white noise machines etc. If you create a sleep sanctuary it might help you wake up with a smile on your face.

Ease Distractions- Sometimes a snoring spouse or feeling overwhelmed can disrupt sleep. If your spouse is snoring have them go to a primary doctor to find the cause and cure for snoring. Or buy some earplugs. If you are feeling overwhelmed delegate your responsibilities to co-workers and family members.

Exercise- Exercise can cause an endorphin “rush” which can help reduce stress. A lower stress level can help increase sleep quality. If you exercise outside in the sunlight your body can receive vitamin D and light exposure which can help melatonin production.

Create “down” time- At least an hour before bedtime check your emails and do other things you need to do for the next day. Then take time to relax like reading an interesting book or talking with family members about the day. Just use this time to unwind to be ready fall asleep when your head hits the pillow.

Create a good foundation- Sleeping schedules and routines and tips might not be the fix all to sleeping problems. Though they can set a good foundation for creating better sleep habits in the future.

Seek help from sleep clinic- If your insomnia becomes severe remember to speak to a specialist. Sleep clinics can do tests to help you find the cause and a solution to your insomnia.  If the doctor suggest to take melatonin supplements check out World Wide Labs for an all natural option.

Source – RealSimple

Photos from Google

Jet Lag Triggers And How to Beat Them

Jet Lag Triggers And How to Beat Them

There are many tips floating around online on how to beat jet lag. Though what are some of the triggers of jet lag? If you know what causes jet lag symptoms it is easier to overcome them.

The greatest cause of jet lag is an abrupt change in the biological schedule.  The body trains itself when to produce melatonin by exposure to light and darkness. When this changes the body is confused and causes uncomfortable symptoms such as irritability, and fatigue. The severity of jet lag increases with each time zone crossed. Other factors of severity include age and gender.  yawning-woman-jet-lagWoman have greater jet lag than men. Also the older a person becomes the harder it is to fight the effects of jet lag.

The direction you travel may also have an effect on the severity of jet lag. Traveling East is harder than traveling West. There have been studies on why this happens.  Some experts have explained that traveling East is harder because you need to do things earlier than your body is used to. For example waking up, eating etc. While traveling West is easier because you can delay waking up and eating which our body can adjust to faster. big-ben-explore-jet-lag-tips

If you went to London from New York the flight would be around seven hours, and is five time zones away to the East so the jet lag can be severe. rio-brazil-travel-jet-lag-tips

While a flight for a vacation to Rio de Janeiro Brazil would be about ten hours, you only travel one time zone and your body quickly becomes accustomed to waking up and going to bed one hour later.  This means the jet lag will be less severe.

 

If you want to avoid jet lag severity take adventures going West or North and South to avoid the time zone jumps that can make your biological clock angry and want revenge on your body.

 

Now that we have explored what causes or increases jet lag here are some tips to BEAT it! 

 

set-later-bedtime-jetlag-tips

Change your bedtime- A week before your time zone traveling adventure change the time you go to sleep. Change bedtime to one to two hours later for West travel and one to two hours earlier for East travel.

 

water-bottle-stay-hydrated-jet-lag-tips

Avoid big meals on plane but Stay Hydrated-  While on the plane to your destination avoid eating too much have light snacks. Once you arrive, eat on the new time zone schedule. While on the plane and through out your trip drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated can help you avoid feeling fatigued.

woman-reading-outside-exposure-to-light-jet-lag-tips

Match exposure to light to the new time zone- Your biological clock depends on signals from light and darkness to produce the correct amount of melatonin to help you sleep and create a schedule. If traveling to the West spend time outside during the late afternoon. If traveling East enjoy time outside during the early morning.

 

no-alchohol-jet-lag-tipsavoid-caffeine-jet-lag-tips

 

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine-  Avoid these substances while traveling to different time zones. Alcohol is a suppressant and can cause you to be drowsy and caffeine is a stimulant which can cause your mind to race. Both of these can cause the severity of jet lag to increase.

 

doctor-jet-lag-tips

Talk to your doctor- If you have suffered from severe jet lag in the past speak with your doctor before your new adventure. If your doctor suggests melatonin supplements remember to take them correctly.

Also check out World Wide Labs for the Jet Lag Kit.

 

Article Source Consumer Reports 

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