How light affects sleep quality

January 16th, 2013

Posted by Maya Pillai.
 
If you’ve ever stared at the ceiling while your partner slept soundly beside you, you’ve probably investigated most insomnia solutions known.
 
The question then is, do you know what the impact of light is?
 
It has become increasing well researched that one of the most important external elements that affect sleep is light. Researchers have found that light controls the timing of our internal body clocks. This happens as the light sensitive cells at the back of our eyes send messages to the brain on whether it is day or night time, thereby setting our wake/sleep patterns. Read the rest of this entry »



How Light Affects the Brain

December 4th, 2012


 
Have you ever wondered how something as simple and commonplace as the light that surrounds us can influence our body chemistry and state of mind?
 
In recent years, the impact of light in our lives has been dissected and analyzed. Where once no connection was known between the light you see and your brains response to that light – now the connection is much more fully understood.
  Read the rest of this entry »



Keeping SAD Away

September 25th, 2012

Post written by Maya Pillai.
 

 
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the modern name for episodes of depression that occur during the winter months. SAD is found more in women than in men and by people who live in places with long winter nights. Before you next have to cope with a long winter, we’ve put together some ways by which you can keep SAD at bay.
 
 
Read the rest of this entry »



Seedlings Started Under Lights vs. On A Windowsill

April 26th, 2012

Source: blog

 

Seedlings Started Under Lights vs. On A Windowsill

“In early February I started some broccoli seeds the way I normally do, under a bank of full spectrum florescent light tubes. At the same time, using the same seeds, the same seed potting mix, and an identical pot (a 6-cell starter tray of 72-sized-cells), I started some broccoli seeds for a friend. She took her seeded pot home and put it immediately on the windowsill of a bright, south-facing window. About a month later, on March 8th, we compared our results. ”

 

Read more.

 

Comments: It’s always good to see the results of experiments that look into the value of full-spectrum lights. Here we can see that in winter conditions, full-spectrum lights make a big difference to the growth rates of seedlings. Have you thought about getting a headstart on your spring garden?

 

 



Italian village builds its own sun

April 20th, 2012

Source: blog

 

Italian village builds its own sun

“Who could live in a town that never sees a breath of sunlight? Viganella, a remote village of German Buddhists in northern Italy, has long experienced such a plight. Located deep in a valley, the little community resides at such a point that from mid-November to early February each year, the residents never see the sun’s direct glow ”

 

Read more.

 

Comments: All we can say on reviewing this article – if you have regular access to sunlight, you don’t know how lucky you are!

 

 



New SAD Treatment – Shining Light Into The Brain Through The Ears

April 14th, 2012

Source: Doctor Tipster

 

New SAD Treatment – Shining Light Into The Brain Through The Ears

“The effectiveness and exact mechanism of this light-treatment was not fully understood until now, until researchers from Oulu, Finland, found that the central role was not played by the retina. Instead the light acts on light-sensitive proteins on the brain’s surface. Special earphones were designed that shine a beam of light through the ear canal to a light-sensitive area in the brain, this being an efficient alternative to light therapy.”

 

Read more.

 

Comments: We have looked into the role of light in keeping SAD at bay before. In this article they explore whether it needs to be accessed through the eyes or whether there are other mechanisms that allow it to act.

 

 



Do you know what motivates your staff?

April 8th, 2012

Source: Ignite

 

Do you know what motivates your staff?

“Most people in the technology industry are generally considered smart, and highly skilled in math, logic and problem solving. However, these highly developed technical skills usually come at the expense of their interpersonal skills. IT managers are not immune to this imbalance and spend little time to improve these under developed skills. Making matters worse, we recognize and promote based on results and reward for performance. The consequence is that managers spend 95% of their time focusing on measurable items and pay little attention to the emotions of their staff. This is not because managers don’t like people or don’t care, but few of them have little idea what employees really want from a boss.

 

…Make the work space look better; get rid of office clutter (cables, computer equipment, books, files, etc.), get some plants, find local schools for art, replace lighting with full spectrum light bulbs and use creative ways to make the environment better.”

 

Read more.

 

Comments: There is a lot to managing and motivating others. We were pleased to see that the light quality of a work environment was taken into consideration when looking into this subject. We recommend that you do the same, when looking at ways to motivate your staff.

 

 



What Can Pose a Greater Cancer Risk than Smoking?

April 2nd, 2012

Source: Psychology Today:
 
What Can Pose a Greater Cancer Risk than Smoking?
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (online) raised questions about sleeping pills. The careful work that was done on this study demonstrates a strong link between sleeping pills and mortality (medical lingo for death), particularly from cancer.
 
…Clearly other strategies need to be looked at the provide relief for sleep. The authors say cognitive behavioral therapy is the way to go — it’s what’s called sleep hygiene. One key is getting up at the same time every day until eventually your body forces you to go to sleep earlier. Other strategies include making changes to your sleeping environment, light therapy (getting full-spectrum light early in the morning) and using relaxation strategies before sleep or upon awaking in the middle of the night.
 
Read more.
 
Comments: This article looks in depth at the downside of taking sleeping pills. Given they see a strong negative to taking them, we think it is right of the authors to then focus on what alternatives there are. We recommend reading this for their emphasis on the value of sleep hygiene.
 
 



Aging Eyes Blamed For Seniors’ Health Woes

March 9th, 2012

Source: Slashdot

 

Title Aging Eyes Blamed For Seniors’ Health Woes

 

Dr. Martin Mainster has written extensively about the effects of the aging eye on health, estimate that by age 45, the photoreceptors of the average adult receive just 50 percent of the light needed to fully stimulate the circadian system, by age 55, it dips to 37 percent, and by age 75, to a mere 17 percent and recommend that people should make an effort to expose themselves to bright sunlight or bright indoor lighting when they cannot get outdoors and have installed skylights and extra fluorescent lights in their own offices to help offset the aging of their own eyes.

Read more.

 

Comments: Many of us do not realise that our requirements for light change as we get older. For those planning the lighting for a house for the elderly, they would do well to pay attention to the statistics given above and ensure that sufficient light is available.

 

 



Hotel horror: Mirror, mirror, who’s that in my bathroom?

March 5th, 2012

Source: Detroit Free Press

 

Title Hotel horror: Mirror, mirror, who’s that in my bathroom?

 

Gray skin, haggard wrinkles and bags under the eyes. It’s like watching a horror movie, except it’s me. What kind of sadist puts overhead fluorescent lights in a hotel bathroom to terrify the guests?

 

At least install lights on both sides of the sink, not above. Use regular incandescent lights, or halogen lights, or indirect lights, or LED lights, or at least those full-spectrum, natural daylight fluorescents instead of those glaring, hideous old-fashioned models.

 

Hotel managers, I will tell you why you must invest in this. A hotel guest who thinks he or she looks good is a happy guest. Happy guests complain less. Happy guests leave better tips. Happy guests will probably come back.

Read more.

 

Comments: This author is observant enough to notice the difference in light quality in the hotels she has stayed. Her point – don’t make clients suffer through cheap inferior lighting, they’ll be happier if they have full-spectrum light available. Next time you stay in a hotel – take a note and see what you notice.