Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep

Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep

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The human wake and sleep cycle is naturally regulated by the bright light of day and the darkness of night. When the light of day first hits the retina and stimulates a nerve pathway to the hypothalamus, it sets off a chain reaction that sends messages to other parts of the brain that help us feel more awake, like raising body temperature and increasing hormones like cortisol.1

The body also decreases the production of other hormones like melatonin which is both a hormone and an antioxidant.2  Melatonin, sometimes referred to as the “Dracula of Hormones,” is made by your pineal gland which is inactive during the day, but is turned on when the sun goes down and darkness occurs.1 Melatonin production helps us to fall asleep and to stay asleep during the night.

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Boost Metabolism While You Sleep

Remember in biology class when you learned about the parts of the cell and you wondered why you had to know this stuff? Really, when would you ever use this information in real life? Well here it is.

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Parable of the Stacked Stones

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I love to bike, hike, and run in the hills and mountains of northern and southern Utah. I love the workout of going up. I love the thrill and speed of coming down. Best of all, I love the views I get when I reach the tops of the trails.
I particularly enjoy one trail that happens to be located only a few short minutes from where I live. Within minutes from home, I can find myself on a path where it immediately feels like no city exists anywhere nearby. I disappear into undeveloped terrain.

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The Most Disgusting Ways to Prevent a Cold

The Most Disgusting Ways to Prevent a Cold

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s girlfriend things she caught him picking his nose? Well keep reading, there may be some perks to being a “picker” if you do it right.

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Why Diets Don’t Work

(Part 1 of 3)

Our ancestors had to physically work hard for their food. The foods that they ate provided calories, but rarely the surplus of calories that we easily find in our foods today. There were also times of shortage, or famine when food was scarce and they went hungry. Through the ages, the DNA in our cells has remembered that.

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Do I Have Insomnia?

Insomnia is generally taking longer than 20-25 minutes to fall asleep which occurs more than three times a week. (1) According to Sleep Expert Michael J. Breus, PhD., at any given time, one third of the population will have trouble falling asleep, and ten percent of those have chronic insomnia.

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The World is NOT a Stressful Place

How Do Books and Downloads Relieve My Stress?

How do books & downloads relieve my stress?

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When you are under stress, your autonomic nervous system thinks you are being threatened and turns on the stress response. This is the mechanism that helps you get out of dangerous situations. Some people refer to it as being in “fight or flight” mode.

Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rush through the body. The heart beat, breathing rate, and blood pressure increases. Blood and energy is diverted away from things like digestion and the immune system to places like muscles which may need extra energy to escape danger. This response is designed to be short-lived, only on for a few minutes at a time.

The problem is that most of the time we are stressed, our bodies are not in physical

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Mindfulness vs Multitasking

 

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night suddenly realizing that you made a mistake or forgot to do something the day before? Isn’t it crazy, that you can go all day and not think of something important, and then at 2:56 a.m., it hits you like a brick?

But what can you do about it at 2:56 am? You know you won’t be able to take care of it until morning, but that isn’t going to help you fall back asleep. As a matter of fact, if you are like most people, it will keep you awake thinking about it and – worrying.

To fix this, we must look at why this happens in the first place.

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To Sanitize or Not to Sanitize

To Sanitize or Not to Sanitize

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Hand sanitizers were originally designed to help those in hospitals and health care settings who work in relatively clean places and frequently wash their hands. Sanitizers do not work well on dirty hands. In fact, the longer it has been since someone has washed their hands, the less effective a hand sanitizer is likely to be.

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Welcome to the Stress Management Place!

Our purpose is to help you make your life less stressful. We do that by providing you with resources such as articles, books, online media, discussion areas, information, and other resources that can help you achieve a happy, healthy, and productive life. Have you ever wondered why you don’t feel good? Most of the common…

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Managing the Waves and Leaks in Time

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When I was fourteen years old, I went to California with a group of kids my age. We went to Santa Monica Beach to see the ocean. None of us had been there before so this was a real treat for us. When we got there, we decided to try bodysurfing. We saw others doing it and it looked fun and much less difficult than regular surfing. Soon we learned how it was done and found ourselves out in the water preparing for the waves to come our way.

When a large wave approached, I started swimming as hard as I could, hoping to time it perfectly. I found myself riding the wave in toward the shore. Suddenly, the wave pulled me down, headfirst into the sand under the water.

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Don’t Eat That for Breakfast!

How does your breakfast effect your health?

You wake up. You’re hungry. You open the cupboard and see two cereals, Captain Crunch and Raisin Bran. What you do next may not only effect your day, but your life.

What you eat for breakfast is vitally important to your health. It influences many things; what nutrients you get, how healthy you are, your ability to fight disease, how much energy you have, your cravings, your ability to focus, your mood and how much and what else you eat for the rest of the day.

Skipping breakfast is not a good idea. For one thing, people who skip breakfast tend to weigh MORE than those who don’t. This sounds contradictory. It would seem that not eating breakfast calories would help people to lose weight, actually the reverse is true. (Read Why Diets Don’t Work to find out why.)

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Do You Have the Winter Blues, or is it SAD?

Many of us dread the coming of winter, the darkness, the cold, the increased risk of getting the flu. About 10 to 20 percent of the American population suffers from what is commonly referred to as the “winter blues.”

A smaller percentage, from about 4 to 6%, suffers from a more extreme form of the winter blues called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD is a type of seasonal depression that shows up most of the time in late fall and lasts through the winter months, although there is a rare form that shows up in a smaller number of people in the late spring and lasts through the summer. In winter version of this disorder people suffer symptoms of depression including;

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Retrain Your Brain

Wire Your Brain for Success

Want to improve your ability to focus, learn, and remember things? Practice regular meditation.

That’s right, not only does meditation reduce stress, but it can also improve your mind, memory, and mental focus – permanently.  Here’s how  . . .

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The Best Relationship Medicine

One night a few years ago, I was in a deep sleep when I began to feel the presence of someone else very close to my face. I opened my eyes to find my 6 year old daughter staring at me from about three inches away. Startled and a bit freaked out, I jumped up to find she had apparently been there for a while, wondering if she should wake me.
“Mommy, I had a bad dream.” I took a deep breath and asked her what it was about. “There was a monster in my closet.”

From here, I did exactly the wrong thing as you will soon see. I said,

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Sleep – Frequently Asked Questions

Sleep

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Sleep, or lack of it, affects us in many ways. Our health, immune system, mental acuity, emotional state, relationships, physical growth, performance, and even our waistline is affected by our quality of sleep. For many of us, this good quality sleep is getting harder to come by. Here are some answers on how to get the best sleep possible.

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