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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Yoga for All Kids – especially those with ADHD and hyperactivity!

Yoga for kids is great! it helps them to relax which kids need to do! It also teaches them to listen to their bodies, something we all need to do, and it accomplishes this without the kids losing attention or becoming bored.

Yoga is a great physical activity that helps with balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. More and more coaches are including yoga as part of training for kids sports.

Research has found that students that practice yoga are better able to focus on classroom tasks. Yoga has also shown promising results in helping children with ADHD, and those that experience symptoms of hyperactivity. Yoga would be a great way to get everyone to slow down after recess, or an activity to do on snowy days.

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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 Tips

“Wherever you go, there you are.”
-Jon Kabat Zinn

Mindfulness has been used successfully to help people reduce pain, lose weight, enhance memory and cognitive function, develop healthier relationships, and perform better in athletic events.

In a study of menopausal women, those who took a mindfulness class reported being less bothered by hot flashes. They had better sleep, lower stress and anxiety levels, and a higher quality of life.

Wow, for being such an easy thing to do, mindfulness packs a powerful punch.  But what is it anyway?

Basically, mindfulness is experiencing the present moment – not worrying about the future, or fretting about the past. Mindfulness is being fully present in the now.

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Natural Anxiety Relief

[frame align=”right”][/frame]Want to help overcome stress in a natural way? How about by eating food? Sounds good, but you must eat a certain way to make eating an effective anxiety remedy.

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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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The Advantages of Being Really Out of Shape

There are many obvious advantages to being in shape, but what about being out of shape?


 

People who are fit tend to look good, feel good, have more energy, less disease, can wear the clothes they want to wear, and can do the things they want to do. They are healthier, happier, they get better sleep, have better quality lives, live longer, and have more self-confidence. They also fit into the movie seats at the local theater, don’t have to pay more for airline tickets, have better sex lives, can be more fun to be around, better parents, and they can eat more without feeling guilty. Yes- fit people can eat more without getting fat.
[frame align=”right”]fat man Fat Man by:drrnarna, on Flickr[/frame]

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Understanding Fear and Stress

Every turn you fear is empty air dressed to look like jagged hell.
—Richard Bach

FEAR AND stress are very similar. They oftentimes feel the same. If we truly understand fear and get a clear picture of what is happening when we feel fear, we can oftentimes dispense with the need to fear things at all. We can make the fear disappear!

In class, when we begin our focus on fear, I start with this ominous sounding question: “Why do you think you are here?” I don’t mean to ask the students why they are here in this building on this particular day. I ask them why they feel they are alive and what they are here to do. What is their purpose for living and being? They commonly respond with answers like these:

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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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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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All Stress Begins with our Thoughts

All stress begins with a thought. It isn’t what’s happening “out there” that initiates the stress response. It’s how we interpret what’s happening “out there” that causes us to become stressed or not. We call this a perception of a threat. If we think this situation will lead to some kind of pain (emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical), we turn on the stress response automatically to prepare for the potential pain. The potential pain is what we call a “threat.” Prevention of stress, then, is best done by focusing on our thoughts, by changing how we think about those things we think are threatening.
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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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Is Gatorade Good for Kids?

[frame align=”left”][/frame]Gatorade is a sports drink. Sports drinks are different from protein drinks, meal replacement drinks, vitamin drinks, recovery drinks, fitness waters, endurance drinks, and recreational drinks like Kool-Aid and colas. Each drink has a specific purpose (we will talk about each of these in future articles), but the purpose of quality sports drinks is three fold.

1. Hydration

2. Replacing glycogen stores (sugar that is stored in the liver and muscles)

3. Replacing electrolytes

We will use Gatorade as our example because it was the first of the major sports drinks. It was created by physicians and researchers at the University of Florida in 1965 to combat some of the problems facing the school’s football team. The players were suffering from cramps, exhaustion and a host of other problems caused by training in the area’s hot and humid conditions. The researchers discovered that the players were not drinking enough water or replacing the electrolytes and glycogen that was lost through sweat and exercise.

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Soft Drinks that Stress You Out

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When people are stressed they sometimes reach for a soft drink, but have you ever stopped to think, “What’s in this drink?” The answer might surprise you. It doesn’t matter if it is regular or diet. There are some things in all kinds of soft drinks that may stress you out.

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Stress or Frustration – What’s the Difference?

A student of my stress management class asked me this excellent question:  What’s the difference between stress and being frustrated? or is there one? I still kind of feel like they’re different things. For example I’ll feel frustrated or irritated that things aren’t going the way I’d like them to in an aspect of my life, or…

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