NU.nl, 16-05-2008 – Bron : New Scientist, 16-05-2008
Amsterdam - Goed nieuws voor mensen die kampen met verlegenheid. Het hormoon oxytocine kan misschien helpen tegen verlegenheid, angst en depressie. Dit zeggen Zwitserse wetenschappers.
De wetenschappers denken dat het hormoon bij allerlei emotionele problemen kan worden gebruikt.
Oxytocine Oxytocine is een hormoon dat voorkomt in alle zoogdieren. Het is bekend om zijn functie bij het opwekken van de bevalling en de melkgift. Daarnaast heeft het echter ook nog interessante effecten op gedrag. Samengevat komen deze er op neer dat het de toenadering tussen twee zoogdieren makkelijker maakt. Bij mensen betekent dit vooral dat het wantrouwen tegenover de andere persoon afneemt, zo blijkt uit onderzoek dat deze week verschijnt in Nature. Cfr. : http://www.kennislink.nl/web/show?id=132482
Ook zou het autistische kinderen kunnen helpen met het verwerken van sociale signalen. De wetenschappers hebben echter moeite met het verkrijgen van de toestemming om het hormoon aan kinderen te geven.
Je zult er maar last van hebben. Je zit midden in een sollicitatiegesprek en je weet niet meer wat je moet zeggen. Je voelt je onzeker en loopt totaal vast. Je wordt overspoeld door angst. De blikken van de ander geven je het gevoel van totale minderwaardigheid. En hoewel je je van buiten tracht te beheersen, verraden je trillende handen en gespannen gelaatsuitdrukking dat je je niet goed voelt.
Of je bent op een receptie maar je durft niemand aan te spreken, bang dat ze je af zullen wijzen of negeren en je je erdoor vernederd zult voelen. Maar doordat je alleen staat, voel je je nog meer opgelaten en bekeken door de anderen.
Of je bent verliefd op een jongen. Maar de angst dat je mogelijk zult worden afgewezen doet je onzeker worden en zijn aanwezigheid vermijden.
Verlegenheid, wat is het ?
Vaak bedoelen we met een verlegen iemand dat iemand zich zo gedraagt. Want het zegt natuurlijk niets over wie iemand is of zijn karakter. Iemand gedraagt zich teruggetrokken of onzeker uit angst voor mogelijke reacties zoals uitsluiting of mislukking. Maar naast het gedrag is verlegenheid ook iets dat gevoeld wordt. Men wil niet verlegen zijn, maar men voelt zich verlegen. Het trillen van de handen, zweten, blozen, benauwde gevoelens duiden op een innerlijke spanning. En tenslotte is het ook een manier van denken over zichzelf. Men ziet zichzelf als een verlegen persoon en denkt : ‘ik durf dat niet’ of ‘ik kan dat niet’ of ‘wat zullen de mensen wel van mij denken…’.
Verlegenheid is over het algemeen niet iets waarmee je geboren bent. Hoewel velen er vanuit gaan dat de een er wat meer aanleg voor heeft dan de ander. Het is hoofdzakelijk de opvoeding en de daarmee verbonden leerervaringen die ervoor gezorgd hebben dat iemand zich verlegen gaat gedragen. Nu is verlegenheid op zich niet ongezond. Het laat zien dat we voorzichtig zijn in onze sociale contacten. We wegen af hoe onze gedragingen overkomen. We hebben besef van de overkant en houden daar ook rekening mee. Een zekere maat van verlegenheid siert de mens, maakt hem bescheiden en geeft ruimte aan de ander. Problematisch wordt het als het ervoor zorgt dat je blokkeert in je sociale contacten, mensen gaat vermijden en moeilijke situaties uit de weg gaat.
Verlegenheid is niet populair
Wanneer je soapseries ziet waar men verbaal sterk op elkaar reageert, altijd een gevat antwoord geeft en nooit faalt in het behalen van zijn doelen, dan zul je je zeer ellendig voelen wanneer je over jezelf een veel minder geslaagd beeld hebt. We leven in een maatschappij waar verwacht wordt dat iedereen zeer goed voor zichzelf kan opkomen. Je zult zelfstandig je koers moeten kunnen uitzetten en onafhankelijk van anderen moeten zijn. Verlegenheid past hier niet in. Het doet je in het kamp van de ‘losers’ belanden (vooral bij jongens, naar meisjes is men iets toleranter).
Verlegenheid en boosheid
Hoe paradoxaal het ook klinkt: vaak is verlegenheid een uiting van onderdrukte woede. En met woede bedoel ik de gezonde reactie van mensen op zaken die hen niet aanstaan of nadeel brengen. Vanaf de peutertijd zie je bij kinderen zich woede ontwikkelen, vaak zeer extreem en ongecontroleerd. Wanneer ouders hier op een gezonde manier op reageren, zullen ze het kind leren dat het zich mag uiten. Maar ook dat er regels zijn en dat er naast woede ook de nodige zelfbeheersing moet worden opgebracht. Vaak wordt woede echter niet op een directe manier bestreden, maar heel subtiel : een moeder die tegen haar kind, dat boos is, zegt dat ‘God het zal straffen’ of ‘moeder zo niet meer van hem kan houden’ of 'ze het tegen vader zal moeten zeggen’ enz. Dreigementen waardoor het kind zijn woede wegslikt uit angst op represailles. Later zal het onzekerheid en vermijdend gedrag tonen op het moment dat het assertief voor zich zou moeten opkomen. Het ervaart een mengeling van schuld en schaamte wanneer het een botsing ervaart tussen dat wat het zelf graag wil en wat anderen van hem verwachten.
Verlegenheid en voor je behoeften opkomen
Ieder mens kan alleen maar in het leven staan als hij op een goede manier voor zichzelf kan zorgen. Dat houdt in dat je op een adequate wijze voor je behoeften moet uitkomen zodat ze bevestiging krijgen. Ervaren dat dat goed is, begint al bij kinderen die om zakgeld vragen, naar een vriendje toe willen of een tv programma willen zien enz. Wanneer ze stelselmatig om deze behoeften bestraft worden en daar als lastig om worden ervaren, gaan ze niet meer weten hoe ze met hun eigen behoeften of gevoelens om moeten gaan. Er komt een stuk onechte schaamte voor wat wezenlijk nodig is om te kunnen bestaan tussen andere mensen en vooruit te komen in de maatschappij. Als bij zo’n kind de puberteit uitbreekt, wordt het nog ingewikkelder omdat de heftige gevoelens van seksualiteit en zichzelf te willen laten gelden niet langer genegeerd kunnen worden. Of het kind breekt alsnog met kracht door en zet zich fel af tegen elke druk en verwachting die ouders op het kind hebben gelegd of het laat zich definitief inperken en leert zijn eigen gevoelens en behoeften wantrouwen. Het gaat denken dat bestaan alleen maar kan in het invoegen tussen andere mensen en aanpassen aan de wensen van anderen. Natuurlijk werkt dat niet. De behoeften zullen regelmatig toch de kop opsteken, maar ze zullen door het verlegen gedrag weer de bodem ingedrukt worden. Ook later bij het zoeken van een partner of het kiezen van een studie zal het niet trouw kunnen blijven aan wat goed is voor de persoon zelf.
Verlegenheid en zelfvertrouwen
Bovengenoemde behoeften leiden tot zelfvertrouwen. Een zelfvertrouwen dat iemand nodig heeft om zijn talenten te ontwikkelen maar ook om een plaats in de maatschappij te nemen. Onzekerheid, plotseling aan jezelf twijfelen vreten de energie weg die je nodig hebt om goede beslissingen te nemen of taken goed uit te voeren. Op die manier ondermijnt verlegenheid ons levensprogramma. Laat ik een voorbeeld noemen : wanneer je vol vertrouwen en goede moed naar een sollicitatiegesprek gaat en opeens in de war wordt gebracht door een opmerking en gelaatsuitdrukking van de ondervrager, raak je geblokkeerd en in plaats van je energie voluit te kunnen gebruiken om het gesprek tot een goed einde te brengen, gebruik je het om jezelf weer onder controle te krijgen en je emoties omlaag te halen.
U begrijpt dat dit geen positief effect op het eindresultaat zal hebben. Hetzelfde geldt voor allerlei andere cruciale momenten zoals een examen en verjaardagsfeestje enz.
Verlegenheid een vicieuze cirkel
Verlegenheid is iets dat zichzelf in stand houdt. Het is een vicieuze cirkel die niet gemakkelijk te doorbreken is. Het begint ermee dat je je al een keer onzeker hebt gevoeld. Vervolgens en dat is beslissend, heb je daarover een negatief oordeel geveld : ‘ik was stom’ of ‘ik heb gefaald’ met het vaste voornemen dat het geen tweede keer mag gebeuren. Gevolg daarvan is dat je bepaalde situaties gaat vermijden en je al je energie gaat stoppen in het voorkomen van een mogelijke ‘mislukking’. Deze angst vooraf zorgt er echter voor dat je uiteindelijk toch weer in een situatie belandt, waarin je je verlegen hebt opgesteld en de reeks begint opnieuw.
Uitweg voor verlegen mensen
Besef dat u er niet alleen voor staat. De meeste mensen zijn regelmatig wel eens verlegen in bepaalde situaties en 4 procent heeft er chronisch mee te kampen in alle mogelijke situaties. Weet dat verlegenheid lang niet altijd wordt opgemerkt door de omgeving en voor de betrokkene zelf het lastigst is.
Geef de voordelen op
Je zult de balans moeten opmaken van zowel de voordelen als van de nadelen van uw verlegen gedrag. Want besef goed, vaak blijven mensen hangen in hun verlegen gedrag omdat het ook de nodige voordelen heeft. Door verlegen gedrag zullen ze je snel passeren als er een moeilijke opdracht gedaan moet worden. Ze zullen je wellicht minder snel naar je mening vragen. Of ze vinden je wel sympathiek en rustig omdat je nooit kritiek hebt. Vaak zijn de trouwste medewerkers verlegen mensen die als ze hun ware aard laten zien wel eens heel anders uit de hoek kunnen komen. Verlegen mensen ervaren ook wat meer privacy. Dat soms zeer aangenaam aanvoelt, maar natuurlijk ook ellendig eenzaam kan zijn.
Erken uw verlegenheid
Geef toe dat je je verlegen en onzeker voelt. Laat uw masker vallen en probeer er eens met een goede vriend of vriendin over te praten. Schrik voor bepaalde situaties of voor de reacties van anderen, gevoelens van angst of schaamte zijn menselijke zaken. En alleen al door erover te praten kan het helpen er een ander beeld van te krijgen.
Eigenlijk zul je een keuze moeten maken: wil ik nooit meer verlegen zijn (een onrealistisch ideaalbeeld) of wil ik mijn doelen bereiken en voor mijn behoeften uitkomen.
Besef dat het ideaalbeeld dat je wilt bereiken niet van jezelf is, maar een product van de film, tv of populaire maatschappelijke opvattingen. Of misschien wel de indirecte verpakking van de wens van je ouders: wees volmaakt.
Je zult daarvoor in de plaats in contact moeten komen met wie je werkelijk bent en wilt zijn. Verlegen mensen zijn vaak vervreemd van hun werkelijke persoon. Het is een gevolg van een proces van vervreemding dat al in de vroege jeugd is begonnen. Daarom is het niet onzinnig om jezelf af te vragen ‘wat wil ik’ en ‘wie wil ik zijn’ ? Het zijn deze vragen die je op het spoor kunnen zetten van je werkelijke persoon en de daarmee verbonden krachten die in je huizen. Langs deze weg kan je je leven weer kracht geven en je energie weer verenigen en samen voor hetzelfde doel doen gaan.
Voor jezelf kiezen
Verlegen mensen zijn zo bezig met wat ze denken, dat anderen van hen verwachten dat ze nooit voor zichzelf hebben durven kiezen. Eigenlijk zitten ze erop te wachten dat een ander hen hiervoor uitnodigt. Maar dat is een illusie. Het is onze eigen taak om ons leven te leiden, onze behoeften te ontdekken en onze talenten te besteden. Deze gezonde autonomie is niet zelfzuchtig, maar een gezonde basis voor het dragen van persoonlijke verantwoordelijkheid.
Juist verlegenheid kan leiden tot ik-gerichtheid en overdreven zelfbescherming.
De weg in het anders omgaan met verlegenheid (ik zeg bewust niet : het overwinnen van verlegenheid), is een weg vol risico’s. Maar dat is eigen aan het leven. Bij elke koers die je uitzet, elk doel wat je wilt bereiken zul je tegenslagen ervaren. We krijgen niets cadeau in het leven.
Durf je gevoelens te erkennen en breng ze onder woorden (niet alleen die van schaamte, maar vooral die van boosheid)
Neem mensen in vertrouwen
Bestraf jezelf niet om wat je voelt. Gevoelens zijn er nu eenmaal of je ze goed vindt of niet.
Verleg in kleine stappen je grenzen. Maak eens een praatje in de winkel of andere ontmoetingsplaatsen.
Je bloost nogal gemakkelijk... Wanneer je op een feest of een receptie binnenkomt breekt het zweet je uit… Op je werk aan het fotokopieerapparaat moet je je beurt afwachten en je weet niet hoe je daarbij te gedragen… In de bibliotheek durf je niet te vragen om een boek, zelfs al gaat het niet eens over verlegenheid… Tijdens een vergadering moet of wil je iets zeggen. Maar je durft niet… Bij het krijgen van kritiek reageer je agressief… Je durft zelden als eerste een restaurant binnenstappen…
Uit onderzoek is gebleken dat 40% van de mensen verlegen is. De helft van hen voelt verlegenheid als een zware last en wil daar van af.
Onzekerheid als grote boosdoener
Kern van het probleem is onzekerheid, “Doe ik het wel goed', is de vraag die je gewoonlijk beantwoordt met “vast niet.” Door gebrek aan zelfvertrouwen durf je op school of op je werk niet om nadere uitleg te vragen als je iets niet begrijpt. Ze konden je wel eens dom en lastig vinden !
Gradaties en voorkomen
Verlegenheid is een sociale angst. Het is het onbehaaglijke gevoel en de geremdheid die je overkomt in het gezelschap van mensen. Verlegenheid komt in vele gradaties voor. Bijna iedereen voelt zich ongemakkelijk voor een grote zaal met mensen. Sommigen durven echter amper buiten komen.
Sommigen zijn sinds hun kindertijd al altijd verlegen geweest. Vele mensen weten verlegenheid door levenservaring en zonder speciale hulp te overwinnen. Een aantal mensen krijgt plots meer last van verlegenheid, vb. na een scheiding of ingeval van werkloosheid.
Leven met verlegenheid wordt vaak als een steeds zwaarder wordende last ervaren.
Wat is er aan te doen ?
Je kunt het verlegenheidsgevoel sterk verminderen. Ten eerste moet je rationeler en positiever leren denken : niet meer denken dat mensen op straat je uitlachen, niet meer denken dat anderen je dom vinden, niet meer denken dat je iets nooit zult leren, zoals bijvoorbeeld goed met mensen leren omgaan.
Ook het feit dat iemand zichtbaar bloost, wordt direct weer vergeten. Want er zijn belangrijker dingen in het leven waar je aandacht aan te besteden hebt. Als je geleerd hebt waarom je niet verlegen hoeft te zijn, wordt het tijd om eens wat te gaan proberen. Stap voor stap moet je steeds meer durven doen.
Je zal zelf merken dat het best meevalt om aandacht te krijgen. Je zal inzien dat je je al heel vreemd dient te gedragen vooraleer mensen je langdurig bekijken. Nu denk je dat je overal waar je voorbij komt in de gaten gehouden wordt. Het zijn echter vooral verlegen mensen die anderen vaak nauwgezet bestuderen uit angst voor negatieve oordelen.
Twee kanten, een wél en niét verlegen kant
Ik heb een (leidinggevende) baan met erg veel contacten en dan ben ik niét verlegen. Bij sociale contacten buiten het werk ben ik wél verlegen en onzeker.
Wat kan de oorzaak van dat dubbele zijn ?
Het is inderdaad moeilijk te begrijpen, dat je tijdens je werk helemaal geen last van verlegenheid hebt en in andere situaties juist wel.
Toch is het wel verklaarbaar. Tijdens je werk loopt alles volgens plan. Je hebt een (leidinggevende) taak en jij neemt dus initiatieven en hebt zelf de touwtjes in handen. Daar voel je je zeker bij. In andere situaties, tijdens een uitje, een receptie of een etentje, is de onderlinge communicatie ongedwongen.
Een gezellige sfeer maak je met elkaar en daar moet je wat voor doen. Het is heel begrijpelijk dat je in een werksituatie jezelf op een heel andere manier presenteert. Je kent immers het draaiboek en je weet wat er gaat gebeuren. Zo gauw als je met collega's iets leuks gaat doen, ligt er niets meer vast. Dan speel je met elkaar het communicatieve spel en dan kan het zijn dat je niets weet te zeggen.
Waar vind je hulp ?
Maar er is iets aan te doen. De Vereniging voor Verlegen Mensen - cfr. : http://www.vvm-vzw.be - biedt de leden een mogelijkheid vaardigheden te ontwikkelen, die je helpen contact te maken. In een aantal steden in het land worden zelfhulpgroepen opgestart waar groepsleden werken aan hun verlegenheid
Voor verlegenen is de weg naar hulpverlening niet gemakkelijk. Ze verbergen hun onbehagen rond hun eigen verlegenheid vaak zo goed dat zelfs huisartsen de ernst en de last ervan onderschatten. Assertiviteitstrainingen en cursussen ’spreken in het openbaar’ zijn niet specifiek gericht op verlegen mensen. Ze zijn eerder geschikt voor niet-verlegenen.
De meest effectieve manier om je verlegenheid te verminderen is het meedoen aan één van de basiscursussen in Vlaanderen. Tijdens zo'n cursus leer je sociale vaardigheden, assertieve vaardigheden, rationeel denken en zijn er praktische toepassingen.
Het verwerven van inzicht in je eigen situatie en eenvoudige oefeningen brengen je steeds een stapje dichter bij je doel.
De lessen vinden vooral 's avonds plaats, van 19u30 à 20 uur (hangt af van de groep) tot 22 à 22u30.
Twijfel je nog, trek dan je stoute schoenen aan en contacteer de Vereniging voor Verlegen Mensen, Postbus 187, 2200 Herentals – Tel. : 03 322 83 80 (cfr. : http://www.vvm-vzw.be -).
Child Psychology - A Contemporary Viewpoint (with LifeMAP CD-ROM and PowerWeb) E. Mavis Hetherington, Ross D Parke, Mary Gauvain & Virginia Otis Locke - McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages (6 edition), July 14, 2005 – ISBN-10 : 0073197815 / ISBN-13 : 978-0073197814 – Chapter 7, p, 258-264 This thoroughly revised edition of a classic text uses a topical organization to emphasize the processes of development. It examines a variety of theoretical viewpoints, providing students with a well balanced view of a child’s developmental process; all of the chapters are thoroughly grounded in research. In this edition, a new co-author, esteemed cognitive developmentalist Mary Gauvain, joins E. Mavis Hetherington, Ross Parke and Virginia Locke--creating a true powerhouse in developmental psychology. Cfr. : http://www.amazon.com/Child-Psychology-Contemporary-Viewpoint-PowerWeb/dp/0073197815
Had me dat eerder verteld - Opvoedkundige antwoorden op veel voorkomende problemen Prof. dr. Jan Dirk van der Ploeg – Amsterdam : SWP-publishers - ISBN : 978-90-6665-270-5 - Hoofdstuk 9, blz. 100-118 Dit boek gaat in op de meest voorkomende problemen die zich tijdens de ontwikkeling van kinderen kunnen voordoen. Op bondige en heldere wijze wordt antwoord gegeven op talrijke vragen zoals : is er sprake van een probleem, komt dit probleem ook bij andere kinderen voor, is dit probleem te voorkomen en wat kan ik doen aan het probleem ? Verscheidene deskundigen zijn gevraagd om hun licht te laten schijnen over deze problemen. Via de specifieke bijdragen van deze auteurs kan de lezer zich meer inzicht verwerven in uiteenlopende situaties van jeugdigen. Met deze kennis zijn ouders en leerkrachten beter in staat te beoordelen hoe men moet optreden tegenover bepaalde gedragingen van jeugdigen. Het boek behandelt de ontwikkeling van het kind in vier fasen. Voor elke periode zijn niet alleen de meest voorkomende problemen in beeld gebracht, maar ook de belangrijkste stappen die gedurende deze periode door het kind worden gezet. Op deze wijze kan de lezer de route volgen die kinderen afleggen op weg naar hun volwassenheid. Daarmee krijgt men ook oog voor de barrières die soms door kinderen moeten worden overwonnen, wat niet altijd onmiddellijk en vanzelf lukt. Het verloop van die ontwikkeling kan per kind sterk verschillen. Toch zijn die verschillen geen reden tot ongerustheid zolang deze afwijkingen binnen bepaalde marges blijven. In dit boek worden die grenzen zo helder mogelijk aangegeven. Wanneer het gedrag van kinderen en jongeren buiten deze grenzen valt of dreigt te vallen neemt de kans toe dat er een probleem ontstaat. Dat is ook het moment waarop ouders, leerkrachten en andere volwasenen gaan twijfelen aan de gedragingen van het opgroeiende kind en aan hun eigen optreden. Dan heeft het zin dit boek ter hand te nemen. Kinderen worden op verschillende manieren groot gebracht. Er is nu eenmaal niet één zaligmakende wijze van opvoeden. Wel is er een duidelijk verschil te maken tussen positieve en negatieve manieren om met kinderen om te gaan. In dit boek wordt uiteen gezet op welk fundament kinderen zich het beste ontwikkelen. Voor ouders, leerkrachten en andere volwassenen die met jeugdigen te maken hebben geeft dit boek korte en gerichte informatie over uiteenlopende ontwikkelingsproblemen. Ook hulpverleners kunnen zich met behulp van dit boek snel de essentie van diverse problemen eigen maken. Cfr. : http://www.nl.bol.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/nl/-/EUR/BOL_DisplayProductInformation-Start?BOL_OWNER_ID=666806969&Section=BOOK
Ik kon wel door de grond zakken - Over verlegenheid en sociale angst Jan Schouten & Theo IJzermans - Uitgeverij Boom – ISBN10 : 9060096258 | ISBN13 : 9789060096253 Iemand die verlegen is heeft het idee dat de wereld bestaat uit vlotte en ontspannen mensen, die altijd hun woordje klaar hebben en zich nooit ongemakkelijk voelen. Niets is minder waar : bijna de helft van de mensen die u kent of tegenkomt voelt zich regelmatig verlegen. Hoe kom je aan verlegenheid, hoe kun je hetvoorkomen en hoe kom je ervanaf ? In dit boekje staan oefeningen waarmee men schaamte, onwennigheid, onzekerheid en spanning de baas kan worden. Cfr. : http://www.nl.bol.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/nl/-/EUR/BOL_DisplayProductInformation-Start?Section=BOOK&BOL_OWNER_ID=666814299 Theo IJzermans /Jan Schouten Boom 1989
Oxytocin increases trust in humans Michael Kosfeld1,5, Markus Heinrichs2,5, Paul J. Zak3, Urs Fischbacher1 and Ernst Fehr1,4 – 1/ University of Zurich, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, Blumlisalpstrasse 10, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland – 2/ University of Zurich, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Zurichbergstrasse 43, CH-8044 Zurich, Switzerland – 3/ Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California 91711-6165, USA – 4/ Collegium Helveticum, Schmelzbergstrasse 25, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland - *These authors contributed equally to this work - Correspondence to : Markus Heinrichs2,5Ernst Fehr1,4 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to E.F. : email@example.com - and M.H. : firstname.lastname@example.org - Nature 435, 2 June 2005, p. 673-676 Trust pervades human societies (1)(2). Trust is indispensable in friendship, love, families and organizations and plays a key role in economic exchange and politics (3). In the absence of trust among trading partners, market transactions break down. In the absence of trust in a country's institutions and leaders, political legitimacy breaks down. Much recent evidence indicates that trust contributes to economic, political and social success (4)(5). Little is known, however, about the biological basis of trust among humans. Here we show that intranasal administration of oxytocin, a neuropeptide that plays a key role in social attachment and affiliation in non-human mammals (6)(7)(8), causes a substantial increase in trust among humans, thereby greatly increasing the benefits from social interactions. We also show that the effect of oxytocin on trust is not due to a general increase in the readiness to bear risks. On the contrary, oxytocin specifically affects an individual's willingness to accept social risks arising through interpersonal interactions. These results concur with animal research suggesting an essential role for oxytocin as a biological basis of prosocial approach behaviour. Cfr. : http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7042/abs/nature03701.html
Veel mensen zijn verlegen zonder het zelf te weten Belg.Be, 2007-08-09 – Bron : www.hulporganisaties.be In het najaar start de Vereniging voor Verlegen Mensen opnieuw met cursussen die het zelfvertrouwen vergroten. Verlegenheid is angst in gezelschap van mensen en komt in veel vormen en gradaties voor. Uit onderzoek is gebleken dat 40% van de mensen verlegen is. De helft van hen voelt verlegenheid als een zware last en wil daar van af. Volgens Greet, woordvoerder van de Vlaamse Vereniging van Verlegen Mensen kunnen mensen om heel diverse redenen verlegen zijn. “Ze kunnen uit een familiale omgeving komen waar de ouders zelf ook verlegen waren.” Ze hebben dan als het ware hun gedrag gekopieerd of hebben niet geleerd om niet verlegen te zijn. Tenslotte kan het ook in de aard van de mens zitten. Wat door de ene persoon als “verlegen” wordt bestempeld, wordt door de andere gedefinieerd als een voorzichtig iemand, iemand die liever eerst wat de kat uit de boom kijkt. “Anderen worden dan weer verlegen door een negatieve ervaring tijdens hun jeugd en hebben die onvoldoende of slecht verwerkt. Kinderen durven ook al wel eens verlegen zijn, maar de meeste van hen groeien er overheen. Er is wetenschappelijk onderzoek gebeurd naar het waarom van verlegenheid, maar zonder sluitende resultaten.” Het is alsof verlegen mensen gevangen zitten in een conflict tussen toenadering en ontwijking. Zij hebben over het algemeen ook tijd nodig om te wennen aan nieuwe mensen, plaatsen en situaties. Verlegen mensen voelen zich veilig op een bepaald terrein maar zijn wel in staat om dit uit te breiden. Veel genoemde situaties die verlegen mensen moeilijk vinden zijn : - binnenkomen in een volle kamer, bijvoorbeeld bij een feestje - voor een kassa in de rij staan - een groepje mensen dat lacht als je voorbij loopt - omgaan met collega's - als je hulp nodig hebt daar om vragen - een sollicitatiegesprek - een functioneringsgesprek met de baas - kennismaken met iemand van het aantrekkelijke geslacht - een conflict - tijdens een vergadering iets vragen of je mening geven. Belangrijke karakteristieken waar verlegen mensen mee worstelen : - gevoelens van spanning : jezelf niet vrij voelen - gedragproblemen : niet weten hoe zich te moeten gedragen of niet durven te doen wat hij juist acht, vooral zich niet vrij durven uiten - negatieve gedachtes over zichzelf Wat kun je aan verlegenheid doen ? Verlegenheid gaat niet zomaar over, maar als je bereid bent er wat moeite voor te doen, kun je veel van je verlegenheid verminderen. “Ten eerste moet je rationeler en positiever leren denken”, aldus Greet, “niet meer denken dat mensen op straat je uitlachen, niet meer denken dat anderen je dom vinden, niet meer denken dat je iets nooit zult leren, zoals bijvoorbeeld goed met mensen leren omgaan.” Wie hulp nodig heeft, kan bij de zelfhulpgroep Vereniging voor Verlegen Mensen een cursus volgen. De opleidingen worden gegeven door ex-cursisten. Via de cursus, praatavonden en maandelijkse activiteiten trachten ze mensen die met verlegenheid kampen sociaal weerbaarder en gelukkiger te maken met zichzelf en met hun sociale leven. De nadruk ligt op het inzicht te krijgen in de eigen problematiek (o.a. rationeel leren denken en handelen, een positief zelfbeeld leren hebben) en op het aanleren van praktische vaardigheden (hoe een gesprekje beginnen met een onbekende, hoe iets weigeren, ...). Wat komt er zoal aan bod ? - luistervaardigheden - oogcontact - positief zelfbeeld - vragen stellen en vrije informatie geven - assertief optreden en denken - parafraseren - ontspanning - reflecteren - reageren op kritiek - kritiek uiten - assertieve vaardigheden. De basiscursus bestaande uit 27 bijeenkomsten heeft wekelijks plaats. Er wordt gewerkt met lesboeken waarin alle theorie staat. De oefeningen die je moet doen, brengen je steeds een stapje dichter bij je doel. Het lesmateriaal is door de vereniging zelf gemaakt, in samenwerking met prof. Zymbardo (VS) en is geënt op onderzoekingen. Omdat leden soms zelf met goede ideeën komen, kunnen hier nieuwe hulpmiddelen aan toegevoegd worden. Dit jaar gaan er cursussen door in gans Vlaanderen. Om deel te kunnen nemen aan de cursus dien je lid en minstens 18 jaar oud te zijn. De prijs bedraagt €40 (plus €20 lidgeld voor een jaar). Hierin zijn de lesboeken inbegrepen. Je kunt ook steeds gratis een tweede, derde... keer de cursus volgen zo je daar behoefte aan hebt of niet op alle lessen aanwezig kon zijn (als je in ploegstelsel werkt bijvoorbeeld). De lessen vinden 's avonds plaats, van 19u30 à 20 uur (hangt af van de groep) tot 22 à 22u30. Meer info Vereniging voor Verlegen Mensen - Postbus 187 - 2200 Herentals – Tel. : 03/ 322.83.80 - www.vvm-vzw.be -. Cfr. : http://www.belg.be/leesmeer.php?x=5169
Verlegen Jeannette Rijks - Eenzaam, eenzaamheid Verlegenheid wordt vaak in verband gebracht met eenzaamheid. Ten onrechte. Eenzaamheid is het gevolg van verstoringen in je leven. Verstoringen die niet zijn hersteld op een manier die voor jou goed is. Verlegenheid kan het wel moeilijker maken om er iets aan te doen, maar de oorzaak van eenzaamheid is het niet ! Verlegenheid is angst in gezelschap van mensen en komt in veel vormen en gradaties voor. Bijna iedereen is verlegen voor een grote zaal vol mensen, maar er zijn ook mensen die hun huis niet uit durven. Uit onderzoek is gebleken dat 40% van de mensen verlegen is. De helft van hen voelt verlegenheid als een zware last en wil daar van af. Veel genoemde situaties die verlegen mensen moeilijk vinden zijn : - binnenkomen in een volle kamer, bijvoorbeeld bij een feestje - voor een kassa in de rij staan - een groepje mensen dat lacht als je voorbij loopt - omgaan met collega's - als je hulp nodig hebt daar om vragen - een sollicitatiegesprek - een functioneringsgesprek met de baas - kennismaken met iemand van het aantrekkelijke geslacht - een conflict - tijdens een vergadering iets vragen of je mening geven. Sommige mensen zijn van jongs af aan verlegen, anderen worden dat op latere leeftijd. Vaak ontstaat verlegenheid in de puberteit. Ook door nare ervaringen, zoals werkloosheid of een scheiding, kan men last krijgen van verlegenheid. Kern van het probleem is onzekerheid. “Doe ik het wel goed ?" is de vraag die je gewoonlijk beantwoordt met : “vast niet”. Door gebrek aan zelfvertrouwen durf je op school of op je werk niet om nadere uitleg te vragen als je iets niet begrijpt. Ze konden je wel eens dom en lastig vinden ! - Bovenstaande tekst is een bewerking van de tekst van www.verlegenmensen.nl met toestemming opgenomen - Het opbouwen van zelfvertrouwen is dan ook prioriteit nummer één als je last hebt van verlegenheid. De cursus Creatief Leven besteedt daar veel aandacht aan – cfr. : http://www.eenzaamheid.info/cursus.htm -. Je kunt zélf natuurlijk ook veel doen. Door om te beginnen niet te hoge eisen aan jezelf te stellen. Door jezelf elke dag een kleine opdracht te geven merk je van dat tot dag dat het je makkelijker afgaat. Begin met iets wat voor jou niet te moeilijk is. Waar wij verlegen mensen mee om moeten leren gaan is het gevoel beoordeeld te worden. Je voelt je sterk als het gaat om dingen waar je goed in bent. Zorg er dus voor dat je goed wordt in "beoordeeld worden" ! Hoe ? Laat naar je kijken. Mag ik je een tip geven ? Oefen 'in het wild' ! Bereid je voor, zorg dat je er goed uitziet (nee, geen dure mode, maar gewoon, verzorgd) en ga naar buiten. Zeg vriendelijk :"dag !" tegen mensen die je tegenkomt, of je ze nu kent of niet. De aangesprokenen zullen zich onzeker voelen omdat ze door je worden begroet, terwijl ze je niet herkennen (nee, natuurlijk niet !). Op deze manier ben jij degene die de situatie beheerst. Je oefent op een prachtige manier : je brengt vriendelijkheid de wereld in, en versterkt je zelfvertrouwen ! Succes ! Cfr. : http://www.eenzaamheid.info/eenzaam%20en%20...%20verlegen.htm
Verlegen jongens meer kans op hartproblemen gezondheid.infoblog.be Als je op een feestje altijd in de belangstelling staat, zou je minder risico hebben op een fatale hartziekte of beroerte, volgens recent onderzoek. Deze 30-jarige studie, uitgevoerd door de Chicago Northwestern University, geeft aan dat verlegen of antisociale mannen 50% meer kans hadden om op deze manier te sterven dan extraverte mannen. Maar is het werkelijk zo dat het feestgedrag van mensen hun gezondheid kan bepalen ? Een Britse expert denkt dat het verband inderdaad zou kunnen bestaan, maar bekijkt het vanuit een andere hoek. Een lagere sociale status kan immers de oorzaak zijn van verlegenheid én een slechte gezondheid. De onderzoekers bepaalden de gezondheid van meer dan 2000 mannen van middelbare leeftijd gedurende 30 jaar, tot 60% van de mannen was gestorven. De overlijdensaktes werden vergeleken met de psychologische vragenlijsten, die de mannen hadden ingevuld in het begin van het onderzoek, waaruit het persoonlijkheidstype van de deelnemers werd bepaald. Op het einde van het onderzoek bleek dat de groep die bestond uit de meest verlegen mannen 50% meer kans hadden om te sterven door een hartaanval of een beroerte dan de groep met de meest sociale mannen. Ook andere informatie over de levensstijl van de mannen werd geanalyseerd, maar er werd geen link gezien met andere risicofactoren zoals drinken, roken en obesitas. De onderzoekers nemen aan dat verlegen mannen ofwel meer gestrest zijn in nieuwe situaties ofwel dat hun persoonlijkheidstype op een bepaalde manier is verbonden met een deel van de hersenen dat de werking van het hart controleert. Cfr. : http://gezondheid.infoblog.be/nieuws/157/verlegen_jongens_meer_kans_op_hartproblemen
A profile of ME/CFS patients - How many years and how many doctors ?
A profile of ME/CFS patients - How many years and how many doctors ? -
Results of an ME/CFS patient survey
Recently, more than 1,200 patients diagnosed with ME or ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ took a survey posted in ProHealth’s ME/CFS newsletter. The following results – statistics on patient age, length of illness and years/number of doctors required to receive a diagnosis - may contribute to a sharper picture of the ME/CFS community and their challenges.
ProHealth ran this survey at the suggestion of Encounters with the Invisible author Dorothy Wall and ME/CFS doctor Lily Chu, MD, MPH. Wall and Chu are researching information for a public education article on ME/CFS and have found that answers to these types of questions are not easily available in the research literature. We also recognize that this group of diagnosed patients is a minority - since as reckoned by researchers at the CDC and DePaul University, about five of every six ME/CFS sufferers in the U.S. are still undiagnosed.
Note : Researchers at the CDC and DePaul University put the number of Americans with ME/CFS at about 900,000 - and estimate that between 80% and 90% of them are undiagnosed and not receiving proper medical care (cfr. : "The Face of CFS in the U.S." by Dr. Leonard Jason et al. Below).
ME/CFS Public Education Survey Questions
How old are you ? The majority (76%) are between ages 30 and 60
< 20 17 1 % 20-29 76 8 % 30-39 189 16 % 40-49 329 27 % 50-59 401 33 % 60-69 173 14 % 70-older 34 3 % ......................................................... Total 1219 100 % (totals differ slightly as not all respondents answered all questions)
How long have you been ill with ME/CFS ? One in three have been ill for more than 15 years and one in five for more than 20
< 1 year 15 1 % 1- 5 years 258 21 % 6-10 years 318 26 % 11-15 years 211 17 % 16-20 years 188 15 % 20+ years 227 19 % ......................................................... Total 1217 100 %
How long did it take you to be diagnosed with ME/CFS by a healthcare provider ? 29% had been ill from 6 to 20-plus years before being diagnosed
< 1 year 275 23 % 1- 5 years 579 78 % 6-10 years 171 14 % 11-15 years 80 7 % 16-20 years 53 4 % 20+ years 52 4 % .......................................................... Total 1210 100 %
How many healthcare providers did you see before you were diagnosed ? 44% saw from 5 to more than 20 doctors before being diagnosed
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2003 issue of The CFIDS Chronicle. It has been reprinted with the permission of The CFIDS Association of America. For more information, call the Association at 800-442-3437 or visit www.cfids.org -.
Leonard Jason, Ph.D., is among the most prolific of all CFIDS researchers. For more than a decade, Jason and his team at DePaul University’s Center for Community Research have worked to define the scope and impact of CFIDS worldwide.
In recognition of his contribution to the CFIDS community, Jason received the Dutch ME-Foundation International ME-Award for 2003 for outstanding work in the past 10 years in the field of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The award came with a prize of 5,000 Euros as well as specially commissioned piece of artwork by Marika Meershoek.
Q - How did you get involved in CFS research ?
A - In the early 1990s, Judy Richman, a sociologist at the University of Illinois–Chicago and I began discussing the prevalence data for CFS (then believed to be about 4–9 cases per 100,000 people), which suggested that CFS was a relatively rare disorder that affected primarily white, middle-class, women. When we looked closely at the way the data were collected, we realized that there were serious methodological problems with this research.
The epidemiological studies derived their samples from physician referrals in hospital and community-based clinics. These studies under-represented low-income and under-served minorities, people who manifest higher levels of chronic illness while also being less likely to have access to the health care system — and who are thus less likely to be counted in prevalence rates derived from treatment sources.
These studies also underestimated the prevalence of CFS in the general population because they depended on diagnoses by healthcare providers who discounted the existence of the illness and would thus fail to diagnose it.
Q - How did you go about finding the real prevalence figures ?
A - We began our work in this area in 1991. In our first epidemiology study, we directly surveyed nurses. Out of a sample of 3,400,202 nurses (6 percent) indicated that they had experienced debilitating fatigue for six months or longer. Thirty-seven nurses met case criteria for current CFS, yielding a prevalence rate of 1,088 per 100,000.
In 1993, we collected pilot data for the presence of CFS in a random community sample of 1,031 people (with funding from The CFIDS Association of America). Sixty-four percent of the fatigued group indicated that they had no current medical doctor overseeing their illness. The DePaul University research team found a prevalence rate of 200 per 100,000, a number higher than one would have expected, given rates from past epidemiological studies.
After many efforts to get funding, we finally were successful in obtaining a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. From 1995 until 1998, we attempted to contact a sample of 28,673 households in Chicago by telephone. Of that sample, 18,675 individuals were screened for CFS symptomatology. The sample was stratified to ensure that it reflected the diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups comprising the Chicago general population.
Approximately 420 per 100,000 of the sample were determined to have CFS and rates of CFS were higher among Latino and African-American respondents when compared to white respondents. These data suggested that there might be as many as 800,000 adults in the U.S. with this syndrome, suggesting that it is one of the more common chronic health conditions. Data were also collected for youth and the findings indicated a CFS prevalence of .06 percent or 60 cases per 100,000.
Q - Epidemiological studies are not always seen as “sexy” by a patient community eager for treatments and a cure. Why are they so important ?
A - Quite simply, if there are few cases of CFS in the population, it is more difficult to generate funds for research and treatment. Without funding, progress is difficult if not impossible.
It’s easier to make the case for funding when you’re dealing with a patient population of 800,000 people than it is when you’re talking about a rare disorder affecting a fraction of that figure.
Epidemiological studies also aid the design of other research. The better we know the patient population, the better the overall science will be. Most existing prevalence studies have had poor sampling plans and systematic biases that excluded certain people (i.e., studies were conducted in medical settings, so that they likely excluded people of lower socioeconomic status and people of color who were less likely to have access to health care). In addition, there is a vital need to examine the incidence and course of CFS over time, particularly in random, community-based, multi-ethnic populations.
A recent technical report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Defining and Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 2001) concluded that estimates of recovery/improvement or relapse from CFS are not possible because there are so few natural history studies and those that are available have involved selected referral populations. This report recommended that there was a need for studies to properly determine the long-term natural history of CFS.
This report clearly indicated the need to conduct epidemiologic studies that provide estimates of CFS incidence in community-based samples and to identify risk factors for prognosis and onset of CFS in socioeconomically diverse samples.
Q - What is your research team focusing on now ?
A - We believe that the most important work that is now needed in the field is to develop sub-types within the CFS population and our research group is currently working on this topic.
Individuals with CFS have been found to differ with respect to many characteristics. As a result of this heterogeneity, findings emerging from studies in a number of areas are, at best, discrepant and at worst, contradictory. Heterogeneity among participant groups can also contribute to a lack of observable abnormalities in some laboratory studies.
One central, methodological explanation for observations of discrepant findings across studies involves issues related to sampling and participant selection. A majority of investigations have employed non-random, medically-referred samples. There probably are different types of illnesses now contained within the CFS construct, which makes it even more difficult to identify commonalities in all people with this diagnosis.
Q - Other than funding and better study design, what does the CFS research field need most ?
A - Given the prevalence and seriousness of this disorder, there is a clear need for advocacy, in which the general public and the medical community become better educated about the problems and difficulties associated with CFS.
Some patients with CFS need assistance from others in order to complete daily living tasks, while others need basic medical services and housing. Unfortunately, there are few funding opportunities for these more innovative types of social and community interventions.
Given that this syndrome is one of the more common chronic health conditions and the documented personal and familial costs associated with this condition, there is a clear need for public policy officials to devote more resources to developing a better infrastructure of support for individuals with CFS.
.../... ik kwam op je blog diverse informatie tegen over lichttherapie. Ik als arts adviseer dit regelmatig aan mijn patienten om hun biologische klok ter herstellen. Ik doe dit by winterdepressie, winterdip, vermoeidheidsklachten, fibromyalgie, Delayed / Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome, burnout.
Ik boek hier veel succes mee.
Ik wil u en uw lezers attenderen op een nieuwe lichttherapielamp die aanzienlijk veel voordelen heeft boven het bestaande assortiment, welke zich toch kenmerkt door grote formaten en een beperkt efficiente lichtopbrengst. Door deze laag efficiente lichtopbrengst moeten mensen op een 'normale afstand' toch langdurig achter de lamp zitten, wat veelal niet bijdraagt aan een goede therapietrouw.
Ik ben zeer tevreden over de Litebook Elite, een kleine mobiele lichttherapielamp.
Door het gebruik van speciale LED-lampjes, die het licht op de meest effectieve golflengte uitstraalt hoef je deze lamp maar 15 tot 20 minuten per dag (op 60 cm) te gebruiken. Het meest sympathieke aan deze lamp is dat zij een 60 dagen tevredenheidsgarantie bieden : niet goed, geld terug. Zo blijft niemand met een duur apparaat zitten indien het toch niet blijkt te werken. Zeer sympathiek.
Wellicht kunt u uw lezers hierop wijzen. Alles kost tegenwoordig nl al genoeg...
- Een huisarts in mijn gastenboek (15-05-2008)
er hoort een tevredenheidsgarante bij : 60 dagen/geld terug
de prijs/kwaliteits-verhouding is zeer goed : +€ 249.00.
Reden genoeg om er eens dieper op in te gaan...
Inhoud / contents :
Litebook Elite - Mobiele lichttherapie met zonnekracht
Litebook (GoodLite) Cfr. ook : - De handleiding - De reklamefolder - Een Litebook huren - Litebook Video - Video - Litebook talked about on the Vicki Gabereau Show
Litebook Elite mobiele lichttherapie met zonnekracht (FAQ)
What makes the Litebook so unique ?
Safety report on the Litebook
Shedding light on seasonal affective disorder
Larry Pederson and the LiteBook portable phototherapy device
Light therapy for the treatment of fibromyalgia
Cfr. also :
10 strategies for better sleep
A Boy and a Turtle - A Children's Relaxation Story to Improve Sleep, Manage Stress, Anxiety, Anger
A Boy and a Turtle - Visualization, Meditation and Relaxation Bedtime Story for Children - Improve Sleep, Manage Stress and Anxiety
A controlled trial of the Litebook light-emitting diode (LED) light therapy device for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Action Spectrum for Melatonin Regulation in Humans - Evidence for a Novel Circadian Photoreceptor
Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS)
Affirmation Weaver - A Believe in Yourself Story, Designed to Help Children Boost Self-Esteem While Decreasing Stress and Anxiety
Angel Bear - Yoga Main Lesson Book - Where Your Heart Lights the Way !
Angel Kidz Cards - Book Plus 24 Cards Used for Postive Parenting and to Inspire and Awaken the Child Within Us
Blue Light Wavelengths Increase Serotonin - Scientific Breakthrough
Bright Light May Boost Testosterone - Light Therapy Might Ease Sexual Dysfunction
Bright Light Therapy Relieves Depression - Therapy Looks Promising for Depression During Pregnancy
Bright-light therapy may help weight loss
Bubble Riding - A Relaxation Story, Designed to Help Children Increase Creativity While Lowering Stress and Anxiety Levels
Children's Stress Awareness Curriculum - Lessons, Techniques and Stories Designed to Decrease Stress, Anxiety and Anger While Increasing Self-Esteem
Children's Wellness Curriculum - Lessons, Stories and Techniques Designed to Decrease Bullying, Anxiety, Anger and Obesity While Promoting Self-Esteem and Healthy Food Choices
Circadian phase delay induced by phototherapeutic devices
Delayed sleep phase syndrome
Effect of an intervention on melatonin secretion during night shifts in police officers
Effect of light therapy on sleep and 'chemobrain' in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
Evaluation of ‘blue-enriched’ light on sleep of community-dwelling older people
Feng Shui for Kids/Bagua Map and Fresh Picked Rainbow Gift Set
Free mental health screenings designed to promote psychiatric drug use, health author says
Frequently Asked Questions About Litebook
Goodnight Caterpillar - The Ultimate Bedtime Story
How light therapy works in the body - Light triggers hormone surge studies of mice show
How to beat the winter blues
How to choose a light box
Indigo Dreams - 4 Children's Stories Designed to Decrease Stress and Anxiety While Increasing Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness (Audio CD)
Indigo Dreams - Adult Relaxation : Guided Relaxation/Stress Management Techniques with Calming Music (Audio CD)
Indigo Dreams (all 4 books plus Indigo Dreams CD/audio book)
Indigo Ocean Dreams (Audio CD)
Indigo Teen Dreams - Teens Explore Relaxation/Stress Management Techniques While Receiving Guided Instructions on the Techniques of Breathing, Visualizations, ... Relaxation and Affirmations (Audio CD)
Kids Yoga Posters – Chakras - The Colors in You are the Colors in Me
Kids Yoga Posters – Mudras - The Feelings in You are the Feelings in Me
Light therapy – Videos
Light therapy, a ‘natural Prozac’ for winter depression
Litebook Elite hand-held light therapy device
Litebook Elite Portable LED SAD Lightbox
Litebook V2 Elite Lightbox - The only totally portable LED light therapy product on the market
Moderate exercise and bright light treatment in overweight and obese individuals
Nieuwe lichttherapielamp voorkomt in twee sessies de reisklachten
Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome
Performance enhancement in shift-work environments
Restless Sleep - Can't get a good night's rest ?
SAD - What is it ?
Seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder and Light Therapy
Sleep Onset Latency (SOL)
Teens with ADHD
The effect of control and 'blue-enriched' white light on sleep in older people
The Goodnight Caterpillar - A Children's Relaxation Story to Improve Sleep, Manage Stress, Anxiety, Anger
The Litebook® light therapy lightbox - Offers the ultimate in portability yet offers incrediblely effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Use of timed light treatment to hasten circadian adaptation of offshore nightshift workers returning home to day life
Using Bright Light to Reduce Anxiety Levels in Persons with High Levels of Anxiety
Wat is lichttherapie ?
Winter blues - Everything you need to know to beat seasonal affective disorder
Winter may herald SAD epidemic for millions
De Litebook Elite is een klein handig apparaat, met zeer efficiente lichtopbrengst. Voorheen had ik zo'n groot bakbeest, waar ik erg lang achter moest zitten. Met de Litebook ben ik in 15 tot 20 minuten al klaar. Omdat ik vanuit mijn bed bijna direct in de auto spring, gebruik ik hem pas op kantoor. Omdat je niet direct in het licht hoeft te kijken kan ik in de tussentijd mijn email checken. De distributeur van de Litebook, Goodlite biedt ook een tevredenheidsgarantie. Dat is wel een zeer goede service. Ik heb er echter geen gebruik van gemaakt, want de mijne krijgen ze niet meer terug.
The Litebook employs the highest quality white light emitting diode (LED) technology, resulting in an astonishingly bright light delivery system. These LEDs are rated to last for several years and are encased in an injection-molded impactresistant ABS plastic outer shell, making the original Litebook the first compact, lightweight and durable light therapy device available. The Litebook includes a choice of an AC power adapter (compatible for your coutry) and nylon carrying case.
Als één of meerdere onderstaande klachten je bekend voorkomen, kan een Litebook Elite je helpen :
Inslaap- en/of door- slaapproblemen
Minder behoefte aan sociale contacten
Onverklaarbare lichamelijke klachten
Overmatige behoefte aan slaap
Slaapproblemen (ook langer slapen en toch niet uitgeslapen wakker worden)
Somberheid, depressiviteit, passiviteit
Toegenomen eetlust (m.n. koolhydraat voedsel als pasta, chocolade en snoep)
Verminderde behoefte aan intimiteit en sex
Vermoeidheidsklachten, vermoeidheid, weinig energie
Verstoringen van de biologische klok (jetlag, ploegendienst, ...)
De Litebook Elite vertegenwoordigt een nieuwe generatie van lichttherapieapparatuur. De Litebook Elite is ontwikkeld naar aanleiding van de grote vraag naar kleine en mobiele lichttherapieapparatuur.
Ondanks het feit dat de effectiviteit van lichttherapie is aangetoond en erkend in behandelrichtlijnen van artsen, stuitte de toepasbaarheid van lichttherapie tot de introductie van de Litebook Elite op problemen.
Het traditionele assortiment kenmerkt zich door grote apparaten waarbij gebruik wordt gemaakt van klassieke fluorescente (TL-) lampen. En op grote apparatuur zit je veelal niet te wachten.
Ook de slechte mobiliteit van deze grote apparaten kwam niet ten goede van het gebruiksgemak. De dagelijks benodigde behandeltijd met deze lampen is in het algemeen vrij lang.
Het antwoord op bovenstaande problemen kwam in de vorm van de compacte Litebook Elite. Met een afmeting van 14,5 x 14 x 3,5 centimeter (LxBxD) is de Litebook Elite niet veel groter dan een portable CD-speler. De geïntegreerde oplaadbare batterij zorgt ervoor dat je dat je de Litebook Elite ook zonder directe stroomtoevoer langdurig kan gebruiken. Je kan de Litebook Elite dus overal mee naar toenemen waardoor je je dagelijkse routine niet hoeft te onderbreken om de herstellende werking van lichttherapie te ervaren. Het licht van de Litebook Elite is niet alleen effectief, maar ook efficiënt. De gepatenteerde LED-lampjes van de Litebook Elite zenden licht uit op precies dezelfde golflengtes als waar ook de zon haar piek golflengtes heeft. Hierdoor wordt de dagelijks benodigde behandeltijd aanzienlijk verkort.
Met de Litebook Elite ervaar je op een natuurlijke wijze de energie van de zon - zonder de schadelijke UV-stralen.
True Health Shop
Bijna iedereen herkent dit wel : op een zonnige dag voel je je vrolijker en heb je meer energie. Ons leven speelt zich echter grotendeels binnen af, waardoor we te weinig zonlicht tot ons krijgen. We sluiten ons dagelijks op in donkere kantoorgebouwen en in onze vrije tijd hangen we uren voor de TV of surfen we op het internet. En als we vervolgens op een mooie dag naar buiten gaan voor een lekkere strandwandeling verschuilen we onze ogen achter een donkere zonnebril.
We betalen hiervoor met onze gezondheid. Vermoeidheid, somberheid, een down gevoel, weinig energie, een prikkelbaar gevoel, langer slapen en toch niet uitgeslapen wakker worden of soms zelfs een gehele burn-out, zijn veel voorkomende klachten. Zeker als in de herfst en winter de dagen ook nog eens korter en donkerder worden, neemt het aantal mensen met gezondheidsklachten en slaapproblemen als het gevolg van te weinig licht toe. Men noemt dit verschijnsel ook wel herfstmoeheid, winterdip of winterblues. Dit zijn allemaal mildere vormen van SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) ofwel winterdepressie.
Bij lichttherapie wordt je blootgesteld aan licht met een sterke intensiteit. Deze intensiteit drukt men uit in LUX. Artsen gingen er eerst van uit dat blootstelling van 10.000 LUX noodzakelijk was om het gewenste gunstige effect met lichttherapie te bereiken.
Alleen intens licht is echter niet voldoende. Ook de golflengtes waarop het lichttherapie apparaat licht uitstraalt, is van groot belang om de aanmaak van melatonine effectief te kunnen onderdrukken.
Het speciale licht van Litebook Elite herstelt je biologische klok.
De gepatenteerde LED-lampjes (Licht Emitterende Dioden) zenden licht uit op precies dezelfde golflengtes als waar ook de zon haar piek golflengtes heeft. Daarom werkt de Litebook Elite zo goed en hoef je deze dagelijks maar kort te gebruiken.
Voor een goed herstel van het dag- en nachtritme adviseert men in het algemeen lichttherapie in de vroege ochtend toe te passen. Doe het licht aan van de Litebook Elite, mobiele lichttherapie met zonnekracht. In slechts 15 tot 30 minuten per dag voel je je weer fit, energiek en slaap je beter. Ook een jetlag kan worden verholpen door eenvoudig voor en na uw vlucht gebruik te maken van de Litebook !
Afmeting : 14,5 x 14 x 3,5 cm
Licht van gewicht : 227 gram
Duurzame LED-technologie : 100.000 branduren
Timerfunctie (15-30-45-60 minuten)
Geïntegreerde oplaadbare Lithium-ION batterij
100-240V AC adapter met wereldstekkers
Medisch gecertificeerd : CE 0086
ISO 9001 en ISO 13485
2 jaar fabrieksgarantie
60 dagen tevredenheidgarantie
Voltage : 12V DC
Verbruik : 2,4 Watt
Stroomsterkte : 200mA.
Klein en compact
Uitermate mobiel - gebruik de Litebook Elite thuis of op je werk - zonder directe stroomtoevoer te gebruiken door geïntegreerde oplaadbare batterij (opgeladen 3 uur te gebruiken)
Makkelijk te bedienen
Geïntegreerde timerfunctie (15-30-45-60 minuten)
Effectiviteit klinisch aangetoond
Hoge effectieve en efficiënte lichtopbrengst
Korte dagelijkse behandelduur (doorgaans slechts 15 minuten)
Litebook Elite mobiele lichttherapie met zonnekracht
Meest gestelde vragen
Als ik de Litebook Elite gebruik, maakt mijn lichaam dan ook vitamine D aan ? Nee, dit licht zet niet aan tot productie van vitamine D in je lichaam. Het licht van de Litebook Elite bevat geen UV-licht, wat nodig is voor vitamine D productie.
Het licht van mijn Litebook Elite gaat na 5 seconden uit Het kan zijn dat de Litebook Elite nog in de 'demo'-stand staat zoals deze allemaal zijn verpakt. Wanneer je de stekker voor de eerste keer in het stopcontact steekt, komt deze demo-stand te vervallen en wordt het apparaat automatisch geprogrammeerd voor een sessie van 30 minuten. Dit is geschikt voorde meeste gebruikers en toepassingen.
Hoe lang moet ik dagelijks de Litebook Elite gebruiken ? Je biologische klok moet dagelijks worden gesynchroniseerd. Daarom raden wij je aan je Litebook Elite dagelijks te gebruiken. Sommige mensen gebruiken de Litebook Elite alleen op werkdagen. Omdat de geavanceerde LED-technologie van de Litebook Elite licht produceert met dezelfde golflengte als de piekgolflengte van zonlicht, is 15 tot 30 minuten per dag voor de meeste mensen voldoende. Bij onvoldoende effect kan je de Litebook ook langer gebruiken. Doorgaans merkt je zelf wanneer je voldoende lichttherapie hebt gehad, meestal doordat je voelt dat je alerter bent of meer energie en een beter humeur hebt.
Hoe weet ik of klachten duiden op een winterdepressie of winterdip ? Kenmerkend aan een winterdepressie of winterdip is dat de klachten in het winterseizoen duidelijk aanwezig zijn en in de late lente weer verdwijnen. Alleen een arts kan je duidelijkheid geven over je gezondheidsklachten.
Is de koop van een Litebook Elite fiscaal aftrekbaar ? Je kunt de kosten van aankoop van een Litebook Elite bij de aangifte inkomstenbelasting opgeven als bijzondere ziektekosten. Er geldt voor deze kosten wel een drempelbedrag afhankelijk van de hoogte van uw inkomen.
Is lichttherapie ook geschikt voor kinderen ? Ja, iedereen heeft licht nodig voor belangrijke biologische processen in het lichaam of je nu jong of oud bent.
Is lichttherapie veilig ? De laatste 25 jaar is lichttherapie uitgebreid onderzocht door gerenommeerde ziekenhuizen overal ter wereld. Vrijwel de meeste mensen ervaren geen bijwerkingen. Heel soms zijn mensen die de eerste twee dagen wat hoofdpijn, prikkende ogen en/of misselijkheid ervaren. Lichttherapie is een veilige en effectieve behandeling wanneer het goed wordt toegepast. Bespreek het daarom ook met je huisarts, zeker als je een oogaandoening hebt. De Litebook Elite is uitgebreid getest voor jouw veiligheid door medici en experts op het gebied van lichttherapie. Volgens het rapport van Sliney, op wereldvlak dé expert inzake beschadiging van het netvlies, kan de Litebook worden gebruikt zonder enig risico, zelfs urenlang. Het licht van de Litebook Elite is UV-licht vrij.
Kan ik lichttherapie combineren met antidepressiva ? Lichttherapie kan de werking van antidepressiva beïnvloeden. Vaak wordt de werking hierdoor versterkt. Dit hoeft niet nadelig voor je te zijn. Veel artsen kiezen er zelfs bewust voor om lichttherapie te combineren met antidepressiva vanwege deze versterkende werking. Raadpleeg wel een arts voordat je de Litebook Elite gebruikt als je lijdt aan (seizoensgebonden) depressies of stemmings- of slaapstoornissen. Doe dit ook als je medicijnen neemt tegen depressie en/of stemmingsstoornissen.
Kan lichttherapie ook bij mijn klachten helpen ? Lichttherapie is effectief bij een groot aantal gezondheidsklachten. Bespreek deze klachten altijd met je arts. Het is fijn om te weten dat als je een Litebook Elite koopt altijd gebruik kan maken van de 60-dagen-tevredenheids-garantie. Ben je binnen 60 dagen na levering niet tevreden over het resultaat, dan kan je het apparaat retour zenden en ontvang je het aankoopbedrag terug.
Wat als ik een bril of contactlenzen draag ? Een bril en contactlenzen hinderen het licht niet en kunnen dus gewoon worden gedragen tijdens de behandeling
Wat is LUX en waarop is de golflengte belangrijk ? LUX is de lichtsterkte voortgebracht door 1 brandende kaars op een oppervlak loodrecht op de lichtstralen op een afstand van 1 meter van de bron. Het is belangrijk dat je bij het toepassen van lichttherapie een voldoende hoge therapeutische dosis licht ontvangt om de therapeutische voordelen als verbeterde stemming, toegenomen energie en betere slaap te ervaren. Recent onderzoek heeft aangetoond dat emissie van intens licht op een specifieke golflengte nog veel belangrijker is om je klachten effectief aan te pakken. De Litebook Elite produceert een voldoende hoge intensiteit licht. Daarnaast wordt dit licht uitgezonden op precies dezelfde golflengtes als waar ook de zon haar piek golflengtes heeft, waardoor het op een effectieve en efficiënte wijze je klachten aanpakt.
Wordt ik ook bruin van de Litebook Elite ? Nee, je wordt niet bruin van de Litebook Elite. Het licht van de Litebook Elite bevat namelijk geen UV-licht.
Wordt lichttherapie vergoed door mijn ziektekostenverzekering ? Nee, in het algemeen wordt lichttherapieapparatuur voor thuisgebruik niet vergoed door de ziektekostenverzekering. Wil je hier zeker van zijn, neem dan zelf contact op met jouw ziektekostenverzekeraar.
The Litebook's patented technology uses a new kind of light source -- white light emitting diodes (LEDs) -- recently developed in Japan.
These tiny lights produce a specific combination of wavelengths identical to the peak wavelengths of the sun – which turns out to be the wavelengths that our bodies respond to for health and wellbeing – which makes sense since for millions of years, the sun was the original and only light source.
The peak wavelength of the sun is 460 nanometers, in the blue range, with the second peak at 550 nanometers, in the green part of the spectrum. The Litebook peaks in these exact same wavelengths.
Taditional fluorescent light boxes have a light output (the orange line) that, while it is broad or ‘full spectrum’, peaks at around 600 nanometers – with very little energy in the critical wavelengths of 460nm and 550nm.
The Litebook's unique combination of blue and green light results in bright white light – just like the sun.
The Litebook generates no UV radiation – it is safe for the eyes, safe for the skin.
Only The Litebook gives you the light exposure your body craves.
The Litebook is manufactured under the strictest specifications at our state-of-the-art ISO certified facility. Each LED is painstakingly and individually tested to ensure it produces the precise intensity in the critical wavelengths that match the sun and have been clinically proven to be effective.
Like the sun, the light needs to be bright. You aren't going to get the benefit from ordinary indoor lighting... or Litebook knock-offs with inexpensive LEDs. They just don't have the energy in the critical wavelengths.
Now you can safely bring the sun indoors year-round – with the patented LED technology – available only from The Litebook.
David H. Sliney, Ph.D. Consulting Medical Physicist Optical Radiation Hazard Analysis, 406 Streamside Drive, Fallston, MD 21047-2806 - USA Tel. : (410) 877-1646 - Fax : (410) 877-1646 - 18 February 2007 -
This report provides a safety analysis of the human ocular exposure to the visible radiant energy emitted by light emitting diodes (LEDs) employed in the Litebook™ Elite 2.0 illuminator. The Litebook™ is a light-weight, highly portable, table-mounted unit with an array of 24 light emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide supplemental light for the purpose of correcting the body's natural "biological clock." The report provides measurements of the ocular exposure to an individual using the unit under normal conditions and even under unusual (worst-conceivable case) viewing condition. This report explains the applicable safety standards used in the US, in Europe and internationally and provides a comparison of the LED output with those safety standards. Since the LED source dimensions influence the ocular safety, the source size and distribution of sources were measured. This product was improved over earlier models with the design of an improved, projection optics in the diffusing plastic window cover or optics, which increases the retinal image size and reduces the brightness of individual LEDs. For reasonable viewing durations of up to 20-45 minutes a day, where the eye is not stationary a margin of safety exists. Under such use, the margin of safety over the exposure limits ELs is nearly sixfold. It is therefore concluded that the Litebook™ illuminator is safe for use with appropriate instructions to limit viewing duration and not stare directly at the source; and, based upon current knowledge, it would not be possible for a person to sustain an eye injury from this equipment without unrealistically long view durations and steady fixation. The user should be cautioned to discontinue use if persistent afterimages are experienced.
The Litebook Company Ltd., based in Medicine Hat, Alberta, is dedicated to improving quality of life by creating leading-edge light therapies to alleviate health problems caused by light deprivation, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and jet-lag recovery systems.
The patents-pending Litebook®, the world’s first hand-held light-therapy device, uses white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as its light source. Litebook Company products are sold in more than 29 countries around the world.
According to researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine, a new light therapy developed by The Litebook Company from Medicine Hat, Alberta, could make winter blues and jet lag a thing of the past.
The Litebook is the brainchild of Hollywood film writer turned entrepreneur Larry Pederson, an Albertan who suffered severe depression every time he returned to Canada from California in the wintertime. The technology is a “better mousetrap” for people with SAD, a condition linked to winter depression. The Litebook is the world’s first hand-held light-therapy device, producing an ultra-bright light without emitting ultraviolet radiation. The 15 cm-by-12.5 cm Litebook produces very low heat and weighs 225 grams. The average white fluorescent-tube bright light in the same price range as the Litebook weighs 13 times as much, is 30 times bigger and uses 13 times more power.
Based in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Pederson’s enterprise, started in late 1999, started selling its products in June 2001. Since then, more than 10 000 Litebook Company products, including the Litebook and the Time Traveler™, have been sold to customers in more than 29 countries, including Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and the United States.
Note : The Time Traveler™, based on NASA software and Harvard University research, integrated a “body-clock calculator,” storing 171 cities worldwide. Once the user inputs their departure and arrival cities and normal wake time, the program tells the user precise times to see or avoid light, and, thus, resets the body’s internal clock.
The company, however, has not been without its challenges : Pederson and his investors have yet to turn a profit on their $2.5-million investment. But, sales are growing by more than 200 percent a year. With eight employees in Medicine Hat and off-site sales and marketing people in Calgary and Vancouver, the company is setting out on a mission to prove scientifically why light therapy makes you feel better and to educate people about the wellness benefits of light therapy.
Many people in the world suffer from SAD, a mood disorder related specifically to changes in the seasons. The disorder causes sleeplessness, fatigue and depression.
Note : The extra darkness stimulates the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin. The higher the level of melatonin, the sleepier and more lethargic a person becomes.
First documented in the late 1800s, SAD’s symptoms became evident as people moved away from farms and into factories, thereby lowering the amount of time they spent outdoors each day. The situation became exacerbated during the winter months when exposure to natural light was even less.
Once labelled the “winter blues” and considered a fringe disorder, SAD has been identified as a mainstream malady in recent years. An estimated 30 percent of North Americans suffer from SAD, with similar percentages in Europe. About 14 million Americans are believed to suffer from the adverse effects of light deficiency — about 1 in 20 of them from a pronounced form of SAD and another 1 in 20 from a milder version. Millions more suffer from a disruption of their circadian rhythms due to shift work, jet lag and various sleep disorders.
Only in the past 20 years have studies shown that megadoses of full-spectrum light can curb the ill effects of long, dark days. And only in the past 10 years have physicians learned more about light therapy. Light therapy is now so recognized as a credible remedy for SAD, that researchers are currently studying the potential of light therapy in treating other mood disorders like premenstrual syndrome, major depressive disorder and bulimia nervosa. Doctors are also beginning to be convinced of the benefits of light therapy for people with certain sleep disorders or jet lag or for those who work night shifts.
Therapeutic doses of light for SAD sufferers have to be bright enough to mimic dawn or twilight — somewhere between 2500 and 10 000 units of the light measurement called a lux.
Note : Lux is a unit of measurement for light that was developed to account for the eye’s sensitivity curve, known as photopic response curve. This means that the light of one color may appear brighter than the light of another color, even if intensity is the same. It is a very good approximation of how well we will perceive the intensity of a particular light source.
Light from a household light bulb (which only produces about 600 lux) can’t come even close to creating the light levels needed to relieve SAD symptoms. For years, only bulky fluorescent tube lighting in a metal box covered with a Plexiglas® panel to screen out dangerous ultraviolet light was effective in providing indoor light bright enough to help.
Research led by Pederson’s company has resulted in an alternative : the Litebook has 60 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) — pencil-eraser-sized discs of white light that, together, produce 5000 lux.
Note : A diode is the simplest form of semi-conductor. A semi-conductor is a material with the ability to conduct an electric current.
The Litebook has been cited as one of the biggest gains in the treatment of SAD because it is a smaller, portable, lightweight appliance that minimizes the “freak factor” for many sufferers of the disorder. It uses only 6 watts of power compared to the fluorescent tube’s 85 watts and produces 20 times as much light as a 60-watt light bulb. Unlike the bigger boxes, which take two full-spectrum light bulbs that last about 5000 hours (two years), the Litebook uses LEDs that are good for about 100 000 hours.
From darkness to light — The idea
Pederson grew up in Alberta. He started a pre-med program at the University of Alberta, but dropped out after the first year because he wasn’t able to concentrate on his studies due to a form of depression linked to light deficiency. Of course, he didn’t know at the time that that was the cause; he just knew he didn’t feel good. He switched to an arts program and studied philosophy, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1977.
In 1980, Pederson moved to California, where he later graduated with a degree in filmmaking from the University of Southern California in 1983. He then went into the industry, becoming a screenwriter and film producer. Life was good in sunny Los Angeles and, fed by the sun, Pederson was happy.
In 1994 his father was diagnosed with cancer and Pederson came back to Medicine Hat to spend time with him. Later that year, his father died and Pederson ended up staying at home to help out his mother.
Very soon after that, Pederson got very depressed, to the point where he wasn’t able to function in everyday life. “I couldn’t even read the newspaper or follow the plot of a video,” he says. “When I got to the point of seriously considering suicide, I sought help from a family friend.” He was diagnosed with SAD and his psychiatrist recommended Prozac®. Pederson didn’t want to take an antidepressant because of the side effects, so his doctor suggested light therapy as an alternative. Skeptical, but desperate, Pederson arranged access to one of the big fluorescent light boxes. He soon started to feel his mood and energy levels improving, so he bought one of the boxes. Not only that, he started telling other people about his experience, which seemed to strike a chord with many of them and he started thinking there might be a business opportunity in selling these light boxes. In winter 1995, he contacted the supplier in Montréal, Quebec and negotiated a distribution arrangement to sell their light boxes in Alberta.
However, it was a large, bulky structure in his home and carried a lot of stigma among his friends, who, when they visited, would always ask what it was and why he was using it. Pederson started to wonder if there was a better solution.
From idea to concept development
“On January 23, 1999, I had an epiphany on an airplane,” says Pederson. “It was like a thunderbolt struck. There was going to be this light, it would fit in my hand — the size of a Walkman® — and it was going to look like Sony built it. What is happening now in my company is exactly as I saw it that day. It’s uncanny. But I was a screenwriter living in Medicine Hat and a long way from where I am today. I didn’t have a clue how to proceed on the idea, didn’t have any financial backing or the tools to do anything with it, so the idea remained just that.” A month later, Pederson suffered severe whiplash in a car accident and had to give up writing. With time on his hands, he started to do research on the Internet to see if anyone was making a product similar to the one he had thought of. No one seemed to be.
So, Pederson started talking to people about the idea. One of the people he talked to was an economic development officer from Medicine Hat who introduced him to the “brain trust” at the Defense Research Establishment Suffield, outside of Medicine Hat. Pederson set up a meeting with one of their researchers right away, a guy he had gone to grade school with but hadn’t seen for 20 years. This childhood friend, Terry Meidinger, was working on landmine detectors — a far cry from light boxes. Over a coffee, Meidinger got excited about the challenge of finding a light source that would satisfy Pederson’s size and design criteria. Meidinger arranged a meeting with some design and electronics specialists he worked with, people who held patents in things like infrared suppression systems for battleships. But, Pederson left the meeting not all that hopeful. Although they were intrigued by the idea, the team didn’t normally work on this sort of technology problem and, besides, they were all fully committed to their own projects. Later that night, however, Meidinger phoned Pederson to tell him the researchers were interested in working on his light box a couple of nights a week — in their spare time.
By May 1999, the team had come up with the first computer-assisted design drawings of a product about the size of a laptop computer. The device would use a compact fluorescent light that could deliver the same light intensity as the bigger light-therapy box Pederson used at home every day.
In the meantime, Pederson set out to discover everything he could about light and about the possible applications for his product idea. He found a 1991 scientific article describing a NASA project to test the potential of full-spectrum fluorescent light to adjust the body clock of NASA astronauts on space flights. The article concluded that one day the technology might be used to treat jet lag. Pederson started talking to corporate travelers about his product concept and they agreed that jet lag was a big problem, but any solution would have to be small enough to fit in a briefcase. The laptop-sized design he had wouldn’t work — it was just too big. Pederson’s design research team would have to find a smaller light source.
Halogen was a possibility, but, although halogen lights were very compact, they were expensive, too hot and had a short life. So, in September 1999, the research team concluded they couldn’t solve the problem and declared that there was no alternative, they were going to quit. “But,” says Pederson, “I sat there thinking, this idea isn’t finished yet. It has to work. And, three or four weeks later, in early October, I was at home one day and Hank [one of the Suffield researchers] called to ask if I had ever heard of a white light-emitting diode. He had just read an article in some obscure electronics journal about a white light-emitting diode that had been invented by the Japanese.” The inventor was a chemist working for a Japanese company that had spent about $450 million finding out how to use LEDs to reduce power costs in the country. LEDs are much more efficient than fluorescent light because they use one tenth of the power and last much longer. Red LEDs had been around for at least 20 years, followed by green and amber and then blue, but no one had yet figured out how to make white LEDs. Their development had eluded all the scientists — until now (the chemist discovered that by adding a yellow phosphor to a blue LED, he could get white light).
Pederson and his team tracked down the manufacturer, ordered samples and received nine of these LEDs, each the size of a pencil eraser.
Pederson then invited Calgary representatives from the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) offices to come to Medicine Hat to have a look at the technology. “When I fired up this nine-LED panel, the NRC guys were astonished with the brightness of the cone of light on the ceiling. And, yet, the LEDs produced no heat. When one of them asked me if I had a patent lawyer, I knew this was a turning point. On October 20, 1999, I incorporated a company and started a process to patent the use of the technology for light therapy,” says Pederson. It was now technically possible to realize his vision of making a light box that was dramatically smaller.
From concept to workable prototype
Pederson’s first prototype was a rudimentary 6-by-5 inch panel with 120 LEDs on a circuit board with a wooden frame around it. He started treating himself with the prototype and found that it only took about 15 minutes a day or half the time of a traditional fluorescent light box, to make him feel better (to reduce the affects of SAD). Yet, it only produced 5000 lux — half the lux of the traditional light box. Pederson now needed financing to pay for a proper prototype. He started showing his rough prototype to investors, a tight network of local entrepreneur and angel investors in Medicine Hat. He managed to attract a small number of people who invested a total of about $150 000 of seed capital on, as Pederson says, “the basis of the power of the idea, the power of the light and the power of its potential to change the future. My ability to tell a story, which I learned from all those years in the film industry, really paid off,” he says : “I was good at pitching ideas in elevators.”
Next, Pederson wanted to surround himself with light-therapy professionals who could help him advance the product’s development. In 1990 Pederson had lived in Vancouver for a year while working on a movie. That winter he had suffered from the effects of low light in rainy Vancouver and had sought treatment from Dr. Raymond Lam who was using light therapy in his Mood Disorders Clinic at the University of British Columbia (UBC). But Lam had a six-month waiting list and the two never met. “In 1999 I called him again,” says Pederson, “this time to talk about my light-therapy idea.” He asked Lam if he would look at Pederson’s prototype. Pederson says that after seeing the prototype Lam’s reaction was : “This is going to change everything.” Lam agreed to join the professional advisory board of Pederson’s new company.
Pederson’s rudimentary circuit board worked well enough to show it to informal investors from Medicine Hat, but he needed a more sophisticated one to show to formal investors. Again he sought advice from his buddies at Suffield, who told him he needed an industrial designer. He discovered an industrial design program in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Calgary and contacted the Dean. From that visit, he hired two graduate students, one of whom had worked on LEDs in Nepal and gave them his design criteria, a small salary and a simple instruction : “Make it.” By the end of that summer, they had produced workable designs, while another student from Mount Royal College was working on a logo design, branding and the development of a “look” that would appeal to consumers. Now it was time for Pederson to once again turn to the government for help. IRAP approved a $40 000 project to help the company produce its first professional prototype and another $30 000 to be put towards solving some of the technical challenges the designers still faced to make it all work. Pederson hired a company in Edmonton to build the first three prototypes of the latest design and used these to show to formal investors.
“My perception of how long all this would take was totally out of whack,” he says : “We had our professional prototypes in June 2000 and it took until June 2001 to be able to introduce the product to the market. No one, including me, had any experience in doing what we were trying to do. We had to have a mold. This was going to cost another $80 000 and raised a whole bunch of detailed questions I hadn’t thought about before. What kind of plastic ? What about this ? What about that ? The detail to get this into the actual marketplace was astonishing.” Pederson finally hired his first company employee in March 2000. Up until then, he had only worked with contractors.
From prototype to market — Proving it works
Pederson introduced the Litebook to the market in 2001. In May of that year, on Lam’s advice and urging, Pederson took his three prototypes to the American Psychiatric Association annual conference and trade show in New Orleans. “The psychiatrists loved it,” he says : “We took orders, but we only had three Litebooks. When I got back to Canada I hired housewives on a piece-rate basis to assemble the first 1000 units. We packed them in white pizza boxes. We didn’t even have packing slips.”
The following month, Lam also convinced Pederson to attend a conference in Stockholm to demonstrate his Litebook to the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, the world body for light researchers. The Litebook attracted interest from a lot of people working on light therapies. “This is the best thing we ever did,” says Pederson : “For three days we met the leading lights in light therapy. And, at that conference, George Brainard, from the Department of Neurology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, presented a paper on the results of a four-year study on the wavelength of light and melatonin suppression.”
Brainard’s research results showed that the best wavelength for suppressing melatonin was 464 nanometres.
It was the first time Pederson had heard about light wavelength, but, coincidentally, the wavelength of Pederson’s Litebook light was also 464 nanometres. “This was another big turning point for us,” he says.
Pederson knew his prototype was more effective than traditional light therapy, but he didn’t really know why. Why was it taking only half the time with half the brightness ? Now he had a clue that it could be the wavelength and not the lux.
Note : Research was showing that lux appeared to be an inappropriate unit of measurement for melatonin suppression. LEDs deliver a focussed, very narrow beam of light. Fluorescent tubes, on the other hand, were designed to light a room, making them largely ineffective in suppressing melatonin. The wasted energy from a fluorescent light tube was almost 3.5 times greater than that from the LEDs in the Litebook.
Lam convinced him that they would need data to prove the science behind the light-therapy uses of the Litebook. “Researchers will beat you up unless you have some data,” said Lam. “If we have unique technology, a unique product, and unique wavelength patents, then we have value.”
The need for this data was exacerbated by the fact that medical health insurers would only cover the cost of 10 000-lux therapies — the standard for traditional light therapy. The Litebook produced only 5000 lux, so Pederson’s next challenge became educating the market that it’s less about lux (brightness) than about wavelength.
Pederson, therefore, next went to work on clinical trials to discover how light therapy works and what the relevance was of the wavelength of light. “The clinical-trial process took a lot longer than I thought, because first we had to figure out how clinical trials work,” he says. Once again, Lam proved indispensable. From Lam’s network of professional colleagues, he mobilized a team of researchers and doctors from UBC, McGill University, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the University of Saskatchewan, Yale University in Connecticut and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands to conduct clinical trials on the Litebook. The results of the two-year, five-site, double-blind, placebo-controlled SAD clinical trial, the most extensive evaluation of LED light therapy performed to date, were expected in 2004. Should the results prove positive, the Litebook could be the first light box in the world to receive FDA approval for use in treating SAD. Pederson believes this approval is only a year away. The Litebook Company decided to underwrite the clinical-trial research and, even though this approach was anticipated to cost considerably less than that of a large pharmaceutical company, the company had to raise money to finance it. Again, Pederson was able to attract the investment he needed from a local community of entrepreneurs and angel investors. At the end of this round of financing, the initial group of 10 private investors had grown to about 70.
The Litebook may be the subject of other clinical trials as well. Researchers at the Yale-New Haven Hospital want to conduct trials to determine whether light therapy can help depression by raising a patient’s levels of the mood-affecting chemicals seratonin and dopamine. Meanwhile, researchers at McGill University hope to conduct a clinical trial to test light therapy’s applications for police officers doing shift work (in this case the Litebook would be powered by a 12-volt automobile cigarette lighter). Pederson is also cooperating in clinical trials in the North Sea, underwritten by the Institute of Petroleum in the United Kingdom, to see if light therapy would be effective for shift workers on drilling platforms. All of this could mean very promising outcomes for the small but innovative Medicine Hat company.
Getting the product to market
Identifying their market has been a major issue for The Litebook Company. Who are the people who would use this product ? How and where do you find them ? SAD often goes undiagnosed, as Pederson’s did for many years and sufferers are not commonly seeking light-therapy products. It hasn’t been easy for The Litebook Company to find the right channel of distribution. The company tried to market the Litebook through home health channels, but the attempt didn’t prove effective. “SAD people don’t consider themselves sick,” says Pederson. “They don’t buy at home health stores. Our customer wasn’t shopping there.”
“We had never really had enough money to have a marketing budget,” says Pederson : “It’s been a lot of guerrilla marketing that we’ve employed. We don’t have millions of dollars to put out an ad campaign that’s going to put SAD on the minds of every man, woman and child, even in Alberta, never mind Canada or North America.”
What was really needed was an education and awareness program to get the message out about light therapy and wellness. In fact, that’s the strategy Pederson is now pursuing. But, initially, since the Litebook was considered a medical device, Pederson’s approach was to seek distribution in places already selling things like wheelchairs and home-health-care products. Later, he moved on to other venues such as health food stores and independent pharmacies.
Based on his mid-2001 conference successes, Pederson realized the importance of getting involved in medical trade shows to promote his product. Pederson now regularly attends meetings of psychiatrists, psychologists and sleep disorder doctors, as well as attending medical, wellness and home health trade shows. Trade show participation has been highly effective in gaining market exposure for the Litebook. Through these sorts of approaches, Pederson has been able to identify possible distributors for the product in different countries. However, dealers weren’t quite ready to embrace the Litebook initially, because the end price to the consumer was about $600. The company wasn’t manufacturing at a large-enough scale to bring the production cost down. By improving production efficiency, turning his cottage industry assembly process into a full-service subcontracting arrangement, Pederson has since been able to reduce his costs and lower the consumer price of the product considerably. The retail price in early 2004 was just slightly under $300.
Litebook units have now been sold in more than 29 countries, with this international presence assisted in large part by support from federal and provincial government agencies. The Litebook Company has benefited from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Program for Export Market Development (PEMD), tapping into the expertise of Industry Canada officials in finding out how to take the company’s product into different markets. Pederson acknowledges the contributions and partnerships of PEMD, Western Economic Diversification Canada’s International Trade Personnel Program and NRC’s IRAP. Of phenomenal value have been Canadian consulates and embassies in various countries. Pederson explains, “We tapped into the Trade Commissioner Service, where they were able to say ‘Okay, you come to our Embassy. We will do a reception. We will get the media involved. We will bring you local distributors. We will have an event. We will invite the leading doctors and so forth — people who are interested in this technology and this product and this service.’ We did that in several countries and each time it helped to launch the product in that country.” As a result of these events, the company has signed distribution agreements with companies in Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Over the past two years, Pederson’s company has started to expand into other markets. For example, they now have a product-development agreement with a Dallas company to co-develop a light-based product for acne treatment. And NASA is evaluating the Litebook for use by astronauts in the space shuttle program and on the international space station. “We’ve gone from infancy to childhood,” says Pederson : “I would say we are in early stage commercialization. We have a product. We know it works. And we are in the stage of creating the market.”
Managing the company
Pederson is a member of The Litebook Company’s five-person board of directors, as well as being the company’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).
Like a number of highly innovative firms, the company has put together a professional advisory board to expand its network of expertise and contacts.
Pederson’s advisory board has invited six prominent researchers, technologists and business development experts to the table, including Lam; Dr. James Maas, a professor of psychology at Cornell University; and a representative from the NRC.
Pederson also takes advantage of other resources available in Alberta to help develop his management skills.
In 2003 he approached Inno-centre Alberta, a business incubator in Calgary, for mentoring support and help in preparing for another financing round.
Note : Inno-centre Alberta is a non-profit organization funded by IRAP, the NRC and the University of Calgary to provide mentoring support to innovative start-ups and early-growth companies.
Starting in January 2004, Pederson will spend one day a week for a year with one of Inno-centre’s network of mentors. “Through the assistance of folks like those at the Inno-centre, we have been very fortunate and able to stay focussed, develop business plans, develop strategies and objectives and sort of laser in on them,” says Pederson.
Pederson admits his company still has a long way to go. “We have yet to be profitable; that’s our goal for this year, to be profitable. The next stage is to look at forming strategic alliances. We’ve got a lot of interesting opportunities now coming our way as people see this technology and see what we are doing and we are trying to learn how to validate those and prioritize those in a way that we can really help to grow the company,” he says. The company is still undercapitalized and needs to increase its manufacturing and distribution. It recently obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification, as well as the certification that they meet compliance standards for medical devices. They are working on generations two and three of their product, looking at FDA regulatory issues and preparing to attract venture-capital funding in 2004.
Pederson is very optimistic about the company’s future. “We hope to continue to expand,” he says : “We hope to become the leading light-therapy device company in the world. We want to lead the way to light and wellness. We believe that we’ve got the right technology. We’ve got the right partnerships, the right alliances, the right people involved in terms of the researchers. And we believe that it’s a process of educating the people, the consumers, the public to understand that there’s an issue involved with light and well-being; that without light there is no life. So, by doing that and by enlightening people, we believe that we’ll have an opportunity to grow into that. My goal as CEO of the company is to grow it by harnessing the energy of the people who work here so I can spend more time telling our story. Word of mouth is powerful.”
Larry Pederson and the LiteBook portable phototherapy device
Interview by Mike Adams - July 24, 2006
Mike - Welcome again, everyone. This is Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, here at Natural Products Expo West 2006. I'm joined by Larry Pederson, the founder of The Litebook Company and inventor and creator of the light therapy device called Litebook. Here to tell us about it is Larry.
Larry Pederson - Yes -- nice to see you, Mike. It's my pleasure.
Mike - Great to be speaking with you, Larry. Now, tell us about this product. How does it work and how can it help us be healthier individuals ?
Pederson - Well, it can help a lot of people. Basically, it's light therapy. Light therapy's been around for about 20 years. It was these big fluorescent light boxes that, for many years, took up half your desk -- and yes, they work. But, they were very inconvenient and a lot of people wouldn't use them very practically. So what we did is we came up with a way to harness the white light emitting diode -- or LED technology -- that was invented in Japan five or six years ago -- and what we found is that that LED actually keeps at a very specific wavelength that's identical to sunlight. So, if you're in an environment where you're not getting enough sunlight because you're living in the northern part of the United States, Northern Europe or Canada -- where we are -- or if you're a teenager and you're not getting up in the morning or you're going to sleep at night and you're a senior or a shift worker -- there's many different applications. Light therapy is a natural solution for people that are looking for a way to improve their wellness and to feel better. It's not something that you swallow and there's no side effects and so forth. It's a very clean alternative solution to wellness.
Mike - This unit makes it portable, so it's great for treating jet lag especially.
Pederson - Exactly. We've actually developed a software program based on research done at NASA and we put 171 cities around the world on our website. You put in your normal waking time to tell it what your body clock is set at -- your departure city, your arrival city, anywhere on the planet -- and it will tell you when to use this and for how long. And 45 minutes to an hour from the day you travel, you can reset your body clock to your new time zone. No more jet lag.
Mike - That's a great idea. You sort of pre-adjust instead of post-adjust.
Pederson - Exactly. You know, the body adjusts more slowly with age, so the rate at which it adjusts drops off dramatically at age 50. A lot of people are traveling as business people and they get to that age where they have more responsibility at the peak of their careers -- and yet they're suffering more from jet lag.
Mike - Now, I think light therapy is very interesting, because it is accepted not only in natural health or naturopathic treatments, but also very well accepted in conventional medicine, correct ?
Pederson - Absolutely. The American Psychiatric Association has basically endorsed light therapy for use not only for seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also for a range of other disorders, including sleep disorders and delayed phase sleep syndrome -- which can affect teenagers -- and, there are a lot of different applications for seniors and there's more emerging everyday.
Mike - How does light therapy actually work at a physiological level ? You talked about receptors in the eye.
Pederson - Well, this is something -- this is pretty new science and new knowledge and basically, researchers discovered about four or five years ago that there's this little receptor, a photoreceptor, on the retina right now and for years they've known that there were rods and cones, which together give us light. They take the signal in and they tell us what's light or dark. It gives us vision. They discovered this other photoreceptor called melanopsin. It's actually a protein that resides outside the fovia part of the retina, which is where the rods and cones are, so it has nothing to do with vision and everything to do with telling your body whether it's light or dark -- day or night. It regulates your body clock and that's how and why most blind people know when to go to bed. They get that signal even if they have no vision. That photoreceptor actually looks for light and it will tell the body based on the light it takes in to strike that photoreceptor -- and it looks for the peak wavelength of sunlight. The peak wavelength of sunlight is in the blue part of the spectrum -- it's 460 nanometers, to be specific -- and that is the peak wavelength of the LED lights we're using in the Litebook.
Mike - I see.
Pederson - When this light strikes your eye, it actually excites that little photoreceptor that tells the brain, "Okay, it's bright, you need to be alert" and it shuts down your melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone in your body that tells you to go to sleep at night and keeps you asleep throughout the night and it gets shut off every morning when you open your blinds and the sunlight streams in.
Mike - So, this receptor is really directly wired to the endocrine system that controls all these cycles.
Pederson - Exactly. The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), which is in the hypothalamus part of the brain -- it is actually the little body clock. It's our own internal body clock and it needs to be reset everyday.
Mike - So, there's a very clear and at least a somewhat understood physiological process that governs our energy when we're awake and when we feel sleepy.
Pederson - Also, our sleep cycle when we're trying to sleep at night. What's happened in our culture is that we've moved indoors in the last generation. From the time we were kids, we were outside all the time because there was nothing to do inside, right ? My mother used to lock the door after us when we left the house during the day in the summertime. My parents never saw me in the summertime.
Mike - Right.
Pederson - Right, because there was nothing to do inside. But now -- with one generation -- we've moved indoors to the point where we're not getting that exposure to bright sunlight. You add to that the fact that UV and skin cancer and all these concerns now keep us from going out. The sun was perceived to be bad for us, when in fact, it's life giving. Without the sun, there is no life, right ?
Mike - That's right.
Pederson - What we've done though, is we've harnessed these LEDs in a way that allows you to get the sunlight without actually needing to go to the sun. If you can't go to the sunlight, we bring the sunlight to you.
Mike - I'd like you to talk about this interesting lens here a minute, but first your comment about sunlight -- yes, people are recognizing now that some sunlight is very beneficial for the formation of vitamin D.
Pederson - Yes, absolutely.
Mike - But, just to be clear, this device doesn't emit ultraviolet light, correct ?
Pederson - Correct. It will not do anything in the generation of vitamin D -- the production of vitamin D. What it will do, though, is it will affect your serotonin level in your brain. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain that Prozac and that whole class of antidepressants, is meant to elevate -- they're the SSRI drugs.
Mike - Right.
Pederson - Sunlight also elevates serotonin, right ?
Mike - Yes.
Pederson - That feeling you get on a nice sunny day when you're out there -- and you get that feeling in the sun that's actually a serotonergic response caused by the sunlight, right ? Everyone feels better on a sunny day.
Mike - Yes.
Pederson - Right ? That's what this light is giving you -- that same feeling that you get on a nice sunny day even when it's cloudy or rainy or overcast. It doesn't matter.
Mike - Do you hear that from a lot of users now ? Now, I know you don't want to make medical claims, but do you hear testimonials from people about how it has helped their depression ?
Pederson - Absolutely. We've had testimonials from many people that were taking antidepressants -- but we don't make any claims about this. We've done some clinical research on this, but we still have our pivotal FDA trial to do. But, the talk about it just improves -- the glass goes from being half empty to half full.
Mike - What other conditions or diagnosable disorders could this have potential for ?
Pederson - Many people look at sleep. Sleep is really big in the media right now. A lot of people are talking about the issue of sleep -- sleep disorders. There's 88 different sleep disorders and a variety of them cannot and won't be affected by the issue of light. Things like sleep apnea -- obstructive sleep apnea, where your trachea collapses and so forth -- this won't help with that. But, a lot of people find that this, for example, addresses insomnia, because if you are exposed to more light during the day, you will sleep better at night -- and that's a fact.
Mike - Absolutely.
Pederson - Because, you're going to regulate your body clock and you're going to say, "This is the day and this is the night." Melatonin, which is the hormone that puts you to sleep at night and keeps you asleep, if it's suppressed -- if it's seeping out during the day -- then you're feeling tired, dragging and lethargic -- but the worst part is that the body only produces so much melatonin every 24 hours. When you go to sleep that night, you get what's left. You get a very unsatisfactory night's sleep. If, on the other hand, you suppress it first thing in the morning with a precisely timed exposure to bright light in the right wavelength -- which is what this delivers -- say for 15 minutes, your melatonin goes to zero almost immediately. You have more energy during the day and then when you go to sleep that night, you get the full burst of melatonin as nature intended and you get a much deeper, more restful sleep.
Mike - You understand these hormones and their cycles very well. I remember when I spoke to you a year ago -- you had a very interesting explanation I'd like to ask you to repeat. It was about why teenagers like to stay up all night and senior citizens like to go to bed early.
Pederson - The human body clock actually shifts ahead when you go through puberty, which is why my son -- who's 10 -- is in bed at 8:30 with lights out -- and he's asleep at 9:01. He sleeps like a rock through the night and then he wakes up at seven in the morning with a smile on his face. I know when he gets to be 12 years old, he's going to want to stay up all night and sleep all day. His body clock is shifted ahead. The problem is that he has to still get up and get on that school bus or get to that early class if he's in college or whatever.
Mike - Right.
Pederson - That's what happens and so the teenager would need to use this light first thing in the morning for 15 minutes in order to shift the body clock back.
Mike - That's all it takes.
Pederson - Yes. At the other end of the life cycle, at menopause -- and both men and women go through menopause, but men don't like to admit it -- basically what happens is the body clock shifts back. Seniors -- like my mother -- would fall asleep at nine o'clock in front of the TV, wake up at four in the morning and could not get back to sleep before she began using the Litebook. By using this light in the evening at the dinner hour, say for 15 to 30 minutes, she's able to tell the body, "No, it's still bright out and you need to be alert. Hold off on the melatonin and shift that melatonin secretion time to later in the evening," like it was when she was in her midlife. She can then go to sleep at 11 and sleep until six in the morning.
Mike - Makes perfect sense. Let's talk more about the Litebook unit itself.
Pederson - Sure.
Mike - It has a very interesting lens here on the front. What's the purpose of this ?
Pederson - This is the new modified model that'll be coming out this fall and what we've done is we've taken 48 LEDs, which used to have a sort of a plain diffuser over it and we've replaced this with these fresnel lenses. Now, the fresnel lens was a technology invented over 100 years ago. Basically, it's sort of like the technology used in the lens of a movie set lamp, like a search spotlight or a theater light. Out of this light comes a divergent light from the light source and bends the light out and sends it in a straight line. So, each LED now has its own little fresnel lens that together give it a much more uniform light with less glare.
Mike - Is this a patented feature of yours ?
Pederson - Yes. (cfr. : http://www.litebook.com/products/patent.asp -) The patent on the fresnel lens is now expired, so we don't have a patent on the lens. We have a patent on the LED technology. In a light therapy device, whether it's handheld or built into a car, a bus, a train, anything that uses LEDs for light therapy through the eyes is under our patent.
Mike - Wow. That's a fairly broad patent.
Pederson - Yes it is. It's in the U.S., Canada and now in Europe as well and we have others pending.
Mike - What about the battery life of this unit ?
Pederson - We use a lithium ion rechargeable battery similar to that used in a video camera. It gives you 90 minutes of light, fully charged. It charges at night like your cell phone. It has a timer function so that you have 15-, 30-, 45- or 60-minute settings and it shuts off automatically. The battery is basically going to give you 90 minutes of light and yet it doesn't add depreciable weight because it's lithium ion.
Mike - Well, it's very light.
Pederson - Yes -- it's about 8 ounces.
Mike - And it's more of an environmentally safe battery than nickel cadmium.
Pederson - Right -- you're not throwing it away. You're recharging it and the LEDs themselves. I mean, talk about environmental issues -- they are rated to last up to 100,000 hours. Which is 12 years -- if it's on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mike - So, it'll never burn out.
Pederson - No. It's a lifetime of light. Unlike a fluorescent tube or bulb -- which might give you 3,000 to 5,000 hours -- the LED will give you 100,000 hours. This unit uses two-and-a-half watts of power. The previous one you saw last year was six watts and the big fluorescent light box uses 85 watts.
Mike - Many consumers would say higher wattages are automatically better.
Pederson - Well, higher wattage is the power draw, so it's the power consumption. It doesn't have anything to do with the output. What they're realizing now is the output -- because it's so wavelength-dependent -- we have a targeted wavelength that we need to hit the photoreceptor with.
Mike - Yes.
Pederson - As it turns out for us and for everybody else's benefit, the white LED hits that wavelength right on the money. It's an exact alignment with that wavelength that the body responds to. So, it's a shorter treatment time, which is great in this day and age -- everything is lighter, faster, smaller, better.
Mike - Absolutely. Now, Larry, where can people find the Litebook or purchase it ?
Pederson - Right now they would go to www.LiteBook.com -- we have a web store there. We also have a store locator, so you can go in and type in your zip code or your country code and it will then tell you where the closest dealers and resellers are. It's in some Whole Foods now in the Pacific Northwest. It'll be going into more Whole Foods, Wild Oats -- that kind of a channel as well -- and spas and some fitness clubs are now selling this. We're also starting to sell this in college bookstores for the university students.
Mike - That makes sense.
Pederson - We think so.
Mike - So, are you finding -- especially this year -- more acceptance to this technology ?
Pederson - No question about it. It's because, even compared to last year, it's a dramatic increase in the awareness of how light can be helpful to people. I encounter a lot less skepticism now than I did last year or certainly years in the past and I think the science is catching up to the technology and the awareness -- so you kind of have this synergy of the three parts of the puzzle.
Mike - Absolutely. Well, we've been talking with Larry Pederson, the founder and creator of the Litebook product from The Litebook Company. Again, that's www.LiteBook.com and this is the unit that will come out in the fall of 2006.
Pederson - September 2006.
Mike - Look for this at retailers all across North America. Thanks for sharing this information with us today, Larry.
Pederson - My pleasure. Thank you. Nice to see you again. Thank you.
Chronobiology is a field of science that examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar and lunar related rhythms. These cycles are known as biological rhythms. "Chrono" pertains to time and "biology" pertains to the study or science, of life. The related terms chronomics and chronome have been used in some cases to describe either the molecular mechanisms involved in chronobiological phenomena or the more quantitative aspects of chronobiology, particularly where comparison of cycles between organisms is required.
The variations of the timing and duration of biological activity in living organisms occur for many essential biological processes. These occur (a) in animals (eating, sleeping, mating, hibernating, migration, cellular regeneration etc.) and (b) in plants (leaf movements, photosynthetic reactions etc.). The most important rhythm in chronobiology is the circadian rhythm, a roughly 24 hour cycle shown by physiological processes in plants and animals (the term circadian comes from the Latincirca, meaning "around" and dies, "day", meaning "approximately a day"). Many other important cycles are also studied, including :
Tidal rhythms, commonly observed in marine life, which follow the (roughly) 12-hour transition from high to low tide and back.
A circadian cycle was initially discovered, in the 1700s, in the movement of plant leaves by the French scientist Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan (for a description of circadian rhythms in plants by de Mairan, Linnaeus and Darwin see this page). In 1751 Swedish botanist and naturalistCarolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) designed a floral clock using certain diurnal species of flowering plants. By arranging the selected species in a circular pattern, he designed a clock that indicated the time of day by observing which flowers were open and which ones were closed. For example, he discovered that the hawk's beard plant, opened its flowers at 6:30 am, whereas another species, the hawkbit, did not open its flowers until 7 am.
In 1924 Alexander Chizhevsky, graduate of Medical School at Moscow University, published interdisciplinary works : "Physical factors behind the process of history" and "Epidemiological catastrophes and periodic activity of the Sun" studying cycles in living organisms in connections with solar cycle and cycle of lunar phases. Chizhevsky developed a new discipline, Heliobiology, a branch of Astrobiology. In 1939 Chizhevsky was elected Honorary President of International Congress in Biological Physics, for his 1936 publication The Terrestrial Echo of Solar Storms, 366 pp. 1976, Moscow, (First published in 1936 in Russian : А.Л.Чижевский. Земное эхо солнечных бурь.full text in Russian ). However, soon Chizhevsky was arrested by the Soviet government and exiled to Siberia under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. Chizhevsky's publications were censored and his 1930s research of blood and electromagnetic parameters of erythrocytes in connection with cycles in human circadian system was banned; it was published in 1973, 40 years later. Chizhevsky's 1928 publication "Influence of Cosmos on human psychoses" was censored in the Soviet Union, albeit in 2003 this work was referenced in Journal of Circadian Rhythms article. The 1960 symposium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory seems to define the moment when researchers, as many women as men, from widely different fields discovered that they all were studying the same phenomenon. That well-attended meeting lay the groundwork for the field of chronobiology. It was also in 1960 that Patricia DeCoursey invented the phase response curve, since one of the major tools used in the field.
Franz Halberg of the University of Minnesota, who coined the word circadian, is widely considered the "father of American chronobiology". However, it was Colin Pittendrigh and not Halberg who was elected to lead the Society for Research in Biological Rhythms in the 1970s. Halberg wanted more emphasis on the human and medical issues while Pittendrigh had his background more in evolution and ecology. With Pittendrigh as leader, the Society members did basic research on all types of organisms, plants as well as animals. More recently it has been difficult to get funding for such research on any other organisms than mice, rats, humans and fruit flies.
More recently, light therapy and melatonin administration have been explored by Dr. Alfred J. Lewy (OHSU) and other researchers as a means to reset animal and human circadian rhythms. Humans can be morning people or evening people; these variations are called chronotypes for which there are various assessment tools and biological markers.
In the second half of 20th century, substantial contributions and formalizations have been made by Europeans such as Jürgen Aschoff and Colin Pittendrigh, who pursued different but complementary views on the phenomenon of entrainment of the circadian system by light (parametric, continuous, tonic, gradual vs. nonparametric, discrete, phasic, instantaneous, respectively. (cfr. this historical article, subscription required).
Chronobiology is an interdisciplinary field of investigation.
^Postolache, Teodor T. (2005). Sports Chronobiology, An Issue of Clinics in Sports Medicine. Saunders. ISBN 978-1416027690.
^Ernest Lawrence Rossi, David Lloyd (1992). Ultradian Rhythms in Life Processes: Inquiry into Fundamental Principles of Chronobiology and Psychobiology. Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K. ISBN 978-3540197461.
^Hayes, D.K. (1990). Chronobiology: Its Role in Clinical Medicine, General Biology, and Agriculture. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0471568025.
Chronotype is an attribute of human beings reflecting whether they are alert and prefer to be active early or late in the day. The continuum is often referred to as “morningness/eveningness” or “larks” and “owls” where morning people wake up early and are most alert in the first part of the day and evening people are most alert in the evening hours and prefer to go to bed late. Chronotype is also referred to as circadian type, diurnal preference or diurnal variation.
Normal variation in chronotypes encompasses sleep/wake cycles that are from about two hours earlier to about two hours later than average. Extremes outside of this range can cause a person difficulty in participating in normal work, school and social activities. If a person's "lark" or (more commonly) "owl" tendencies are strong and intractable to the point of disallowing normal participation in society, the person is considered to have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
The 20th century saw greatly increased interest in and research on all questions about sleep. Tremendous strides have been made in molecular, neural and medical aspects of biological rhythmicity. Physiology professor Nathaniel Kleitman's book Sleep and Wakefulness, 1939, revised 1963, summarized the existing knowledge of sleep and it was he who proposed the existence of a basic rest-activity cycle. Kleitman, with his students including William C. Dement and Eugene Aserinsky, continued his research throughout the 1900s.
O. Öquist’s thesis, 1970, at the Department of Psychology, University of Göteborg, Sweden, introduces the modern research into chronotypes. It is entitled Kartläggning av individuella dygnsrytmer, Charting Individual Circadian Rhythms. O. Östberg modified Öquist’s questionnaire and in 1976, together with J. A. Horne, he published the Morningness - Eveningness Questionnaire, MEQ, which still is used and referred to in virtually all research on this topic. A short version can be found online.
Researchers in many countries have worked on validating the MEQ with regard to their local cultures. A revision of the scoring of the MEQ as well as a component analysis was done by Jacques Taillard et al in 2004, working with employed people over the age of 50, as the MEQ previously had been validated only for subjects of university age.
Several other assessment tools have been developed including the Circadian Type Inventory (Folkard 1987); Composite Morningness Questionnaire (Smith 1989); the Lark-Owl Chronotype Indicator, LOCI (Roberts 1999) and Munich Chronotype Questionnaire, MCTQ (Roenneberg 2003). Some of these are designed with particular situations in mind, such as shift work scheduling, travel fatigue and jet lag, athletic performance or best timing of medical procedures.
Most people are neither evening nor morning types but lie somewhere in between. Estimates vary, but up to half are either morning or evening people. People who share a chronotype, morningness or eveningness, have similar activity-pattern timing : sleep, appetite, exercise, study etc. Researchers in the field of chronobiology look for objective markers by which to measure the chronotype spectrum.
Horne and Östberg, 1976, found that morning types had a higher daytime temperature with an earlier peak time than evening types and that they went to sleep and awoke earlier, while no differences in sleep lengths were found. They also note that age should be considered in assessments of morningness and eveningness, noting how a "bed time of 23:30 may be indicative of a Morning type within a student population, but might be more related to an Evening type in the 40-60 years age group" (Horne & Östberg, 1976, p109).
Clodoré et al, France, 1986, find differences in alertness between morning and evening types after a two hour sleep reduction.
Gibertini et al, USA, 1999, assessed blood levels of the hormone melatonin, finding that the melatonin acrophase (the time at which the peak of a rhythm occurs) was strongly related to circadian type while amplitude was not. They note that morning types evidence a more rapid decline in melatonin levels after the peak than do evening types.
Duffy et al, USA, 1999, found that while evening types woke at a later clock hour than morning types, morning types woke at a later circadian phase; that is, the interval between circadian phase and usual wake time was longer in morning types.
Baehr et al, USA, 2000, found that the daily body temperature minimum occurred at about 4 in the morning for morning types and at about 6 for evening types in young adults. This minimum occurred at approximately the middle of the eight hour sleep period, but closer to wake in evening types. Evening types had a lower nocturnal temperature. The temperature minimum occurred about a half hour earlier in women than in men. Similar results were found by Mongrain et al in Canada, 2004.
Zavada et al, The Netherlands, 2005, show that the time of mid-sleep on free (non-work) days may be the best marker for sleep-based assessments of chronotype, correlating well with such physiological markers as Dim-Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO) and the minimum of the daily cortisol rhythm. They also state that each chronotype category “contains a similar portion of short and long sleepers”.
Giampietro and Cavallera, Italy, 2006, refer to many studies in their examination of the relationship between chronotypes, personality and creative thinking.
Paine et al, New Zealand, 2006, conclude that “morningness/eveningness preference is largely independent of ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic position, indicating that it is a stable characteristic that may be better explained by endogenous factors.”
It is not classified as a disease as it is a condition that causes many different symptoms, which affect all systems in the body. 90% of those affected are female (especially during child bearing ages) with most patients experiencing symptoms between the ages of twenty and forty. Children and the elderly can also be affected by FM.
FM has no known cause as there is little evidence supporting any of the theories suggested by researchers.
It is however thought to be triggered by :
injury and muscle trauma
immune system abnormalities and
infectious agents, including viruses and bacteria.
FM has two main components, pain and fatigue. Pain is felt throughout the body (ligaments, tendons and muscles) and can range from mildly uncomfortable to excruciating. It can also continue for months and even years. Fatigue can be experienced as anything from feeling a little tired to feeling absolutely exhausted and can make the pain of the illness harder to bear.
Symptoms include (to mention a few...) :
wide spread pain
facial and jaw pain
irritable bowel, frequent bouts of diarrhoea or constipation and irritable bladder
cognitive dysfunction including lack of concentration and mixing up words.
Patients often feel they are aching all over, with muscles feeling sore, stiff and overworked. Muscle twitching is also not rare in FM and can sometimes feel like they are burning.
Treatment for FM tends to be very comprehensive and can involve a number of health care providers including physicians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, chiropractors and occupational therapists. Common treatments include pharmaceutical treatments such as the use of Lentizol, Sinequan or Seroxat. Other treatments include relaxation techniques, therapeutic massage, gentle exercise program, acupuncture, change in diet and cognitive behaviour therapy, to mention a few...
Light therapy is an alternative therapy, which can be used for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia. It can help reduce muscle pain, depression, fatigue and sleep disorders. Three different types of light therapy can be used for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia : bright light therapy, colour therapy and low laser light therapy (LLLT).
Based on the idea that our body is specifically attuned to light, bright light therapy uses high powered fluorescent lights to help trigger the release of specific hormones, which help to restore the body’s natural rhythm and overall health. Bright light therapy for fibromyalgia is typically carried out using a light box, which is typically placed in front of you at eye level. Depending on the intensity of the light box, treatment time could be between 15 minutes to 3 hours. You remain seated in front of the box without staring at the light box, but absorbing the light while carrying out other activities such as reading, eating etc.
Colour therapy is a form of phototherapy, which delivers coloured beams of light to various parts of the body and its usage is becoming more popular among chronic pain sufferers. As the eyes see the coloured beams of light, the light energy is converted into electric impulses, which travel through the brain, triggering the release of hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, which help to improve your mood and ease pain. The four colours typically used are red, blue, violet and white. Colour therapy is very relaxing and typically lasts between 15 minutes and 1 hour.
Also known as cold light therapy or soft laser light therapy, low laser light therapy (LLLT) helps to reduce pain and promote healing by increasing the energy levels of certain cells in the body. Low-frequency laser light beams are applied to various painful areas of the body, once the photons emitted by these beams are absorbed by the body; they are converted into cellular energy by the energy power houses within the cells (the mitochondria). Consequently, this helps to increase the rate at which your body heals thereby eliminating pain.
Various studies have suggested that light therapy is highly effective at reducing symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue and depression and as such is worth a try for fibromyalgia patients who yearn to be relieved of their symptoms. Read more about light therapy in our brand new Light Therapy Learning Centre. As effective as light therapy is for various disorders, certain individuals are advised against using it especially those suffering from epilepsy, skin sensitivities, glaucoma, bipolar disorders, cataracts and other eye diseases.
A controlled trial of the Litebook light-emitting diode (LED) light therapy device for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Desan PH, Weinstein AJ, Michalak EE, Tam EM, Meesters Y, Ruiter MJ, Horn E, Telner J, Iskandar H, Boivin DB, Lam RW, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8068, USA : email@example.com - BMC Psychiatry. 2007 Aug 7;7:38 - PMID: 17683643 - Trial registration : Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00139997 Background - Recent research has emphasized that the human circadian rhythm system is differentially sensitive to short wavelength light. Light treatment devices using efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) whose output is relatively concentrated in short wavelengths may enable a more convenient effective therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Methods - The efficacy of a LED light therapy device in the treatment of SAD was tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial. Participants aged 18 to 65 with SAD (DSM-IV major depression with seasonal pattern) were seen at Baseline and Randomization visits separated by 1 week and after 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks of treatment. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores (SIGH-SAD) were obtained at each visit. Participants with SIGH-SAD of 20 or greater at Baseline and Randomization visits were randomized to active or control treatment: exposure to the Litebook LED treatment device (The Litebook Company Ltd., Alberta, Canada) which delivers 1,350 lux white light (with spectral emission peaks at 464 nm and 564 nm) at a distance of 20 inches or to an inactivated negative ion generator at a distance of 20 inches, for 30 minutes a day upon awakening and prior to 8 A.M. Results - Of the 26 participants randomized, 23 completed the trial. Mean group SIGH-SAD scores did not differ significantly at randomization. At trial end, the proportions of participants in remission (SIGH-SAD less than 9) were significantly greater (Fisher's exact test) and SIGH-SAD scores, as percent individual score at randomization, were significantly lower (t-test), with active treatment than with control, both in an intent-to-treat analysis and an observed cases analysis. A longitudinal repeated measures ANOVA analysis of SIGH-SAD scores also indicated a significant interaction of time and treatment, showing superiority of the Litebook over the placebo condition. Conclusion - The results of this pilot study support the hypothesis that light therapy with the Litebook is an effective treatment for SAD. Cfr. : - http://www.litebook.com/lnl/pdfs/Litebook%20SAD%20trial%20abstract%20_May%202007_.pdf#view=FitH - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17683643 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17683643?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RV DocSum - Full text : http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/7/38
Action Spectrum for Melatonin Regulation in Humans - Evidence for a Novel Circadian Photoreceptor George C. Brainard et al, Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107 - The Journal of Neuroscience, August 15, 2001, 21(16): 6405-6412 - PMID: 11487664 "In general, relatively high light illuminances ranging from 2 500 - 12 000 lux are used for treating winter depression, selected sleep disorders and circadian disruption (Wetterberge, 1993; Lam, 1998). Although theses light levels are therapeutically effective, some patients complain that they produce side effects of visual glare, visual fatigue, photophobia, ocular discomfort and headache. Determining the action spectrum for circadian regulation may lead to improvements in light therapy. Total illuminances for treating a given disorder can be reduced as the wavelength emissions of the therapeutic equipment are optimized." "Modern industrialized societies use light extensively in homes, schools, work places and public facilities to support visual performance, visual comfort and aesthetic appreciation within the environment. Given that light is also a powerful regulator of the human circadian system, future lighting strategies will need to provide illumination for human visual responses, as well as homeostatic responses. The action spectrum presented here suggests that there are separate photoreceptors for visual and circadian responses to light in humans. Hence, new approaches to architectural lighting may be needed to optimally stimulate both the visual and circadian systems." "In conclusion, this study characterizes the wavelength sensitivity of the ocular photoreceptor system for regulating the human pineal gland by establishing an action spectrum for light-induced melatonin suppression. The results identify the 446-477 nm portion of the spectrum as the most potent wavelengths providing circadian input for regulating melatonin secretion. These data suggest that the primary photoreceptor system for melatonin suppression is distinct from the rod and cone photoreceptors for vision. Finally, this action spectrum suggests that there is a novel retinaldehyde photopigment that mediates human circadian photoreception. These finding open the door for optimizing the use of light in both therapeutic and architectural applications." Cfr. : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11487664
Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS) Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS), also known as the advanced sleep-phase type (ASPT) of circadian rhythm sleep disorder, is a condition in which patients feel very sleepy early in the evening (e.g. 18:00-19:00) and wake up very early in the morning (e.g. 03:00). ASPS is frequently encountered in the elderly and in post-menopausal women. It can be treated pharmacologically, with evening bright lights or behaviorally with chronotherapy or free-running sleep. Familial advanced sleep phase syndrome (FASPS) In 1999, Louis Ptáček’s research group at the University of California, San Francisco reported findings of a human circadian rhythm disorder showing a familial tendency. The disorder was characterized by a life-long pattern of sleep onset around 7:30pm and offset around 4:30am. Among three lineages, 29 people were identified as affected with this familial advanced sleep-phase syndrome (FASPS) and 46 were considered unaffected. The pedigrees demonstrated FASPS to be a highly penetrant, autosomal dominant trait. Two years after reporting the finding of FASPS, Ptáček’s group published results of genetic sequencing analysis on a family with FASPS. To narrow their search they took a cue from research on Per mutations in Drosophila and mouse models, which produced short-day mutants and were predicted to produce a phase advance in humans. With this guidance they quickly found what they were looking for. Sequencing of the hPer2 gene revealed a serine-to-glycine point mutation in the CK1ε binding domain of the hPER2 protein. In 2005, Ptáček’s lab reported discovery of a different mutation causing FASPS. This time the CK1δ was implicated, demonstrating an A-to-G missense mutation that resulted in a threonine-to-alanine alteration in the protein. The evidence for both of these reported causes of FASPS is strengthened by the absence of said mutations in all tested control subjects. Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_sleep_phase_syndrome
Blue Light Wavelengths Increase Serotonin - Scientific Breakthrough Light Therapy Canada Several very recent studies, most notably research from a team headed by Dr. George Brainard at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, have identified the specific wavelengths of blue light, 446-477 nm that are crucial in suppressing melatonin production in humans. 1,2,3,4 As Dr. Brainard notes : "This discovery will have an immediate impact on the therapeutic use of light for treating winter depression and circadian disorders." Melatonin, the neurotransmitter that helps us sleep deeply through the night, is produced from serotonin. Suppressing melatonin production raises the levels of serotonin in our brains. This is the key goal of therapeutic bright light treatment. This neurological pathway entrains our circadian rhythm to be awake during the day and sleep deeply at night. Four cells in the human retina capture light and form the visual system. One type, rod cells, regulates night vision. The other three types, called cone cells, control color vision. It's known that exposure to light at night can disrupt the body's production of melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and plays a vital role in resetting the body's daily biological clock. Dr. Brainard and his group showed that the combined three-cone system didn't control the biological effects of light, at least not for melatonin regulation. But subsequent work led to the surprising discovery that a novel receptor was responsible for the effect. The study looked at the effects of nine different wavelengths of light, from indigo to orange, on 72 healthy volunteers. Subjects were brought into the laboratory at midnight, when melatonin is highest. The subjects' pupils were dilated and then they were blindfolded for two hours. Blood samples were drawn. Next, each person was exposed to a specific dose of photons of one light for 90 minutes and then another blood sample was drawn. Wavelengths of blue light had the highest potency in causing changes in melatonin levels, he explains. This new research indicates that there is an as yet unidentified photopigment; most sensitive at theses wavelengths of blue light that controls theses neurological reactions to light. As another researcher notes, this 'provides the first direct evidence of a non-rod, non-cone photoreceptive system in humans' - one that is activated by blue light between 420-480 nm. 2 References - Brainard G, Hanifin J, Gresson J et al (2001) - Action Spectrum for Melatonin Regulation in Humans - Evidence for a Novel Circadian Photoreceptor - Neurosci (16): 6405-6412 - Thapan K, Arendt J, Skene DJ (2001) - An action spectrum for melatonin suppression - Evidence for a novel non-rod, non-cone photoreceptor system in humans - J Physiol 535 (pt 1): 261-7 - Wright HR, Lack LC (2001) - Effect of light wavelength on suppression and phase delay of the melatonin rhythm - Chronobiol Int 5:801-8 - Max, M (2001) - Molecular Basis of Phototransduction and Circadian Rhythmicity, notes on current research - Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Cfr. : http://www.lighttherapycanada.biz/bluelightresearch.htm#Scientific
Bright Light May Boost Testosterone - Light Therapy Might Ease Sexual Dysfunction WebMD Medical News, April 22, 2003 - Sources : Neuroscience Letters, 341, 2003. News release, University of California, San Diego Waking up to bright light may trigger a rise in male hormones that could ease sexual dysfunction and other symptoms of depression. A new shows that early morning light therapy caused a surge in a pituitary hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) that raises testosterone levels in men. Previous studies have shown that bright light therapy of daily exposure to specially designed, high-intensity light boxes can alleviate many symptoms of depression, especially among people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during winter months. Researchers say sexual dysfunction, including loss of libido and decreased sexual activity, are commonly reported symptoms among people with depression as well as frequent side effects of antidepressant medications. In this study, published in the current edition of Neuroscience Letters, researchers examined levels of LH following one hour of bright light therapy (1,000 lux) from 5-6 a.m. for five days in a row among 11 healthy men ages 19-30. The same group also was exposed to a placebo light (less than 10 lux) over a similar period. Researchers found that LH levels increased by 69.5% after bright light therapy, but those levels were unchanged after placebo light exposure. The study also looked at whether levels of the hormone melatonin, which rises at night and is thought to play a role in the natural sleep cycle, might be affected by light therapy. Previous studies in animals had suggested that melatonin might interfere with a light therapy-induced LH boost, but researchers found no evidence of this effect in humans. Researcher In-Young Yoong, MD, PhD, who conducted the study at the University of California, San Diego and colleagues say their findings suggest bright light therapy may not only ease sexual dysfunction in men, but it may also trigger ovulation in women, which is also controlled by LH. Researchers say future studies should look at the effect of light therapy on LH levels in depressed people to see if it has the same hormone-raising effect found in these healthy volunteers. Cfr. : http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20030422/bright-light-may-boost-testosterone
Bright Light Therapy Relieves Depression - Therapy Looks Promising for Depression During Pregnancy Jeanie Lerche Davis - WebMD Medical News, April 5, 2004 – Source : Epperson, C. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, March 2004; vol 65: pp 421-425 Bright light therapy may relieve depression during pregnancy, possibly as well as antidepressants would. Depression during pregnancy is a difficult problem since women are discouraged from taking antidepressants. Yet untreated depression during pregnancy can compromise her unborn baby's health, increasing risk of preeclampsia, lower birth weight, premature birth and childhood behavioral problems, explains lead researcher C. Neill Epperson, MD, a psychiatrist with Yale School of Medicine. Her study appears in this month's Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. These mothers are at very high risk of postpartum depression, which further puts her child at risk for brain development problems, depression and substance abuse. And while most antidepressants do not cause major birth defects, they may adversely affect the newborn's growth and development. Bright light therapy has shown promise as an effective treatment for depression, writes Epperson. It involves sitting in front of a specially designed light box that provides either a bright or dim light for 60 minutes within 10 minutes of waking up. In her study, 10 pregnant women, all diagnosed with depression, were assigned to get either five weeks of bright light therapy or were exposed to dim room light. The women underwent a standard interview to measure symptoms of depression and were given a score. Researchers found a just small difference in the women's depression scores after five weeks. However, after 10 weeks of light therapy, they saw a significantly beneficial effect. Depression scores were reduced in the women who were exposed to bright light therapy compared with women exposed to dim lights. The encouraging finding "underscores the need for a full-scale clinical trial to determine whether light therapy can be added as a treatment" for depression during pregnancy, Epperson writes. Cfr. : http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20040405/bright-light-therapy-relieves-depression
Bright-light therapy may help weight loss Electronic Healing – Source : Tom Blackwell, National Post, July 30, 2007 A simple device most often used to counteract severe cases of the winter blues also seems to help people shed disease-causing fat, a surprising new study concludes. Obese and overweight subjects who coupled their exercise regimen with bright-light therapy lost significantly more body fat than those who exercised without the light boxes, say researchers at a Toronto hospital. The "remarkable" results are an important step in efforts to maximize the benefits of exercise, in this case without even changing diet, say authors of the study, just published in the journal Obesity. "To show that we actually have a way to reduce body fat after moderate exercise and an intervention is one of the most fascinating findings of this work," said Dr. Sharon Chung, one of the researchers at Toronto Western Hospital : "Too much fat around the gut ... ages us before our time. [But] it's very hard to change our body fat." The group, headed by Dr. Colin Shapiro, a Toronto Western psychiatrist, has plans for a larger study that will test the impact of the special bright-light lamps -- which filter out harmful UV rays -- on people who are overweight but not exercising, as well as those working out. Deena Sherman, a 40-something Toronto photographer, said she had a sense of "wellbeing" during the study and did lose weight, but is not sure whether it was the light or the fact the researchers ensured she followed a regular exercise routine. Bright light therapy has been proven effective in treating patients with seasonal affective disorder -- depression that sets in during winter months when there is minimal sunlight. One theory is that the lights affect levels in the brain of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which regulates emotion and behaviour and may affect appetite as well. The Toronto Western researchers divided their 29 initial subjects in two groups : - control subjects who would only exercise three times a week for 30 minutes at a time and - another bunch who would do the same workouts but also expose themselves to the light therapy for up to an hour a day. After six weeks, both groups had lost some weight. The bright-light subjects also saw their body fat decrease to about 39% from 41% during the month and a half, while the other subjects' fat percentage actually climbed slightly. That is a "remarkable" change over such a short period, say the researchers, who received a small grant from Litebook Co., a maker of the light boxes. Body fat is a key health issue, with so-called "visceral" fat around the abdomen an important risk factor for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that can include diabetes and high blood pressure. Cfr. : - http://electronichealing.co.uk/articles/sad_weight_loss.htm - http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=c8a907ce-5702-4027-826b-b0dc6ba5604d
Circadian phase delay induced by phototherapeutic devices Paul MA, Miller JC, Gray G, Buick F, Blazeski S, Arendt J, DRDC Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : firstname.lastname@example.org - Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007 Jul;78(7):645-52 - PMID: 17679560 Introduction - The Canadian Forces has initiated a multiple study project to optimize circadian phase changes using appropriately timed phototherapy and/or ingestion of melatonin for those personnel on long-range deployments and shift workers. The work reported here compared four phototherapeutic devices for efficacy in effecting circadian phase delays. Methods - In a partially counterbalanced treatment order, 14 subjects (7 men and 7 women), ages 18-51 yr, participated in 5 weekly experimental sessions of phototherapy with 4 different phototherapy devices (light tower, light visor, Litebook, LED spectacles) and a no-phototherapy control. Phototherapy was applied from 24:00 to 02:00 on night. (1) Dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) was assessed on night 1 and night. (2) Subjects were tested for psychomotor performance (serial reaction time, logical reasoning and serial subtraction tasks) and completed the Stanford Sleepiness Scale on night 1 at 19:00, 23:00, 01:00, 02:00 and 03:00. After phototherapy, subjects completed a phototherapy side-effects questionnaire. Results - All phototherapy devices produced melatonin suppression and significant phase delays. Sleepiness was significantly decreased with the light tower, the light visor and the Litebook. Task performance was only slightly improved with phototherapy. The LED spectacles and light visor caused greater subjective performance impairment, more difficulty viewing the computer monitor and reading printed text than the light tower or the Litebook. The light visor, the Litebook and the LED spectacles caused more eye discomfort than the light tower. Conclusions - The light tower was the best device, producing melatonin suppression and circadian phase change while relatively free of side effects. Cfr. : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17679560?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RV DocSum
Circadian rhythm A circadian rhythm is an approximate daily periodicity, a roughly-24-hour cycle in the biochemical, physiological or behavioral processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. The term "circadian", coined by Franz Halberg, comes from the Latincirca, "around" and diem or dies, "day", meaning literally "approximately one day." The formal study of biological temporal rhythms such as daily, tidal, weekly, seasonal and annual rhythms, is called chronobiology. In a strict sense, circadian rhythms are endogenously generated, although they can be modulated by external cues, primarily daylight. They allow organisms to anticipate and prepare for precise and regular environmental changes. .../... Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm
Delayed sleep phase syndrome Delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS), also known as delayed sleep-phase disorder (DSPD) or delayed sleep-phase type (DSPT), is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, a chronic disorder of the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, core body temperature, hormonal and other daily rhythms relative to societal norms. People with DSPS tend to fall asleep well after midnight and have difficulty waking up in the morning. Often, people with the disorder report that they cannot sleep until early morning, but they fall asleep at about the same time every "night", no matter what time they go to bed. Unless they have another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea in addition to DSPS, patients can sleep well and have a normal need for sleep. Therefore, they find it very difficult to wake up in time for a typical school or work day. If, however, they are allowed to follow their own schedule, e.g. sleeping from 4 a.m. to noon, they sleep soundly, awaken spontaneously and do not feel sleepy again until their next "night". The syndrome usually develops in early childhood or adolescence and sometimes disappears in adolescence or early adulthood. It can be to a greater or lesser degree treatable, depending on the severity, but cannot be cured. DSPS was first formally described in 1981 by Dr. Elliot D. Weitzman and others at Montefiore Medical Center. It is responsible for 7–10% of cases where patients complain of chronic insomnia. However, as few doctors are aware of its existence, it often goes untreated or is treated inappropriately. DSPS is frequently misdiagnosed as primary insomnia or as a psychiatric condition. .../... Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_syndrome
Effect of light therapy on sleep and 'chemobrain' in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy UC San Diego, San Diego, CA, VS
Evaluation of ‘blue-enriched’ light on sleep of community-dwelling older people Katharina Lederle, Dr. Benita Middleton, Prof. Debra Skene, School of Biomedical and Molecular Science, University of Surrey, UK - Team Leader Prof. Debra Skene - Supported by EU Marie Curie RTN Grant (MCRTN-CT-2004-512362) Humans possess an internal body clock or ‘pacemaker’ which is involved in controlling daily rhythms in a number of psycho-physiological functions. Most of these functions e.g. hormone levels and the sleep-wake cycle oscillate with a circadian (lat. ‘about a day’) rhythm. The internal clock, situated in the hypothalamic brain region, is synchronised primarily by light to the environmental 24-hour light-dark cycle. Many older people suffer from sleep problems and decreased daytime alertness which may, in part, be caused by a dysfunction of their circadian timing system. When asked to assess their general lifestyle, older people complain about daytime sleepiness and poor night-time sleep. Currently, sleep medication is the only option offered to treat these problems. Medication, however, has a variety of adverse side-effects and tolerance to the treatment may develop. Several studies have therefore looked for an alternative to treat sleep disorders by using bright light therapy. Reports have shown that administration of bright light not only has the ability to reduce sleep problems but can also enhance daytime performance. Recent research indicates that the human circadian system is sensitive to the wavelength of light. It has been shown that short-wavelength (blue) light is the most effective at phase shifting and synchronising the biological clock. These findings have lead to the current study. Here, we plan to compare the effectiveness of ‘blue-enriched’ white light with control white light to improve night time sleep and daytime functioning in older people. In the study older community-dwelling people will be exposed to the two different light conditions over a period of time and their sleep and daytime performance will be assessed. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of light, as a non-pharmacological treatment, to improve sleep as well as tests the practicability of daily light administration in people’s homes. Cfr. : http://www.sleep.fi/ReadBinary.asp?route=3402.5064.6815.6824.
Free mental health screenings designed to promote psychiatric drug use, health author says Jessica Fraser – NaturalNews, October 06, 2006 The nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health is offering free, anonymous mental health screenings at hospitals, colleges and mental health centers across the country today, but psychiatric drug critics say the screenings are scams designed to push prescription psychiatric drugs on the public. Screening for Mental Health says that many Americans begin feeling the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) around this time of the year. SAD is often brought on by the lack of sunlight during fall and winter months and its symptoms include sleeping and eating in excess, extreme fatigue, weight gain, depression or irritability and lack of interest in socializing and enjoyable activities. SAD symptoms generally subside as spring and summer arrive. Mild cases of SAD can be treated by getting additional sunlight during the fall and winter seasons, which can be accomplished by taking long walks in the daytime or sitting by a window while the sun is out. More severe cases of SAD can be treated with light therapy devices, which expose the user to very bright fluorescent light each day. However, psychiatrists often treat SAD patients with antidepressants, which have come under fire recently for serious negative side effects, including suicide and violent behavior. Americans who take advantage of Screening for Mental Health's free examinations will also be checked for other mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder. Consumer advocate Mike Adams, author of "Take Back Your Health Power," calls the free mental health screenings "a thinly veiled patient recruiting scheme organized and funded by drug companies," and urges patients who believe they are experiencing SAD to seek the advice of a qualified naturopathic physician for safe treatment options. "Seasonal Affective Disorder is really just sunlight deficiency," Adams said : "If you suffer from the symptoms of SAD, all you need is more sunlight or light therapy, not prescription drugs." In addition to getting more sunlight, SAD sufferers can consume specific foods and supplements for enhanced brain health, including fish oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw nuts, oily fish, raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Cfr. : http://www.naturalnews.com/020653.html
How light therapy works in the body - Light triggers hormone surge studies of mice show Miranda Hitti, WebMD Medical News, Nov. 8, 2005 (reviewed by Louise Chang, MD) – Source : Atsushi Ishida - Cell Metabolism, November 2005; vol 2: pp 297-307. Schibler, U. Cell Metabolism, November 2005; vol 2: pp 278-281. News release, Cell Press Bright light is known to affect the body and its internal "clock" and Japanese scientists may have partly figured out how that happens. When they exposed mice to bright light, the mice experienced a wave of hormones called glucocorticoids. These hormones are responsible for many bodily processes including metabolism, response to stress, inflammation and immunity. Atsushi Ishida and colleagues report their findings in 'Cell Metabolism'. Ishida works in Kobe, Japan, in the brain science department of Kobe University's medical school. The study doesn't change the use of light therapy in people for conditions including sleep disorders and some types of depression, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But it might explain one aspect of how light therapy works. From darkness to bright light Ishida's team did a series of tests on mice. In one experiment, mice were briefly kept in constant darkness and then exposed to a short session of bright light. Next, the researchers checked the genes in the mice's adrenal glands. Located atop the kidneys, the adrenal glands make glucocorticoid hormones. Exposure to light boosted gene activity in the mice's adrenal glands. That upped production of hormones made by the adrenal glands. Those hormones could then travel throughout the body, docking on virtually any cell to rev up cell metabolism. The intensity of the light determined the size of the hormonal response. Very intense light prompted a bigger hormonal surge, the study shows. Brain link The process started in the mice's brains, the researchers report. They focused on a brain area that's deeply involved in the internal "body clock." That brain area is called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. In another test, researchers took the suprachiasmatic nucleus out of the loop. When that happened, the mice didn't show the same hormonal reaction to bright light. What about people ? The tests weren't done on humans. If the results apply to humans, it could be "of great physiological interest" for doctors and researchers, editorialists write. They point out that it would be pretty easy to check hormone levels after light exposure. They also note that the findings might explain light therapy's benefits for SAD patients and those with other types of depression that aren't usually associated with the internal clock. The editorialists included Ueli Schibler, who works in Switzerland in the University of Geneva's molecular biology department. Schibler and colleagues weren't involved in Ishida's experiments. Cfr. : http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/20061101/how-light-therapy-works-in-body
How to beat the winter blues The Independent, 13 November 2007 “As the nights draw in, millions of us feel gloom setting in. But there are ways to lift your mood in the colder months,” says Rebecca Armstrong. Use a light box The summer of 2007 has already gone down in history as the wettest since records began. If months of grey skies, rained-off barbecues and ruined trips to the seaside weren't depressing enough, this lack of sun could also be having an effect on the happiness of millions of us. Whether you are a signed up sufferer of seasonal affective disorder – along with more than a million other people in the UK – or simply feel your mood dip as the nights get darker, the consequences of a lack of sun can leave people lethargic, depressed, anxious and more likely to get colds and infections. There are a number of theories about exactly what causes SAD but the common theme is that light triggers messages to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This controls sleep, mood and appetite so it's thought that the lack of sunlight in winter has an impact of how effectively it manages these functions. However, there are a number of ways to combat SAD and one of the most effective is simple to use and can have results within three days. Exposure to bright light – phototherapy – helps 80 per cent of SAD sufferers, according to the mental health charity Mind. Ordinary light bulbs aren't strong enough, though, as the average domestic or office light only emits an intensity of 200-500 lux while the minimum dose necessary to treat SAD is 2,500 lux. The easiest way to get this kind of light is by investing in a light box – prices start from about £60 – and sitting in front of it for around one or two hours a day. Boots has seen sales of its range of light boxes soar by 147 per cent this year. Get outdoors In the depths of winter it's easy to stay indoors and shun any unnecessary trips outside, especially if the weather is foul and temperatures are freezing. However, leaving the house can have a huge effect on mood. According to NHS Direct, anyone who suffers from SAD or low moods associated with winter should try to get as much natural sunlight as possible. "Even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial," advises the site. Research published earlier this year suggests that during winter, 90 per cent of British adults suffer from a shortage of vitamin D. The study's author, Dr Elia Hypponen, says that "a sensible outdoor lifestyle... will make adequate vitamin D." If it's impossible to leave the house or office during daylight hours, Mind recommends sitting near the windows in light-coloured rooms. According to a study by the University of Essex, being closer to nature increases well-being and even looking outside through a window, especially on to a view of nature, can have a significant effect on moods. Although the shorter winter days don't have the same light intensity that occurs in summer, if you suffer from SAD it's important to spend as much time in daylight as possible. But while being outside can help ease the symptoms, it's not a total cure – many farmers and outdoor workers suffer from the disorder despite spending their working hours in natural daylight, as Mind points out. Take exercise One way to keep on top of the winter blues is to exercise regularly. A 2001 study by the Duke University in North Carolina found that exercise is a more effective treatment for depression than antidepressants, with fewer relapses and a higher recovery rate. The reason why exercise has such a profound effect is that physical activity increases the amount of endorphins in the body and endorphins boost feelings of happiness. "I can't believe how obvious it is but people really need to get out and exercise," says Emer O'Neill, chief executive of the Depression Alliance : "But when you're feeling permanently tired, fed up and sluggish, being told to exercise is really irritating. It's a catch-22 situation, but if you can start exercising at the start of the season and just try and build in a regular routine it really helps." If you're loath to jog in the dark or join a sports club, an exercise video, trip to the gym or a yoga class are extremely effective ways to improve energy levels and boost moods. In fact, any physical activity lasting between 20 and 60 minutes can help to improve psychological well-being, according to a recent report from the Mental Health Foundation. Improve your diet Comfort food tends to be the standard fare during winter, but craving carbohydrates is a symptom of SAD and although eating stodgy foods can be soothing in the short term, it can lead to lethargy and weight gain. "People often gain weight when suffering from SAD and putting on between 5 and 10kg is quite common," according to Dr Jonathan Johnston, a lecturer in neuroscience at the University of Surrey who specialises in seasonal biology. Nutritionist Patrick Holford recommends following a diet that keeps blood sugar levels even and provides plenty of omega-3 fats to keep your moods and your weight under control. "Avoid sugar and sugary snacks and try to reduce your intake of stimulants – tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and cigarettes," he says : "Increase nutrient-rich foods – fruit, vegetables and wheatgerm – and eat tuna, mackerel, herring or salmon three times a week." Holford also advises eating nuts and seeds – go for flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame. "It's also important to minimise your intake of fried and processed food and saturated fat," he says. Consider antidepressants In severe cases of SAD, some doctors may suggest taking serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) during the winter months. "For some people it is useful to go on antidepressants – obviously after going along to see your GP," says O'Neill : "At the diagnosis stage it's important to recognise if the condition has happened before and if you always have symptoms of depression that start to kick in around this time of year. A low level of antidepressants can lift your mood and break the cycle." But combining treatments can be even more helpful than simply relying on prescription drugs. "Taking antidepressants while using a light box can be very effective. Just remember that when you go to your GP it's important not to think that antidepressants are the only way – there are lots of other treatments that work." For those who don't want to take prescription pills, there are alternatives. "St John's Wort is known worldwide as an effective antidepressant – in Germany it's the most frequently prescribed antidepressant and out-prescribes drugs like Prozac," explains Jayney Goddard, the president of the Complementary Medicines Association : "There are new formulations that include passion flower, a herb that has anti-anxiety properties." Goddard has successfully used this mixture to treat a number of her patients. "The herbal approach is one of many ways to help deal with SAD," she says, "but from what I've seen it's very effective." Take supplements Another possibility that is beneficial to health as well as helping to lessen the blues is taking cod liver oil. "Taking cod liver oil every day can strengthen the immune system," explains GP Dr Sarah Jarvis : "You also get a healthy dose of vitamin D that can protect against depression." During the summer, people usually build up a store of vitamin D in their bodies but it will only last about 20 to 29 days. Once it has been used up, it's necessary to increase the store by taking supplements or getting some winter sun. Try a talking cure If you're feeling unhappy, it's important not to suffer in silence, says O'Neill : "We recommend talking about how you feel – be really clear with your GP and talk to your friends." Some SAD sufferers find Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be helpful, she adds : "Your GP can refer you but there is usually a waiting list. Computerised CBT is an effective tool for people, especially those who recognise that they do feel down at this time of year. Once you buy it, you use it when the time is right for you." Another alternative is group therapy. "Some people find support groups helpful," says O'Neill. "For most people, feeling like this isn't life-threatening but it's a very uncomfortable thing that you don't have to go through alone. There's help available and talking about how you're feeling can really make a difference." Get some winter sun People who live within 30 degrees of the equator seldom suffer from SAD, thanks to long hours of daylight and bright sunshine. Head further north or south, however and SAD symptoms become more prevalent. An estimated 10 per cent of the population of northern Europe suffer mild SAD thanks to a combination of dark days and infrequent sunlight. "Some people have suggested that SAD is like a human form of hibernation – perhaps it's a vestigial link to animal behaviour," says Dr Johnston. It's hardly surprising that we're sluggish and sad in winter if our bodies would rather curl up for a three-month nap. So what can people dwelling in the dark north – or south – do ? Booking a holiday in January or February not only gives you something to look forward to but can give you much-needed exposure to sun and light. Or if your funds are unlimited, says Dr Johnston : "moving to somewhere sunny for three months over the winter would be great for everyone !" Not an option ? Stick to a daily walk, a blast of the light box and a healthy diet. Cfr. : http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/how-to-beat-the-winter-blues-400175.html
Indigo Dreams - 4 Children's Stories Designed to Decrease Stress and Anxiety While Increasing Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness (Audio CD) Lori Lite - LiteBooks.net LLC, 17 Oct 2006 – ISBN-10 : 0970863349 / ISBN-13 : 978-0970863348 "Indigo Dreams" is a 60 minute CD/audio book designed to entertain your child while introducing them to relaxation and stress-management techniques. Four unique bedtime stories incorporate breathing, visualizations, muscular relaxation and affirmations. These are the same techniques recommended for adults but presented in a fun, interactive format that appeal to children. Children follow the characters along as they learn belly breathing with "A Boy and a Bear", make positive statements with "The Affirmation Web", visualize with "A Boy and a Turtle" and relax with "The Goodnight Caterpillar". All four of these stories are also available in book format. "Indigo Dream's" shorter stories are perfect for shorter attention spans and beginners. The stories are best suited for ages 4-9. These proven techniques encourage wellness and provide tools for children who suffer from anxiety, stress, trauma, hyperactivity, anger, sleep issues and lack of confidence. The narration is accompanied by soothing sounds of crickets, gentle breezes and forest animals. An additional music sound track is included to further enhance your child's relaxation experience. These stories were created to help our own child fall asleep. I was amazed when my son stopped jumping on the bed to breathe with the bear. It was a magical moment ! My husband heard the story and asked me to write it down ! I knew then that my life purpose was to help children. Cfr. : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Indigo-Dreams-Increasing-Self-Esteem-Self-Awareness/dp/0970863349/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210880073&sr=8-6
Indigo Dreams - Adult Relaxation : Guided Relaxation/Stress Management Techniques with Calming Music (Audio CD) Lori Lite - LiteBooks.net LLC, 1 Jan 2006 – ISBN-10 : 0970863330 – ISBN-13 : 978-0970863331 Experience four straight forward, no-nonsense, stress-management/meditation techniques that are accepted and used by both the traditional medical and holistic communities. You will not find any philosophies, theories or fluff presented here because frankly, we do not have time for that and chances are... neither do you. Enjoy and learn four stress-management techniques; breathing, affirmations, visualizations and muscular relaxation accompanied by soothing, uplifting music to further enhance your relaxation experience. Cfr. : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Indigo-Dreams-Relaxation-Management-Techniques/dp/0970863330/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210878690&sr=8-4
Indigo Teen Dreams - Teens Explore Relaxation/Stress Management Techniques While Receiving Guided Instructions on the Techniques of Breathing, Visualizations, ... Relaxation and Affirmations (Audio CD) Lori Lite - LiteBooks.net LLC, 1 Sep 2005 – ISBN-10 : 097086339X / ISBN-13 : 978-0970863393 "Indigo Teen Dreams" allows teens to manage stress, anger and anxiety while increasing self-esteem and self-awareness. Teens explore relaxation and stress-management techniques while receiving guided instructions on the techniques of breathing, visualizations, muscular relaxation and affirmations. This straight forward, easy to follow approach encourages teens to take charge of their own feelings and stress. It provides a safe place where teens can be themselves while not worrying about peer pressure or living up to any ones expectations. It is motivating, encouraging and instructional at the same time ! Additional uplifting music sound tracks are provided to further enhance their relaxation experience. These proven techniques provide tools for teens trying to make their way in today's world. Teens are encouraged to make good choices and believe in themselves while managing stress and anger. Great for teens entering Middle School through High School. “I wrote these tracks after attending my daughter's High School orientation. The principal announced that the next four years would be the most stressful years of my teen's life ! My husband handed me a note that said : "What are they doing to help them manage the stress ?" Cfr. : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Indigo-Teen-Dreams-Instructions-Visualizations/dp/097086339X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210878690&sr=8-2
Insomnia Insomnia is a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomniacs have been known to complain about being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time. Both organic and non-organic insomnia constitute a sleep disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in year 2007, approximately 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. Insomnia occurs 1.4 times more commonly in women than in men. .../... Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insomnia
Light therapy, a ‘natural Prozac’ for winter depression Sheri Lundstrom - Light Therapy Products – Source : Twin City Wellness, November 1997 About the author: Sheri Lundstrom is a SAD sufferer. Because of the major impact these products had on her life, she started Light Therapy Products. Light Therapy Products offers a wide variety of products for enhancing serotonin levels. Light box units, dawn simulators, bulbs, tubes and books are available for purchase. For Inquiries, please call 651-351-9800. SAD Winter means “the blues” for many people. And for as many as 30 percent of Minnesotans, shorter days mean a flare-up of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or subsyndromal SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder caused by the lack of light in winter. Here’s some tips for combating the blues or depression : - walk or play outside regularly, glancing at the sky (but not the sun) to get sunlight - exercise regularly - manage stress - don’t hole up - share feelings with family and friends and/or talk with a counselor - use supplements as needed to combat stress and depression - get enough sleep - brighten your house and work environment with light and brighter decorating - eat the right mix of protein and carbohydrates for you - consider a dawn simulator device to awaken naturally. For those with SAD or subsyndromal SAD, the list might also include : - consider light therapy, which has been well documented by the National Institute of Mental Health and leading researchers to help seasonal affective disorder. How do you know if you have seasonal affective disorder ? Symptoms include changes in appetite, weight gain, drop in energy levels, reduction in sex drive, change in sleep/wake patterns, reduction in quality of sleep, body aches and pain, avoidance of social situations, decreased creativity, irritability, inability to complete tasks and sometimes suicidal thoughts. However, the key indicator for SAD is that the depression hits year after year at approximately the same time. Usually symptoms appear sometime in fall and remit sometime in the spring. However, some persons with SAD are affected whenever there are several overcast days in a row regardless of season. And in some people who work shift work or in other work situations where they hardly see light, SAD can occur in any season. Since childhood I have had SAD, but it was only a couple of years ago that I received help for it through light therapy. Over the years I have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, post traumatic stress syndrome, digestive problems with no known cause, major depression and fibromyalgia. For nearly two years, I went the traditional medication route with Zoloft, a drug in the Prozac family. Zoloft began losing its effectiveness and I wanted to get to the root of the problem. Finally I heard of light therapy and tried a light unit. Within four days I was feeling new life come back into me. This started a new era for my health; all my other illnesses have mysteriously disappeared. Since then I have felt moved to share my story with others who have SAD or fibromyalgia and help others get information about light therapy. I would also like to help health care providers learn more about SAD and light therapy. Many people have vaguely heard of light therapy and read about it in Readers Digest or Consumer Reports or other publications, but don’t know where to find products or information. Dawn simulator My day starts with a bedside light gradually turning on by a small computerized device called a dawn simulator. This light exposure wakes me up naturally without the harsh blare of an alarm clock. What’s happening is that the pineal gland in the brain registers this light and begins secreting serotonin. Research subjects have shown marked improvement in energy, mood, social interest, productivity, quality of sleep and quality of awakening with dawn simulation. The dawn simulator is wonderful for anyone, not just those who have seasonal affective disorder. It is especially good for shift workers, school children and teens (whose natural clocks aren’t set to get up for school !), travelers dealing with jet lag and confirmed night owls. Yes, it’s more expensive than an alarm clock, but some consider it an investment in long-term mental and physical health as well as a more natural way to wake up than alarm clocks and caffeine. Light Box Once awake I use a bright light box . Light boxes are a specially designed light unit with an output of 10,000 lux. Generally, light therapy takes about a half hour each morning during the patient’s SAD season, as it does for me. Sometimes this treatment is coupled with other methods of treatment similar to those of other major depressive disorders. I personally was able to discontinue antidepressants. How could something as simple as light make such a major difference to me and others ? The answer is that light plays such a major role I in the production of serotonin. Serotonin influences important aspects of our physiology, including body temperature, blood pressure, blood clotting, immunity, pain, digestion, sleep and daily body rhythms. Bright light raises serotonin levels in the brain, producing this “natural Prozac.” Buildings with no outside windows, cloudy days, short winter days and stress all contribute to reduced levels of serotonin. It’s easy to see why Minnesotans increasingly have a serotonin-depleted society. Research is showing that light therapy helps many conditions associated with lack of serotonin : sleep disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, insomnia, eating and bingeing, chronic pain etc., as well as SAD. The results have often been dramatic. One study showed bulimics using light therapy reduced episodes by 50 percent. Another study involved great improvement for detoxified alcoholics receiving light therapy. Bright light therapy is included in therapeutic recommendations of the American Psychiatric Association. Some insurance companies have begun covering it as a medical expense. Books The research and some other information mentioned are discussed in more detail in Beyond Prozac by Michael Norden, M.D. and Winter Blues by Normal Rosenthal, M.D. If you want to awaken more naturally year-round, you may want to research dawn simulators. If you have difficulty with SAD-like symptoms, you may want to research dawn simulators and light boxes. You’ll want to give your health care provider a phone call or visit before trying a light box. If your health care provider isn’t familiar with light therapy, do some research yourself and share the research. By sharing what we learn about light therapy, fewer people with be debilitated each winter by SAD. Sheri Lundstrom is the previous president of Light Therapy Products. Light box units and dawn simulators are available for purchase. Books about SAD and light therapy are available for purchase. Cfr. : http://www.lighttherapyproducts.com/natural_prozac.aspx
Litebook Elite hand-held light therapy device Cfr. : http://www.litebook.com/products/warranty.asp Product Features - 60 day money-back guarantee - No UV radiation - Improves mood, increases energy and restores sleep patterns - Safe, easy to use and doctor-recommended - Custom rip-stop nylon carrying case (included). Important information - Safety Information - If you have a history of eye disease including, but not limited to, macular degeneration, have undergone laser corrective eye surgery in the past 30 days or if you are currently taking any medications including certain antibiotics which render you photosensitive (extremely sensitive to light), consult with your ophthalmologist or health care provider before using product. - Directions - The Elite should be positioned approximately 12-20 inches from your face and should be offset slightly from center to reduce glare. The Elite's light beam must be directed at your eyes and your eyes must be open to achieve benefit. Typically, you will recognize when you've received sufficient light - most often by a feeling of heightened alertness, energy and/or mood. Product description - The Litebook Elite - The Litebook Elite is the new generation of light therapy, the result of years of research and development in hand-held light therapy devices. This new model features a custom lens and diffusion system which, combined with the high-performance white LEDs that all Litebook products are known for, produces a uniform field of bright yet soothing light. Additional new features for the Elite include a multiple-setting timer (15-30-45-60 minutes) and a long-lasting built-in rechargeable lithium-ION battery with a charge indicator. All of this in a compact, sleek, new design which fits into your lifestyle. When used everyday, the Litebook Elite will improve your mood, increase your energy level and restore your sleep patterns. Most people notice results within 30 days - often sooner. - Litebook Elite, the new generation of light therapy ! - Features a custom lens and diffusion system which, combined with the high-performance white LEDs that all Litebook products are known for, produces a uniform field of bright yet soothing light. Include a multiple-setting timer (15-30-45-60 minutes). Long-lasting built-in rechargeable lithium-ION battery with a charge indicator. Compact, sleek, new design which fits into your lifestyle. When used everyday, the Litebook Elite will improve your mood, increase your energy level and restore your sleep patterns. Product Details - Product Dimensions : 5 x 5 x 1 inches - Shipping Weight : 2 pounds - Shipping : only within the U.S. - ASIN : B000P0LLNU - Item model number : LB2001. Customer reactions - Really a life-saver in the winter - February 19, 2008 S.A.D., you know it, you feel it, you hate it every year. Well this year was different when we got this bad boy in December. Use it 30minutes in the morning and am extremely satisfied. - Litebook SAD Light - January 15, 2008 This portable, packable lamp is terrific. It is the only SAD lamp you'll need. Improve your winter mood with a few hours a day. - I've seen the light - January 29, 2008 Because I suffer from S.A.D., I've looked at light-therapy lights every year. However, I've always been hesitant to spend so much for something that I was skeptical about. I opted to use a prescription medication to help with my symptoms. They never seemed to really help though. Using a gift certificate I received for Christmas, I purchased a Litebook Elite hand-held light therapy device just a week ago. It has been nothing short of a miracle for me. I used to stay up all night with insomnia finally going to bed, totally exhausted around 5-6 AM. I would sleep until the afternoon only to arise still exhausted and achy all over. It would take me an hour just to gather myself for the day. I started using this light the day it arrived. I use it for 30 minutes right after waking. In just a short week, my sleep schedule has totally changed. I am now able to go to bed at 10 PM, fall asleep quickly, restfully sleep through the night and awaken at 6 AM totally refreshed. I sincerely hope that if you purchase this light you will have the same results I did. I feel like I have a new life. - Great therapy light - January 12, 2008 I purchased the Litebook Elite hand-held light therapy device and love it. It is light weight, portable and small in size. You can take it with you anywhere. Although it is small, it delivers as much light as one of the large desk size units. It evens comes with a nice carrying case and adapters for recharging the battery. I work in a sleep disorders center and have started recommending this product to patients. - Perfect - March 17, 2008 SAD is the absolute worst. I bought the litebook for the few weeks before I'd be able to get medication for the depression, but the light therapy gave me such fantastic results that it's all I need. I use it for 30 minutes when I first wake up and I'm more energetic, healthier and happier. - Exactly what I wanted - January 17, 2008 I spent a lot of time looking at different sites to find what I wanted for a xmas gift for my daugther. Amazon had the best price. When my daugther receive it, it turned out to include all the cords, chargers and instructions that were needed but not mentioned as being included. I took a chance with amazon and they came thru. My daugther loves the Litebook elite hand-held ! She lives in Minnesota and needed the light to lift her mood. So far we haven't been able to tell if it has but just having such a convenient device that she can use at work in her "cube" or take in her briefcase when she goes on business trips has lifted her mood. - Little Lite - January 11, 2008 I was a bit skeptical on whether this would work, but a do believe a little lite has made a significant diference ! I would buy this product again. It easy to use and portable and has help alieviate some of my symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder ! Wooo Hooo ! Cfr. : - http://www.amazon.com/Litebook-Elite-Hand-Held-Therapy-Device/dp/B000P0LLNU - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Litebook-V2-Elite-Lightbox-portable/dp/B000WBGU60/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1210878690&sr=8-1
Litebook Elite Portable LED SAD Lightbox The Litebook Company - First available at Amazon.co.uk : 1 Nov 2007 Everyone feels better on a sunny day ! It's amazing what a little light can do. Sunlight improves our attitude, makes us feel more optimistic and gives us energy. But most of us spend nearly all of our time indoors, so few of us get the sunshine we need - particularly in the shorter, darker days of winter. Meet the Litebook Elite, the world's first handheld light therapy device, the patented Litebook Elite produces wavelengths of light identical to the peak wavelengths of the sun - without the harmful UV rays. In just 15-30 minutes a day, you can feel just like you do on a warm sunny day at the beach... without leaving your home, office or hotel room. The Litebook Elite is easy to use. In fact, you don't even need to change your routine. Just set it on a flat surface (like a desk or tabletop) less than an arm's length away and off to one side. Because the Litebook Elite has a built-in rechargable battery, there is no messy cable to bother you. Like the sun, there's no need to stare at it. Direct the light towards your eyes and while you're busy working, reading or eating breakfast, the Litebook Elite bathes you in its revitalizing rays. Cfr. : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Litebook-Elite-Portable-LED-Lightbox/dp/B000Y8CXTY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1210880073&sr=8-7
Moderate exercise and bright light treatment in overweight and obese individuals Dunai A, Novak M, Chung SA, Kayumov L, Keszei A, Levitan R, Shapiro CM, Sleep Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8 - Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jul;15(7):1749-57 - PMID: 17636093 Objective - Increased physical activity is important given the concern over the growing rates of obesity. The aim of this study is to conduct a controlled investigation of the effects of bright light therapy and exercise on weight loss and body composition in overweight and obese individuals. Research methods and procedures - Twenty-five overweight and obese subjects were assigned to 6 weeks of moderate exercise with or without bright light treatment. Outcome measure included changes in body mass and body composition and ratings of mood, seasonality and sleep. Results - Body weight decreased significantly with exercise in subjects in the light and non-light treatment groups, but the change was not significantly different between the groups. Similar results were found for BMI. With exercise, body fat decreased significantly only in the light treatment group. There was a significant effect of the interaction of group by time on body fat composition, but the group by time interaction failed to reach statistical significance for body weight and BMI. Mood scores improved significantly with exercise in the light group, but no significant changes were noted regarding sleep. Discussion - This preliminary study is the first to show that addition of bright light treatment to a 6-week moderate exercise program can alter body composition by significantly reducing body fat. The reduction in body fat mass is of particular importance, because visceral fat has been particularly implicated as a major factor in the development of the metabolic syndrome. This study is an important step toward finding ways to maximize the effects of exercise. Cfr. : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17636093
Nieuwe lichttherapielamp voorkomt in twee sessies de reisklachten WomenOnline.nl Driekwart van de reizigers die naar een ander land reizen, waar de locale tijd niet overeenkomt met de tijd van de vertrekplaats, ervaart een jetlag. Ernstige vermoeidheid, concentratieproblemen en slaapproblemen zijn kenmerkende klachten, omdat de biologische klok van het lichaam ernstig is verstoord. Onderzoek toont aan dat met het gebruik van de Litebook Elite, een innoverende mobiele lichttherapielamp, een jetlag effectief en eenvoudig kan worden voorkomen. 'Jetlag' is de Engelse naam voor de verstoring van je waak-slaapritme. De biologische klok van het lichaam raakt veelal ernstig verstoord, wanneer men naar een ander land reist, waar de lokale tijd niet overeenkomt met de tijd van de vertrekplaats. In het algemeen heeft het lichaam een dag per gepasseerde tijdzone nodig om te herstellen. Leeftijd heeft invloed op een jetlag. Naarmate men ouder wordt zullen de symptomen van een jetlag meer impact hebben. Met name zakenreizigers ervaren een jetlag als vervelend. De vergadering in New York wordt minder effectief vanwege concentratieproblemen en grote vermoeidheid. Een jetlag kan ook grote gevolgen hebben voor het vakantieplezier. Naast lichamelijk ongemak gaat een jetlag ten koste van het toch al beperkte aantal vakantiedagen. Onderzoekers van het Amerikaanse ruimtevaartinstituut NASA hebben aangetoond dat het lichaam zich in twee dagen kan herstellen van een jetlag, wanneer men op bepaalde tijden wordt blootgesteld aan het juiste licht. En dit kan met gebruik van de nieuwe mobiele lichttherapielamp : de Litebook Elite. Met het gebruik van de Litebook Elite kun je de biologische klok snel synchroon laten lopen met de lokale klok in slechts 2 gebruikssessies ! Door het compacte en kleine formaat is de Litebook Elite makkelijk in de koffer of handtas mee te nemen. Met gebruik van de online jetlagcalculator krijgt men een persoonlijk gebruiksadvies om de jetlag effectief tegen te gaan. De Litebook is niet alleen een praktische uitkomst voor zakenreizigers, piloten en stewardessen. Ook top-sporters kunnen profiteren van de Litebook Elite. Zo gaat het Canadees Olypisch Team de Litebook Elite gebruiken om de sporters sneller fit te krijgen bij hun reis naar de komende Olympische Spelen in Peking. `Zeer waardevol', aldus perswoordvoerder René van Klaveren : `Je hebt minder dagen nodig om het lichaam te laten wennen aan de nieuwe tijdszone en het geeft de sporters extra energie.' Of ook de Nederlandse Olympische sporters worden uitgerust met een Litebook kan Van Klaveren nog niet zeggen. De hoge effectiviteit van lichttherapie is sinds de jaren zeventig aangetoond. De effectiviteit van de Litebook is onlangs nogmaals bevestigd in een wetenschappelijke studie die o.a. deels heeft plaatsgevonden aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. De Litebook Elite is ook effectief bij winterdepressie, slaapproblemen en vermoeidheidsklachten. De hoge effectiviteit van de Litebook wordt benadrukt door de 60-dagen-tevredenheidsgarantie die standaard wordt geboden. De medisch gecertificeerde Litebook Elite wordt op de markt gebracht door Goodlite en is online verkrijgbaar : www.doehetlichtaan.nl -. Cfr. : http://www.women-online.nl/10212008.htm
Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome is a rare and chronic circadian rhythm sleep disorder. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Chapter VI, Diseases of the Nervous System, defines the disorder as "a chronic steady pattern comprising one- to two-hour daily delays in sleep onset and wake times in an individual living in society." The pattern of delay persists literally "around the clock," typically taking a few weeks to complete one cycle. It affects less than 0.05% of the population (fewer than 1 in 2000 people), which means that it is classified as a "rare disease." Though most often referred to as Non-24, it is also known by the following terms : - Hypernychthemeral syndrome - Circadian rhythm sleep disorder - free-running type - Circadian rhythm sleep disorder - nonentrained type - Non-24-hour circadian rhythm disorder - Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder Presentation In people with this disorder, the body essentially insists that the day is longer than 24 hours and refuses to adjust to the external light/dark cycle. This makes it impossible to sleep at normal times and also causes daily shifts in other aspects of the circadian rhythms such as peak time of alertness, body temperature minimum and hormone secretion. Left untreated, non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome causes a person's sleep-wake cycle to change every day, the degree determined by how much over 24 hours the cycle lasts. The cycle may go around the clock, eventually returning to "normal" for one or two days before going "off" again. This is known as free-running sleep. Most cases that have been reported in the medical literature have occurred in blind patients. Sighted people with non-24 hour sleep-wake disorder do exist, but are much more rare and the etiology of their circadian disorder is less well understood. At least one case of a sighted person developing non-24 hour sleep-wake disorder was preceded by head injury; another patient diagnosed with the disorder was later found to have a "large pituitary adenoma that involved the optic chiasma." There have, however, been several studies of sighted people with the syndrome. McArthur et al reported treating a sighted patient who "appeared to be subsensitive to bright light." In 2002 Uchiyama et al examined five sighted Non-24 patients who showed, during the study, a sleep-wake cycle averaging 25.12 hours. That is appreciably longer than the 24.02 h average shown by the control subjects in that study, which was near the average innate cycle for healthy adults, younger and older, of 24.18 hours. Uchiyama et al had earlier determined that sighted Non-24 patients' minimum core body temperature occurs much earlier in the sleep episode than the normal two hours before awakening. They suggest that the long interval between the temperature trough and awakening, makes illumination upon awakening virtually ineffective (cfr. : Phase response curve). In their Clinical Review in 2007, Okawa and Uchiyama reported that people with Non-24 have a mean habitual sleep duration of nine to ten hours and that their circadian periods average 24.8 hours. People with the disorder may have an especially hard time adjusting to changes in "regular" sleep-wake cycles, such as vacations, stress, evening activities, time changes like daylight saving time, travel to different time zones, illness, medications (especially stimulants or sedatives), changes in daylight hours in different seasons and growth spurts, which are typically known to cause fatigue. Most people with this disorder find that it severely impairs their ability to function socially and occupationally. Typically, they are "partially or totally unable to function in scheduled social activities on a daily basis and most are unable to work at conventional jobs." Attempts to keep conventional hours by people with the disorder generally result in insomnia and excessive sleepiness as well as a myriad of other effects associated with acute and chronic sleep deprivation. Treatment Common treatments for non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome are similar to those for delayed sleep phase syndrome. They include light therapy with a full spectrum lamp giving—usually—10000 lux, chronotherapy, acupuncture and melatonin supplements. Light therapy has been shown useful in treating DSPS; effects on patients with Non-24 are less clear. Melatonin administration has been shown to be effective for mild cases of Non-24, particularly among the blind. It often takes several treatments before any progress is noticed and for many the treatments may only be marginally effective or not effective at all. In addition, the treatment is not a cure and the condition may only be managed. Treatment with melatonin taken 30 minutes to two hours before the desired bedtime may be helpful. Too high a dose of melatonin may have the unintended effect of disturbing the sleep or even causing nightmares and uncontrollable yawning the next day. Bright light therapy combined with the use of melatonin may be the most effective treatment. The timing of both is tricky and a lot of determination and experimentation is usually necessary. Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-24-hour_sleep-wake_syndrome
Performance enhancement in shift-work environments U.S. Army-Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Bethesda, MD, VS
Restless Sleep - Can't get a good night's rest ? Electronic Healing As the body ages, the circadian clock begins to change. Individuals in their 50s and 60s can experience changes in their sleeping patterns, which can affect their quality of life. There are multiple factors at play, including the weakening of the circadian rhythms, which control wake/sleep behaviors. Another factor is that most older adults, especially those in nursing homes, receive inadequate light. In one sample of a nursing home, patients received only 1.6 minutes of bright light exposure per day. How do you know if you are light deprived ? Due to the changes in circadian rhythms and insufficient bright light exposure, many seniors may experience : - sleep fragmentation - sleepiness early evening and wakefulness in the middle of the night - interrupted sleep - wandering. How can the 50 plus reset their body clock ? Clinical studies have shown that as we age, we respond favorably to bright light exposure. Depending on the exact nature of the individual’s sleep difficulties, he or she may benefit from 30 minutes of light exposure. The amount of time exposed to bright light is different for every individual. To develop a schedule that best meet your needs, you should seek advice from your health professional. Bright light exposure is not recommended for individuals with a history of cataracts or macular degeneration or who have undergone corrective laser eye surgery in the past 30 days. Usage Information for 50 Plus As the body ages, the circadian clock begins to shift back to an earlier schedule, which is why many individuals in this age group report changes in their sleeping patterns, which can affect their quality of life. One major factor responsible for this is the fact that most older adults, especially those in nursing and retirement homes, do not receive adequate exposure to sunlight (one study found daily exposure for this population to be as little as 1 minute per day). Common complaints among this age group are daytime fatigue, sleep fragmentation, sleepiness in early evening and wakefulness in the middle of the night, interrupted sleep and wandering. Older adults typically respond to 15-30 minutes of bright light exposure in the early evening. The Litebook® should be used as part of the normal evening routine : while eating dinner, reading the newspaper, watching TV etc. This will tell your body that it is still light – and that you still want to be awake and alert – and delay your bedtime until later in the evening. For some individuals, a second dose of bright light at midday gives them an extra boost of energy to make it through the day. Caution - Bright light exposure is not recommended for individuals with a history of cataracts or macular degeneration or who have undergone corrective laser eye surgery in the past 30 days. Cfr. : http://electronichealing.co.uk/articles/restless_sleep_litebook.htm
SAD - What is it ? The Independent, 24 April 2007 Question I suffer from "winter blues" lethargy caused by lack of sunlight. Although I am pulling out of it now that spring is here, I am aware that it is getting worse each year, despite global warming and spending three days a week outside. Last summer, I questioned my GP, who said that light treatment does not work that well. He suggested a course of mild antidepressants over the winter months. I do not rate myself as depressed, so it does not seem that logical to take antidepressants. What treatments might help ? Dr Fred Kavalier answers SAD, which stands for seasonal affective disorder, is the fancy medical name for this. The theory is that the change of seasons or lack of sunlight, somehow affect the brain and cause at least some of the symptoms of depression. When the light returns again in the spring, the symptoms disappear. A small number of people seem to have the problem in reverse - they get worse in the summer and better in the winter.I think you are wrong to think it is not a form of depression. Women are more prone to SAD than men and it seems to get commoner with increasing age. The most usual symptoms of winter depression are increased sleep, increased appetite, weight gain, irritability and problems with relationships (especially feelings of rejection). There is some evidence that light therapy helps, but it is not effective for everyone with SAD. You have to sit in front of a specially designed light box every day for 30-90 minutes. People who respond to this treatment often begin to feel better within days. I don't think a winter course of antidepressants is a bad idea, but it depends on the symptoms you get and how severe they are. As with other forms of depression, another treatment option is cognitive behaviour therapy. Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to : email@example.com -. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions. Cfr. : http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-az/sad-what-is-it-762736.html
Seasonal affective disorder Wikipedia Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, is a mood disorder whose sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter. As stated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine : "Some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up." Pathophysiology Seasonal mood variations are believed to be related to light. An argument for this view is the effectiveness of bright light therapy. SAD is measurably present at latitudes in the Arctic region, such as Finland (64º 00´N) where the rate of SAD is 9.5% Cloud cover may contribute to the negative effects of SAD. SAD can be a serious disorder and may require hospitalization. There is also potential risk of suicide in some patients experiencing SAD. One study reports 6-35% of sufferers required hospitalization during one period of illness. The symptoms of SAD mimic those of dysthymia or clinical depression. At times, patients may not feel depressed, but rather lack energy to perform everyday activities. Norman Rosenthal, a pioneer in SAD research, has estimated that the prevalence of SAD in the adult United States population is between about 1.5 percent in Florida and about 9 percent in the northern US. Various etiologies have been suggested. One possibility is that SAD is related to a lack of serotonin and serotonin polymorphisms could play a role in SAD, although this has been disputed. Mice incapable of turning serotonin into N-acetylserotonin (by Serotonin N-acetyltransferase) appear to express "depression-like" behaviors and antidepressants such as fluoxetine increase the amount of the enzyme Serotonin N-acetyltransferase, resulting in an antidepressant-like effect. Another theory is that the cause may be related to melatonin which is produced in dim light and darkness by the pineal gland, since there are direct connections, via the retinohypothalamic tract and the suprachiasmatic nucleus, between the retina and the pineal gland. Subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder is a milder form of SAD experienced by an estimated 14.3% vs. 6.1% of the U.S. population. The blue feeling experienced by both SAD and SSAD sufferers can usually be dampened or extinguished by exercise and increased outdoor activity, particularly on sunny days, resulting in increased solar exposure. Connections between human mood, as well as energy levels and the seasons are well-documented, even in healthy individuals. Symptoms According to the Mayo Clinic there are three types of Seasonal Affective Disorder, each with its own unique set of symptoms. The three types of SAD are : - Fall and winter SAD (winter depression) Symptoms of winter-onset seasonal affective disorder include : - fatigue - depression - hopelessness - anxiety - loss of energy - social withdrawal - oversleeping - loss of interest in activities once enjoyed - appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates - weight gain - difficulty concentrating and processing information. Spring and summer SAD (summer depression) Symptoms of summer-onset seasonal affective disorder include : - anxiety - insomnia - irritability - agitation - weight loss - poor appetite - increased sex drive. Reverse SAD In rare cases, people with seasonal affective disorder don't have depression-like symptoms. Instead, they have symptoms of mania (*) or hypomania (**), a less intense form of mania, during the summer. This is sometimes called 'reverse SAD'. Symptoms of reverse SAD include : - increased social activity - hyperactivity - unbridled enthusiasm out of proportion to the situation. (*) - Mania - A phase of mental disorder characterized by an expansive emotional state, elation, hyperactivity, hyperirritability, over talkativeness, flight of ideas and increased motor activity. (**) - Hypomania = mania of moderate type Diagnostic Criteria for SAD According to the American Psychiatric Association, Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders, Third Edition, p.1296, for a diagnosis to qualify as Seasonal Affective disorder, it must meet the following criteria : - There has been a regular temporal relationship between the onset of major depressive episodes in bipolar I and bipolar II disorder or depressive disorder recurrent and a particular time of the year (eg. regular appearance of the major depressive episode in the fall or winter). - Full remissions (or a change from depression to mania or hypomania) also occur at a characteristic time of the year (e.g. depression disappears in the spring). - In the last two years, two major depressive episodes have occurred that demonstrate the temporal seasonal relationships defined in criteria A and B and no nonseasonal major depressive episodes have occurred during that same period. - Seasonal major depressive episodes (as described above) substantially outnumber depressive episodes than may have occurred over the individual’s lifetime. Treatment There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapies, medication, ionized-air reception, cognitive-behavioral therapy and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin. Bright light treatments are common although as many as 19% of patients stop use because of the inconvenience. A specially designed lamp, many times brighter than normal indoor lighting, is placed near the sufferer and has proven to be effective at doses of 2500 - 10,000 lux. Most treatments use 30-60 minute treatments, however this varies depending on the situation. The sufferer sits a prescribed distance, commonly 30-60 cm, in front of the box with her/his eyes open but not staring at the light source. Many patients use the light box in the morning, however it has not been proven any more effective than any other time of day. Discovering the best schedule is essential because up to 69% of patients find it inconvenient. Dawn simulation has also proven to be more effective in some studies, there is an 83% better response when compared to other bright light therapy. When compared in a study to negative air ionization, bright light was proven to be 57.1% effective vs. dawn simulation, 49.5%. Patients using light therapy can experience improvement during the first week, but increased results are evident when continued throughout several weeks. Most studies found it effective without use year round, but rather as a seasonal treatment lasting for several weeks until frequent light exposure is naturally obtained. SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants have proven effective in treating SAD. Bupropion is also effective as a prophylactic. Effective antidepressants are fluoxetine, sertraline or paroxetine. Both fluoxetine and light therapy are 67% effective in treating SAD according to direct head-to-head trials. Negative air ionization, involving the release of charged particles into the sleep environment, has also been found effective with a 47.9% improvement. Depending upon the patient, one treatment (ie. lightbox) may be used in conjunction with another therapy (ie. Medication). Alfred J. Lewy of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OHSU and others see the cause of SAD as a misalignment of the sleep-wake phase contra the period of the body clock, circadian rhythms out of sync and treat it with melatonin in the afternoon. Correctly timed melatonin administration shifts the rhythms of several hormones en bloc. SAD and Bipolar Most people with SAD experience unipolar depression, but as many as 20% may have or may go on to develop a bipolar or manic-depressive disorder. It is important to discriminate the improved mood associated with recovery from the winter depression and a manic episode because there are important treatment differences. In these cases, persons with SAD may experience depression during the winter and hypomania in the summer. Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder Cfr. also : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195/DSECTION=2
Seasonal Affective Disorder and Light Therapy Carol Watkins, M.D., Northern County Psychiatric Associates, (last modified) December 11, 2004 Contents: - What is SAD ? - Incidence of SAD and relation to latitude - Theories about how light affects mood and sleep - How we use the light box - Other treatments for SAD - Side effects of light therapy - Sleep disorders - Jet lag and shift work - Other uses of bright light therapy - Other issues Cfr. : http://www.ncpamd.com/seasonal.htm
Sleep inertia Sleep inertia is a physiological state characterised by a decline in motor dexterity and a subjective feeling of grogginess, immediately following an abrupt awakening from deep sleep. Sleep inertia can also refer to the tendency of a person to want to return to sleeping, even after suitable rest has been achieved. Typically, sleep inertia lasts between 1 to 3 hours for a night wake up and 45 to 90 minutes for a day wake up. If the subject is awakened due to a perceived danger, however, the duration of sleep inertia is reduced to only a few seconds. .../... Cfr. : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_inertia
Teens with ADHD University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, VS
The effect of control and 'blue-enriched' white light on sleep in older people Katharina Lederle, Benita Middleton, Tracey L. Sletten, Victoria L. Revell, Debra J. - Skene Group - Neuroendocrinology Research Group - Supported by EU Marie Curie RTN grant (MCRTN-CT-2004-512362) and the 6th Framework -Project EUCLOCK (018471). Philips Lighting (The Netherlands) has provided the light units To date, studies have only evaluated bright white light in the treatment of sleep problems in the elderly. Recent research has shown that short wavelength (blue) light is more effective in influencing non-image-forming responses to light e.g. shifting circadian rhythms and affecting sleep structure than bright white light. The aim of the current study was thus to assess the effectiveness and acceptability of ‘blue-enriched’ white light compared to control white light on sleep and activity in older people (>60 years) with self-reported sleep problems. In a randomized, crossover design, volunteers are being exposed to both light conditions in their own homes’. The trial consists of 11 weeks, comprising 1 week baseline, 3 weeks light treatment A or B, 2 weeks washout, followed by 3 weeks light treatment B or A, and 2 weeks washout. During the light treatment weeks light (‘blue-enriched’ white or control white) is being administered for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. So far, 15 healthy volunteers (mean age : 65.6 ± 4 years; 9F, 6M) have participated in the study. They were asked to complete daily sleep, nap and activity diaries, questionnaires and performance tests. Subjective sleep parameters derived from the sleep diaries included sleep duration, number and duration of night awakenings, wake-up time and sleep efficiency (%). Clear inter-individual differences in subjective sleep parameters have been observed. So far, there are no clear differences within subjects between the two light conditions. Cfr. : - http://www.goodlite.nl/lichttherapie-litebook-elite-pdf/Abstract_Nightshift_workers.pdf - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/SBMS/research/festival/extras/FoR-booklet-2007.pdf
Use of timed light treatment to hasten circadian adaptation of offshore nightshift workers returning home to day life Helen Thorne1, Shelagh Hampton1, Linda Morgan2, Debra Skene1, Josephine Arendt1 - Centre for Chronobiology, Neuroendocrinology Group1; Nutrition Research Group2,School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK - Funded by the HSE, EI and Stockgrand Ltd. Introduction - Previous research has shown that subjects working 12 h shift schedules (18.00-06.00 h) offshore for 2 weeks adapt to the nightshift. However, if adaptation occurs, shift workers will be out of synchrony when they return home to day life with consequent problems of poor night sleep and reduced daytime alertness. Aim - To investigate the effectiveness of timed light treatment to hasten circadian and sleep adaptation in nightshift workers returning home to day life. Methods - Seven male shift workers (mean age ± SD) 47.3±9.2 yrs, BMI 28.8±2.5kg/m2, worked 19.00-07.00h (n=2) or 18.00-06.00h (n=5) offshore shift schedules, at latitudes 58/59°N. They were assessed for the last 7 days of a nightshift offshore and the following 14 days at home. Subjects received light treatment/sunglasses or no light treatment/sunglasses in a crossover design. Sequential urine was collected for the last 3 days of the nightshift and the subsequent 7 days. Light was administered with a portable light box, Litebook. After completion of their nightshift (day1) subjects wore specialised sunglasses (Litebook) until 13.00h. On day 2 subjects wore sunglasses until 13.00h and then received light treatment for 1h. For the following 3 days the sunglasses and light treatment were scheduled an hour earlier each day. The light regimen was timed to phase advance the circadian system. Subjects wore an Actiwatch-L (Cambridge Neurotechnology) throughout the study period to monitor light and activity and completed daily sleep diaries. Sleep parameters derived from the actigraphy and diaries included sleep onset/offset, sleep latency, fragmentation index, sleep duration and sleep efficiency. Results - Mean actigraphic sleep duration after the light treatment (days 6-14) was significantly longer on the light treatment leg (6.56±0.99 h, mean±SD) compared to the “no light” condition (5.21±0.85 h; paired Student’s t-test, p=0.01). There was also a trend for improved sleep quality when subjects received light treatment. Sleep efficiency following light administration was 84.4±6.9% compared to 80.2±6.2% and fragmentation index was lower at 32.9±10.3 compared to 36.1±10.5. Conclusions - Timed light administered to hasten adaptation to day life after working a night shift improved some aspects of sleep. Cfr. : http://www.litebook.com/lnl/pdfs/Litebook%20shift-work%20study%20abstract%20(Arendt%20et%20al%202007).pdf#view=FitH
Using Bright Light to Reduce Anxiety Levels in Persons with High Levels of Anxiety University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, VS
Wat is lichttherapie ? MediluX Lichttherapie In vroeger tijden werd de importantie van licht als behandelingswijze al eerder onderkend. Hierbij moeten we denken aan de sanatoria van begin twintigste eeuw waar mensen bewust in het buitenlicht werden gezet en met de zon werden meegedraaid. Lichttherapie is een vrij nieuwe behandelingsmethode binnen de gezondheids- en ouderenzorg. Eind jaren tachtig werd de eerste (kunst)lichttherapie in Nederland toegepast in het Academisch Ziekenhuis te Groningen. Lichttherapie is een methode waarbij met behulp van zeer intensief licht via de ogen het dag/nachtritme direct wordt beïnvloed. De intensiteit moet minimaal 2500 lux en maximaal 10.000 lux zijn. Gedurende de behandelingsperiode moet er dagelijks een bepaalde tijd voor de lamp plaatsgenomen worden zodat het lichaam een duidelijke impuls krijgt en het dag/nachtritme wordt aangepast. Het moet speciaal licht zijn waarin geen ultraviolet golflengten aanwezig zijn doordat er, tijdens de behandeling, in de lamp gekeken moet worden. Een groot bestanddeel aan ultraviolet licht zou daarbij de ogen kunnen beschadigen. Lichttherapie is dan ook niet te vergelijken met een bruiningsbehandeling op een zonnebank. Uit onderzoek komt nog onvoldoende naarvoren dat de kleursamenstelling (het spectrum) van het licht van doorslaggevend belang is voor het therapeutische effect. Toch wordt vaak gekozen voor een spectrum welke het dichtst bij het daglicht komt. Ook bij de kleurtemperatuur is dit het geval. Als de zon, in de zomer, hoog aan de hemel staat gaat dit gepaard met een hoge kleurtemperatuur. Naast de gewone lichtherapie apparaten zijn er ook lichtwekkers verkrijgbaar. Andere namen hiervoor zijn dageraadsimulatoren of daymakers. Deze lichtwekkers bootsen, door het licht geleidelijk feller te laten worden, een zonsopkomst na. De functie van de lichtwekker is het lichaam langzaam en op een natuurlijke manier te laten merken dat het tijd wordt om op te staan. Dit effect zorgt ervoor dat het lichaam zich instelt op de dag die komen gaat zodat u ’s morgens op een aangename wijze wakker wordt. Een verandering van het dag/nachtritme is vaak de oorzaak van de stemmings-stoornis met een seizoensgebonden patroon, maar ook van bijvoorbeeld de jetlag of slaapproblemen bij het werken in ploegendienst. Licht zorgt ervoor dat de biologische klok als het ware op tijd wordt gezet. Het grote voordeel van lichttherapie is dat de behandeling bij de meeste mensen effectief en gemakkelijk is te ondergaan. Een voorbeeld van een stemmingsstoornis met een seizoensgebonden karakter is de alom bekende winterdip of, indien de klachten zwaarwegender van aard zijn, de winterdepressie. In de behandeling van een winterdepressie wordt de nadruk gelegd op de hoeveelheid licht die de patiënt per dag krijgt. De patiënt wordt gedurende een bepaalde tijd per dag voor een sterke lichtbron gezet. De lamp moet niet ver van de ogen verwijderd staan. Meestal gebeurt dit ’s ochtends, omdat de lamp ervoor zorgt dat je wakkerder wordt. De lichtintensiteit is vele malen groter dan van een gewone lamp. In de winter varieert de lichtintensiteit buiten tussen de 2000 en 10.000 lux, terwijl dit in de zomer waarden zijn die kunnen oplopen tot boven de 100.000 lux. In huis of in onze werkomgeving worden we blootgesteld aan waarden die veelal niet hoger uitkomen dan 500 lux. Door de bijkomende UV straling zijn normale lampen niet geschikt voor een lichtbehandeling waarbij het van belang is dat er in de lamp gekeken wordt en dit geldt al helemaal voor een zonnebank. Lampen die geschikt zijn voor lichttherapie zijn voorzien van een UV filter. Andere methoden voor de behandeling van een winterdepressie kunnen zijn : - Het toedienen van melatonine tabletten; deze zorgen ervoor dat u eerder slaapt en beïnvloeden daarmee ook de biologische klok. - Het innemen van antidepressiva. Lichttherapie geniet echter de voorkeur, omdat er amper bijwerkingen bekend zijn en er hoeven geen tabletten te worden geslikt. Wat is een winterdip ? De oorzaak van winterblues of een winterdepressie moet worden gezocht in een ontregeling van het dag/nachtritme dat onder andere van invloed is op de slaap en een aantal andere functies zoals bijvoorbeeld de concentratie, alertheid en reactiesnelheid. Een groot deel van de Nederlandse bevolking heeft hier in meer of minder mate mee te maken. Het aantal wordt geschat op meer dan 1,2 miljoen mensen waarbij we bij ca. 450.000 gevallen ook kunnen spreken van een echte winterdepressie. De voornaamste klachten van winterdepressie zijn : - somberheid - veel slapen, soms meer dan 14 uur per dag - veel eten, met name koolhydraatrijk voedsel - gewichtstoename - prikkelbaarheid - vermoeidheid - terugtrekgedrag. De problemen doen van zich spreken in het najaar, de winter en het vroege voorjaar. Mensen met de zogeheten winterblues hebben deze klachten in mindere mate. Wilt u meer weten neem dan contact met ons op : http://www.lichttherapie.net/contact.htm -. Cfr. : http://www.lichttherapie.net/watislichttherapie.htm
Winter blues - Everything you need to know to beat seasonal affective disorder Norman E. Rosenthal - The Guilford Press (revised edition), September 21, 2005 – ISBN-10 : 1593851162 / ISBN-13 : 978-1593851163 Product description Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal's indispensable guide for readers who suffer from the "winter blues" is now more useful than ever. This authoritative book presents a wealth of new information on remedies for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), including recent advances in light therapy, research on the effectiveness of antidepressants and new recipes to counterbalance unhealthy winter food cravings. Dr. Rosenthal distinguishes among various degrees of the disorder, ranging from winter blues to full-blown SAD; provides a self-test that readers can use to evaluate their own seasonal mood changes; and offers helpful advice, coping tips and resources. Reviews - Richard A. Friedman, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University : "Dr. Rosenthal, a pioneering researcher who helped put seasonal depression on the map, is a also a gifted teacher and storyteller. What do simple algae, hibernating animals and humans have in common ? They all have internal rhythms that respond to the seasons. Follow Dr. Rosenthal as he explores the latest science and treatment of seasonal depression, illustrated with fascinating anecdotes and stories and delivered in his compulsively readable and eloquent style." - Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, author of 'An Unquiet Mind and Exuberance' (ISBN-13 : 978033034651) : "Winter Blues is a wonderful book. It is deeply knowledgeable from a scientific perspective, as one would expect from one of the world's leading authorities on mood disorders, but it is also a delight to read. Dr. Rosenthal writes beautifully about the human side of the seasons and our profound beholdenness to light, while at the same time providing an invaluable guide to handling the seasonal depressions that affect so many individuals." Cfr. : http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Blues-Revised-Everything-Affective/dp/1593851162/ref=pd_bxgy_hpc_text_b
Winter may herald SAD epidemic for millions Emily Dugan - The Independent, 17 September 2007 This winter could see an epidemic in cases of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), following the abysmal summer that was the wettest since records began. The summer is traditionally a time of respite for those susceptible to SAD, but mental health experts have warned that with sufferers reporting winter symptoms throughout the season, the effect of the prolonged bad weather will make the winter months even more of a struggle than usual. At least one in 20 people suffers from SAD-related bouts of depression, with a further one in eight affected by the more nebulous winter blues. Bright light, ideally sunlight, is the best treatment for those who suffer from this debilitating mental health condition. But when summer does not provide this, the cumulative lack of good quality sunlight could have a devastating effect. Dr Natasha Bijlani, a mental health expert at the Priory, in south-west London, said : "I'm sure this unpleasant summer may have an effect. Poor weather that's associated with a lack of sunlight has an effect on some sufferers, so I think those already susceptible will be even more vulnerable this winter." The summer is ordinarily a time when we spend a greater proportion of our day outdoors and can expect exposure to sunshine even after finishing a working day. But with unprecedented levels of rainfall, relentlessly overcast days and a lack of prolonged sunlight, many people have reported that they have suffered SAD symptoms over the summer months. Eryl Price, communications manager at Outside In, a company that specialises in supplying light therapy lamps to SAD sufferers, said they had seen unprecedented sales this summer : "We started looking at our sales in June and they were three times as much as they normally would be for that month. By August they were four times as much as the same time the previous year and equivalent to what we would ordinarily expect in November." For those who have suffered in the summer months, this winter will be more difficult than ever. A spokesperson for Outside In said : "With the summer we have had, most of us would have spent a great length of time indoors, more than usual for this time of year and simply not gained the light levels we need." Specialist Dr Trisha Macnair said that a lack of existing research on summer cases of SAD made it difficult to determine for sure what effect it would have on the following winter. But she reckons that for those already showing signs of depression, it could mean a difficult winter. She said : "There's enough evidence to suggest that some people are particularly sensitive to the effects of the light. If people went into autumn already depressed, they might go into a depressive cycle, which would make their chances of getting back up again through the winter months much slighter." Since SAD is associated with the shorter daylight hours of winter, it has led many scientists to believe the condition would not raise its head in the summer months. However, this assumption has been challenged this year, as many people have begun to exhibit the symptoms of depression ordinarily brought on by winter. Dr Bijlani called for more research into the effects of poor summers on those with the condition. She stressed that since quality of light, as well as daylight hours, were known to be factors in SAD, it was important to find out whether further preventative steps needed to be taken. She said : "There haven't been any studies into the effect of bad summers that I'm aware of but I think someone really needs to look into this now." 'Normally I feel better after the summer' : Doreen Grainger, 54, Teacher. Mrs Grainger, who works for a primary school in Kilsyth, near Glasgow, has suffered from SAD for years and says this summer has not provided the break she had hoped for. "By the beginning of August, I was feeling really down, which I don't normally get at that time of year," she said : "I began to feel the way I normally do in November." After a few weeks of depression, Mrs Grainger decided it must be down to the wintry weather : "Even when I was outside it was dull and there were times when it felt like night-time. I decided to start using my light box, which I never usually do in summer and that made it better." But she believes the real problems will come this winter, when SAD sufferers have not had time to recover : "Normally I feel refreshed after the summer holidays, but not this year. It was always wet and dull and downright awful. If you don't have the good feelings sunshine gives you, you will be further on the road to depression when winter comes." Cfr. : http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-news/winter-may-herald-sad-epidemic-for-millions-402588.html
Gathering the facts on ME - Fill in the questionnaire
Gathering the facts on ME
- Questionnaire -
The ME Association, 20 May 2008
Please fill in the questionnaire
THE condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is an illness that affects around 250,000 people in the UK, including children and teenagers.
Despite being recognised as a serious and disabling condition by the Department of Health, some people experience great difficulty when it comes to obtaining a diagnosis or help with management.
So, to mark ME Awareness Month, The ME Association wants to hear from as many people as possible about their experiences – good or bad – of coping with ME.
To do this we have produced a questionnaire which asks about treatments that work, treatments that don't work and what people want when it comes to GP and hospital-based services.
We also want to build up the biggest ever picture yet of what happens when people are given cognitive behaviour therapy or graded exercise therapy – two controversial forms of treatment that have been recommended in a guideline produced by NICE.
We can then go back to the Department of Health with a really comprehensive nationwide picture of this illness, along with recommendations on how diagnosis and services can be improved.
If you have ME or care for someone with ME, please try and fill in the questionnaire.
An electronic version is available on the ME Association website : www.meassociation.org.uk – (a paper version will be available later from the ME Association).
Neil Riley Chairman, ME Association 7 Apollo Office Court Radclive Road Gawcott Bucks MK18 4DF