Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Wellness--- Effects of Time Change.

November 6,2012                                                              


   It's that "Fall Back" time of year again, when the clocks in thousands of homes are turned back by one hour  so that  daylight starts an hour earlier....actually it follows that night also starts an hour earlier, but that's not the point!!  The bottom line is that we experience more darkness in our normal work day.

This picture was shot by my daughter, Jennifer, on her way to work.@ daybreak...
doing 110kph. !!
Losing an hour of daylight can have negative effects on both the mind and the body, including disturbed sleep patterns, seasonal depression and obesity. When clocks change..forward or backward.. by just one hour,  circadian  misalignment-- the difference between a person's natural internal clock, and their work or wake/sleep schedule--  can occur.
Amazingly this has shown to have increased risk for mood disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and even breast cancer.

Less daylight = less activity.

It has been drummed into our minds, by media and health care professionals that we need more exercise to ward off these disorders, but it is also necessary to eat the proper foods, fresh healthy food, so that we have the energy to perform these tasks. If you are anything like me, though,  the long winter evenings just call out for comfort foods filled with carbohydrates and sugars, but my maxim is "moderation in all things" , at least til spring arrives!!


If you find that the dark, cold  hours of winter affect your mood, you are right. Women in particular feel seasonal changes the most. Michael Terman,Ph.D. director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, at Columbia University has said that  some 15 million people ( 75% of them women) suffer from  a depressive condition called seasonal affective disorder.(SAD) with symptoms that include low energy, carb cravings ( I have that all year round!)weight gain, up(Yup!) and reduced sex drive.(no comment!!)

To avoid feeling  the winter blues, he suggests investing in super bright white florescent bulbs, which can elevate your serotonin levels.
Position this device above your line of sight and angled down towards your head , for about 30 minutes while you eat your breakfast or check your email,Terman says. You can reset your internal clock to a spring/summer schedule.

I am aware that the kind of light used in hospitals is not readily available to most people but I did a quick search of local hardware stores and was able to locate either hand held devices ( aprox. $45.00) or bright white lights, usually marketed under Flood or Spot lights, for a reasonable price.( $20.00-$30.00). I have not tried these but it would be wise to ask the dealer re specifics, and to avoid shining light in or near your eyes.

Oh, yes, FYI, I discussed with "the photographer" the importance of focusing...... on her driving!!
Note.  A topic very similar to this was discussed  a couple of months ago, but I feel that it bears repeating. If you are even a bit like me, you need to see some  unfamiliar things a few times before it imprints on your brain.

Same car and driver... coming home in the evening!

With thanks to Kelly for sending me this info!

Information found from:
By CBC News, cbc.ca, Updated: November-02-12    

Fall back: How to stay cheerful, alert as we lose a daylight hour


The material provided on this site is designed for information and educational purposes only. The materials are not intended to be a self diagnostic and/or self treatment tool. I encourage you to use this information as a tool for discussing your condition with your health practitioner.                


  1. Interesting post. I'm always amazed at how much difference one hour can make. And I wish the 'fall back' wasn't accompanied by Halloween candy!

    Beautiful photos, too.

    1. I agree, Jenny. All that candy gives us a temporary "high" then we come crashing down again..... to live in the dark winter..... for awhile! Thanks for the comment.

  2. Love the post...you tell that photographer to keep her camera in the back seat. It 'was' a beautiful sunrise that morning and I'm sure she was actually at a stop when she took it.
    I'm nodding and answering yup to most of the same comments about the seasonal changes of light and dark. But it's only a couple of months go go until it all gradually changes back again.....at least that's what I keep telling myself!! :-)

    1. Love your optimism, Kathy. That's what I have to tell myself now and again!!
      Oh,yeah, photog. aware!!!

  3. I once read an article by a physician who said the amount of daylight we are exposed to does not affect our mood...I think he's bonkers and obviously lives somewhere like California where it's sunny most days.
    I find the lack of sunlight definitely affects how I feel and my mood...nothing like seeing a bright sunny day to make you want to jump out of bed!

    1. I agree, Monica, he must live somewhere sunny!! I definitely find the light... or lack, thereof, has an effect on my mood. However, it sometimes takes more than sunshine to make me WANT to jump out of bed!!!LOL

  4. It always takes me a bit to adjust to this "falling back" and I miss that one hour of daylight. It def. affects my mood and my sleep. Just about the time I get used to it, it's time to "spring forward!" :/

    1. I totally agree, MiMi, but will put up with the inconvenience if I can "spring forward" sooner than the next 6 months!! Be well!