HOW THE RIGHT SORT OF LIGHT IN YOUR HOME CAN EFFECT MENTAL HEALTH IN A POSITIVE WAY…

I’ve read many articles in the past on how light is important to health and can effect mental health in a positive way.

In an article in Forbes they said that ‘Bad lighting is associated with a range of ill-health effects, both physical and mental, such as eye strain, headaches, fatigue and also stress and anxiety in more high-pressured work environments. … A third (32%) said better lighting would make them happier at work.’

However, lighting can come in through lots of different ways but daylight is the key to the best lighting. Healthline wrote that ‘Decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to major depression with seasonal pattern. The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes in through the eye.’

So how can we get a good light into our homes now the days are getting shorter? There are special ‘Sad Lightswhich have been around to help people suffering from the condition Sad (Seasonal Affective Disorder). But direct light from outside is the perfect pick up.

The colour palette inside your home and the right discounted windows is what has made the biggest difference for me personally. As most of my readers know we moved three months ago from the East Midlands to West Sussex. We down sized big time and bought a small new build.

Our old home had the biggest windows at the back of the house and my husband was quite anxious about whether our new home would be much darker but it couldn’t be further from the truth if you have the right windows and colour scheme in your home.

The right discounted windows like our small ones work perfectly with white walls which I am sure help light reflect throughout. Every friend that has been to see us has commented on how light our house is even on a dark day.

My bedroom is my sanctuary and has two windows which I have had fitted with Venetian blinds mainly for privacy but I decided on white for most of the windows and it’s still lovely and light. We’ve bought curtains for our bedrooms but haven’t rushed to get some for downstairs and have now decided we won’t bother as we just love the light streaming in and it’s still cosy when it goes dark.

Artificial light can change your sleeping pattern from the natural rhythm of two four-hour phases broken by an hour of wakefulness to a single eight-hour phase each night and disrupts your circadian rhythm. That’s why it is important that you use as much natural light as possible. Opening up your windows and curtains and light darker areas of your home with lamps that emit natural light. My regular Sunday post Sleep Sunday, Let’s Talk About Sleep explains lots of ways to help you sleep which is so important to any chronic pain sufferer.

They say that bright colours are happy colours for your home and can boost communication so are especially welcome in the dining area and kitchen but you can get your happy colours in accessories instead of painting all your walls.

I decided I would give each room its own accent colour and it certainly works for me. My lounge has royal blue as it’s accessory colour which I introduced by adding cushions, plant pots and pictures that have some blue in them. My kitchen’s access colour is grey and green. Upstairs my guest bedroom’s accent colour is also green which is really popular this year and our bedrooms accent colour is grey and pink which is peaceful and cosy.

The brightness in my new home has certainly lifted me over the last three months. I hope you enjoy some of my images of our cosy new home. Do comment and tell me what your favourite colours for the inside of your home are.

SUFFERING FROM SAD AND LACK OF ENERGY DURING THE WINTER MONTHS….

We all lack energy from time to time but if it doesn’t improve then you should see your GP.

There are a number of conditions that can leave you feeling lethargic. Iron levels are one of the first things that can affect energy levels and cause tiredness.

An under-active thyroid is another cause of tiredness and the falling hormone levels that occur at the menopause.

Fatigue can also be a sign of diabetes.

If you are suffering from SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder) this can also cause fatigue.

As well as the above, some medications can also cause lethargy, including beta blockers, some antihistamines, codeine-based painkillers and also some antidepressants. Also some sleeping tablets may help to get you through the night, some can cause daytime fatigue.

Of course, anxiety, stress and depression are also triggers for sapping energy levels. The best course of action is to go and visit your GP.

At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD include fatigue and depression.

Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual holiday in the summer, it will mean your levels should be fine until November.

Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs, cheese and poultry.

Research also suggests that eating carb-rich foods helps the brain take up tryptophan. You can also find supplements and The Food Agency recommends taking 10mcg a day.

SAD – SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER and WALKING…

 

At this time of year, one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD include fatigue and depression.

It’s the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a lightbox. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also, it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increase the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course, the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual holiday in the summer, it will mean your levels should be fine until November.

Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs, cheese and poultry.

Research also suggests that eating carb-rich foods helps the brain take up tryptophan. You can also find supplements and The Food Agency recommends taking 10mcg a day.

Walking for health encourages people to get active by arranging health walks up and down the Country for all levels of fitness.

Walking will improve stamina, help keep weight gain at bay and reduce your risk of major diseases. 20 minutes of walking can burn up 100 calories.

It is also beneficial for SAD sufferers who feel low and lethargic due to the lack of sunlight in the winter months.

Walking for life was set up in 2000 and now has over 600 local schemes with 66,000 regular walkers nationwide. Over one Christmas period, walking for life registered their 100,000th walker onto their database.

 

SAD – SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER…

SAD – SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER…

At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD include fatigue and depression.

Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual holiday in the summer, it will mean your levels should be fine until November.

Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs, cheese and poultry.

Research also suggests that eating carb-rich foods helps the brain take up tryptophan. You can also find supplements and The Food Agency recommends taking 10mcg a day.