Article – Essential Oils For Seasonal Affective Disorder

A really great article explaining the science behind SAD and then how essential oils can be used to reduce the symptoms

“To help tackle seasonal affective disorder successfully we should use the essential oils known to uplift and energize together with others that bolster the emotional system, and a few to help you get a good night’s sleep”

Read more here…. >>click<<


Article – Vitamin D Council – How do I get the vitamin D my body needs?

“The two main ways to get vitamin D are by exposing your bare skin to sunlight and by taking vitamin D supplements. You can’t get the right amount of vitamin D your body needs from food.

The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen very quickly, particularly in the summer. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to begin to burn. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight depends on the time of day, where you live in the world and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose the more vitamin D is produced”

Read more here….

Article – L-Tryptophan VS 5-HTP – Which one is better?

“L-tryptophan vs 5-HTP is something people ask about a lot! Both of these great dietary supplements are converted into the same neurotransmitters (serotonin and melatonin), responsible for promoting a healthy mood and great sleep. You can find L-tryptophan as an amino acid in many food sources. You can only take 5-HTP as a dietary supplement.

In this article, we’ll explore the question of L-tryptophan vs 5-HTP. We look at how both of them work, and which supplement is more effective. We’ll also explore safety issues with using both of the supplements together in a stack. Learn more about them here!”

Article – Vitamin D And Sunlight: How To Know If Your Sun Exposure Is Producing Vitamin D

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding sunlight and the production of Vitamin D. People commonly think that if the sun is up and they are outside in the sun, they are going to produce Vitamin D. This is not the case!

There are many reasons why you won’t make Vitamin D in the sun—even during the middle of the day. But most significantly, the sun cannot stimulate your production of Vitamin D if the sun isn’t high enough in the sky.

Read more >> click here<<


Article – The weird history of vitamin D — and what it actually has to do with sun

As you soak in rays of almost-summer sunshine, your thoughts may turn to vitamin D — because you probably know it has something to do with the sun. But do you actually know what it is?

Humans are kinda capable of photosynthesis, and they use it to produce what scientists believe to be the oldest hormone that has ever existed on earth. It’s vitamin D, and it’s been around 750 million years, ever since tiny phytoplankton began cranking out the stuff in what is now the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more here….. >>click<<

Blog – Quick tricks to help you sleep

Do you lay awake at night not particularly worrying but simply thinking about things?  Maybe it’s shopping lists, tasks you need to do in the morning or something you mustn’t forget.

Here are a couple of tricks that you can employ to help you get back to sleep:

Use a notepad or a reminder on your phone.

If there is something you must remember to do, write it down.  Either keep a notepad by your bed or use a notepad app on your phone.  I use Google Keep and I also create reminders on my phone that beep at me when I need to do something I might forget.   In doing this you are getting the thought out of your head and the paper can remember it for you.

Use my mother’s trick of “alphabeticalising”

This was a trick my mother taught me years ago and I have used it so many times when I can’t sleep.

  1. Pick a subject that you know fairly well, I go with crystals, birds, towns or countries usually.
  2. Start at the letter A and name something from that subject, so if I was going with towns I would go with Amsterdam.
  3. Move on to the next letter and repeat the process.  B – Berlin.
  4. Keep working through the alphabet until you get stuck.  This is what you are aiming for.  When you can’t think of a town repeat the letter in your mind waiting for a word to appear.  So if I was stuck on J I would be laying there thinking “j….j….j…j….ja…. jb…jc…jd….je…jf….” trying to see if a word pops into my mind.
  5. Hopefully, while you are repeating the letter you drop through the gaps and fall asleep.
  6. If you get to Z and you’re still not asleep pick another subject and go again.  At the worst times I limited myself to green crystals, knowing that green is the most common colour in my collection but is still limited.

This could be considered a form of mindfulness, you’re repeating what equates to a mantra that blocks out the thoughts and bores your mind until you sleep.

Use audiobooks

My most common tool is an old MP3 player with an audiobook that I have heard before loaded onto it.   It lives in it’s speaker dock and when I wake I turn on the speaker, unpause the audiobook and set the volume.

When I started using this I could lay back and listen, in the dark, with my eyes closed.  Knowing the story meant I didn’t need to listen to hear what happened next and I could slowly drift off to sleep.  These days I have programmed my brain to recognise the process of turning it on as an instruction to go back to sleep and I rarely hear more than a few seconds.

Bach Flower Remedies

These are really effective for these situations and the most common one would be White Chestnut.  This fits the situation of annoying random thoughts perfectly.  I keep a bottle by the bed and if I really can’t get back to sleep or wake a number of times I take a couple of drops straight from the bottle and I am off again.

If this particular remedy doesn’t work then look into Oak, Mimulus, Aspen, Impatiens, Olive or Vervain.

Sleep is really important in living with SAD and if we can get this right then a lot more of the symptoms become easier.

Blog – Using your light box

Light therapy is such a wonderful and simple tool to use to help with the symptoms of SAD but if not done properly it can appear to be useless.

Here are a few things you need to check to ensure you are getting the most out of your light.

Do you have the right light?

Studies have shown that your light needs to be classed as at least 10,000 lux.  Lux is the measurement of light at any specific distance from the source but the level drops off the further away from the source you measure. Any light over a certain brightness can be 10,000 lux but if this is only measured an inch away from the source it will be useless as a therapeutic light for SAD.  This is why size really matters.  Larger lights emit 10,000 lux at a greater distance meaning it doesn’t have to be on the end of your nose to work. Smaller lights can be 10,000 lux at a sensible distance but to achieve this they have to be much brighter and this can lead to headaches and dizziness.

Do you have your light in the right place?

Many people don’t have their light close enough to them.  As I mentioned above, it needs to be at a distance where you are getting 10,000 lux when it reaches your eyes.  The manual for your light should tell you what distance this is or you can obtain a light meter that will help you put it in the right place.

Are you using your light at the right time?

Although for most people morning use is the most effective it can differ from person to person.  Some find that if they use their light in the morning they are tired again at 8pm and go on to wake in the early hours of the morning.  In these cases it might be that it is better to use your light in the afternoon or evening.  Other people find that they need some kind of light all day long as the effects of their lamp wear off. Effective light use must be tailored to your personal needs.

This test can help you find out when the best time is for you to use your lamp.  However, once you have started using your light pay attention to how it affects you and work with your own responses.

Are you using it for the right length of time?

Most manuals that come with light boxes say to use them for 30 minutes, but is that right for you?  Some people need a much longer period of time.  If the standard 30 minutes isn’t working for you try an hour.  I personally use a smaller, lower lux light all day at work as I find that the effects of my large light have worn off by the time I get to work.

Are you consistent with your light?

Some people find instant relief from using their light but other people find it can take up to a few weeks to notice a difference.  It is important that you use your light at the same time every day.  Unlike taking medication as and when you feel you need it this light is affecting the basic rhythms of your body and if it is not kept up the body will go back to its natural state.  This means for the best results you need to make sure you use it at the same time, even at the weekends.

Light therapy helps a lot of people, but there are some that do not find it helpful.  If this is the case it might be worth investigating other causes of your SAD.

For more information on light therapy please visit the Center for Environmental Therapeutics’s page