Ask Dr. Denton: Why Do I Have the Winter Blues? How Much Sleep Do I Need?
requires white cells (the immune fighting cells) to move into the wounded area.
Sunlight also seems to play a role in the body's ability to slip into a normal sleep pattern. Extreme variations in weather during the winter months or even in some episodes in the summer can lead to variations in the body's normal rhythms. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to these variations. It may well be that the extreme variations in weather have similar effects as jet lag on some individuals.
Light therapy plays an important role. Though some may say this is "foolishness", the symptoms of depression or "winter blues" for some people sensitive to less light in the winter months can be devastating! For these folks, light therapy has been found to be a saving grace. A simple thought: If you have the hibernation blues keep a room in your house lit extremely brightly (Sunlight imitating bulbs are ideal) during the day and early evening.
Cooling the body actually, will fatigue and slow the body down. Remember a cooling of the body is a trigger to sleep. A room with bright lights and warmth sounds nice right now and will actually help stem the tide of dark day sleepiness.
Finally, winter seems to always be a time of increased food intake and alcohol consumption. Be careful, alcohol will reduce your REM sleep. No hot tottys for this boy. Have a single class of wine at dinner and call it good. Really, watch out for those fast carbs (cookies, candy bars, one little chocolate ...eaten 5 times) when you're tired. They will perk you up for an hour and then a big crash is coming, so is a big tummy.
Here it is, simplified. Seven hours of sleep for adults is healthy. Less than 6 -7 hours is unhealthy PERIOD! In order to get this extra 5lbs .Ok maybe 20 lbs off of me I have got to start with sleep.... simple, consistent, rejuvenating, refreshing, healing sleep.
Some call it Beauty sleep I just call it Beautiful living - one night at a time. We need beautiful sleeping for beautiful living.
And on the 7th day he rested. (Genesis 2:2) We need our rest. It is a part of His plan and the path to healthy, happy and beautiful living.
Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Weiss' approach to his medical practice flows from his convictions about the meaning of life which are deeply rooted in his Catholic Faith. He and his wife, Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They call this approach "Bella Vitae" or "Beautiful Living". He, and Michelle, are contributing writers to Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sleep, depression, beautiful living, Dr Denton Weiss, REM, health, weight gain, obesity, well being
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