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Circadian Rhythm and Hormonal Balance Interference

Hormonal Clock

Before I get to the subject for today, I would like to share with you a great tool for knowing the best time of day for photosynthesis in your area of the world.  We have learned about the value of photosynthesis from the sun's rays and grounding by taking off your shoes and connecting with the earth and all those beneficial electrons.  I have an app that tells me when the sunlight in my area is at the right spectrum to increase my Vitamin D levels with outside sunlight exposure.  I always try to ground by putting my bare feet on the ground outside during my sun exposure time so I get two great things for my health done at the same time.

The app I use to tell when the spectrum of light coming from the sun will help increase my Vitamin D levels is called "dminder". Here is what the dminder icon looks like on my cell phone screen:

There is great information here and I use the following every day:
Solar noon time (1:32 PM on this day)
The time of day to increase Vitamin D levels (D from 9:43-5:21 on this day)

The dminder app allows you to add personal information and even set your weekly target D amount.  I just use it once a day to see when my opportunities for increasing my Vitamin D are and when solar noon is so I can go outside at the most beneficial times of the day.

Now to the subject at hand.  What might be interfering with your circadian rhythm and hormonal balance?

Blue Light

Blue light from the morning sun actually tells our brain it is time to be awake and so it helps to set our circadian rhythm for the day.  However, exposure to non-natural blue light from the computer, cell phone and television screens near the end of the day can keep us from going to sleep.  See link to blue light study below and quote from *Harvard study about the possible link to higher cancer rates of night shift workers. 

It is best not to be looking at the screen of a computer, cell phone or other electronic devices 2-3 hours before bedtime.  If there is no way around not looking at a screen before bed, you can wear blue light filtering glasses.  I avoid screens before bed for the most part, but on occasion when I do need to look at a screen in the evening, I wear my orange, blue filtering glasses.

Uvex Skyper safety eyewear (orange tinted) tested by Consumer Reports and was found to cut out almost all blue light.                             
I purchased my pair from Amazon.

The Health Risks of Nighttime Light

Study after study has linked working the night shift and exposure to light at night to several types of cancer (breast, prostate), diabetes, heart disease, and obesity...exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there is some experimental evidence (it's preliminary) that lower melatonin levels might explain the association with cancer.

A Harvard study shed a little bit of light on the possible connection to diabetes and possibly obesity.  The researchers put 10 people on a schedule that gradually shifted the timing of their circadian rhythms.  Their blood sugar levels increased, throwing them into a prediabetic state, and levels of leptin, a hormone that leaves people feeling full after a meal, went down.

Even dim light can interfere with a person's circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.  A mere eight lux - a level of brightness exceeded by most table lamps and about twice that of a night light - has an effect, notes Stephen Lockley, a Harvard sleep researcher.  Light at night is part of the reason so many people don't get enough sleep, says Lockley, and researchers have linked short sleep to increased risk of depression, as well as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

Harvard Study of Blue Light

Have a Hands-On Healthy, Sunny, Full Spectrum Day,