Supercharge Your Circadian Rhythms

Why a post about how to supercharge your circadian rhythms? The fact is that for a lot of us our bodies and our brains have a hard time adapting to modern life and the result is poor quality sleep, daytime fatigue, and, for some, depression. What Are Circadian Rhythms? Circadian rhythms are what allow your body to go from vigorous …

An Epidemic of Fatigue

Several of my patients reported odd changes in their sleep and  their energy level this past week, as though there was an epidemic of fatigue going around. They noted that their sleep was a bit more disrupted and that they didn’t feel as rested in the morning and, for the first time in months, they began taking afternoon naps. Going …

Fall Warning

Northern Hemisphere Fall Warning If you live in the northern hemisphere, and particularly if you live in the United States, this seems like an appropriate time to point out that fall is coming.  The yellow school buses are once again trundling through the streets taking kids to school, the commute has once again jumped up by a factor of two …

How Light Affects the Brain

Two recent articles that I reviewed highlight the accumulating evidence that something as simple as sunlight has profound impacts on brain biology. When I suggest to people that they pay attention to daily light exposure and, particularly, to getting bright light for 45 minutes every morning, I am often looked at with skepticism. “Sure doc,” I hear the other person …

Using a Therapy Light

Christmas vacation is ending, It has been wonderful to spend some relaxing time with family, getting up later in the day, lounging around and playing games, reading, or watching TV… and eating too much good food. Now the challenge is getting back to a more productive schedule. For many of us, our bodies are in a “hibernating” mode that makes …

Fall Mania

I had been gearing up to write my usual set of posts about seasonal affective disorder, and then this afternoon I met with a young woman who has had a clear and consistent pattern of getting hypomanic in the fall. We talk a lot about winter and fall depression. And, for many people, as the days get shorter and darker …

Get Ready for Fall

As August winds itself up, it is time to start thinking about the fall and then winter coming up. A little bit like the squirrels, who are already putting away food for the winter, it may make sense to make sure that you have what you need to have a happy and energetic fall and winter. The first thing is …

Mary Poppins: Overcoming the Winter Months

What I most want to have available to me in the long winter months, to help me with my patients with bipolar and depression, is access to someone a lot like Mary Poppins. You may remember that Mary, played by Julie Andrews, was the incredibly cheerful nanny who transformed the unhappy and dysfunctional lives of the family she joined. What …

Happy Winter Solstice

For those of us in the northern hemisphere this is a day well worth celebrating. Today marks the shortest day of the year. Or, to put it another way, from here until summer every day will be a little bit longer, there will be a little bit more light, and eventually the days will get warmer and we will have …

Bay Area Blues

If you live in the bay area you probably noticed that this past week you felt a little less energetic. It was the first cold and rainy week of the season, and the days have been getting noticeably shorter (maybe you used to wake up after dawn and now it is dark). We are naturally seasonal animals trying to live in …