Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter blues?

Tim and I have been doing some research on the science of winter blues.  We felt a bit of it last year because of the short days and the fact that basically we don't see the sun from the month of November until around May.  

I have a friend Tracy *waving hi to Tracy* who lives in Seattle.  She mentioned that she had a special light on her desk at work that she flips on to help her.  A light therapy of sorts.  I looked at the light that she has and they run between 150 and 250 dollars.  Tim got to thinking that we could probably DIY one ourselves.

He was doing research last night and found out that the color blue helps lighten your mood.  Not just any blue though.  It has to be an LED blue.  The wavelength of the LED blue is the same blue you would see in the sky mid day on a sunny day.  It triggers something in your brain.

We are going to try an experiment.  We are going to get some blue LED lights (they are in all the stores right now because of Christmas) and we are going to do a light sculpture and put it up in our classroom.  I want to see if it helps us.

Take today for instance, it is a really dark gray day.  It has been dark here for a couple of months now, but today it is oppressive.  I have all of the curtains in the house open but our house is still really dark.  How does that affect my mood?  I want to hibernate.  It is three o'clock in the afternoon and I want to sleep. 

 I used to be quite the night owl.  I used to be able to stay up late at night and get up early in the morning and still have tons of energy.   With the short days (it's dark here around 4:30 in the afternoon) and very little sun that has changed.  I find it harder and harder to get up in the morning and by 6:30 at night I'm ready for bed.  I will crawl into bed just after 8 after I've put the kids to bed and I'll fall asleep.  That's all well and good, except that I'm then up at 2 am becuase I'm not used to going to sleep that early.  My sleep cycle is all messed up.  There have been studies done about this.  People in the winter sleep more and eat more carbs.  I though Tim was joking when he said that, but he found and article.  When I can find it, I'll post a link.

So this weekend, we are going to go out and make ourselves an LED blue light sculpture and we are going to see if it helps our moods.   I'll keep you posted.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


There has been much discussion around here lately about Connor's work habits in school.  I've been working with him for a while to stay focused on his work when he's doing it and to not pay attention to what his brother is doing.  A lot of times I will get Connor started on his assignment and then I will work with Aidan.  Connor will do his work for a few minutes and thenhe will start paying attention to what Aidan and I are doing.  Sometimes I will get Connor started on a project and then run to do something and come back and find Connor not doing what I left him doing. 

On a whim today I went into the basement and dug out my book of all my school stuff.  I looked at my report cards from grade one through grade four.  Every single grading quarter of every single year (yes, 16 times) my teachers put that I needed to work on my work habits.  I needed to start paying closer attention to my work and not pay attention to others around me.  Huh.  Looks to me that Connor is a normal 8 year old.  It appears he is behaving just as I did when I was his age.  

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ambien is a drug for those who have problems sleeping.