How To Adapt To Dark Winter Days Ahead

 

winterkitty1

NPR brings us tips on how to adapt and adjust to dark, cold winter days.

Our smartphones automatically adjusted last weekend to the time change. But our internal clocks aren’t as easy to re-program.

When daylight comes an hour earlier each fall, it throws us off.

Our bodies crave consistent routines. When we disrupt our routines with erratic sleep or eating habits, it can increase the risk of metabolic disease, diabetes and obesity.

And, as the amount of daylight continues to decrease, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Luckily, there are smart ways you can adapt.

Changes in what you eat, when you eat, and even your social life can all help.

Read on for tips for adjusting to the darker days of winter at NPR

Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images

The Shape Of Sadness In The Human Brain

Scientists may have caught a glimpse of what sadness looks like in the brain.

As NPR’s Jon Hamilton reports, a study of 21 people found that for most, feeling down was associated with greater communication between brain areas involved in emotion and memory.

“There was one network that over and over would tell us whether they were feeling happy or sad,” says researcher Vikaas Sohal.

The finding could lead to a better understanding of mood disorders, and perhaps new ways of treating them.

The study’s design was pretty unusual. The team inserted tiny wires into the brains of 21 people who were in the hospital awaiting brain surgery for severe epilepsy. They then monitored the patients’ brain activity for up to a week.

The study provides a detailed map of what’s going on in the human brain, which is what doctors and scientists need to look for better treatments for patients with mood disorders.

“It’s really important that we find the circuits underlying mood so we can learn more about them and treat them,” says Dr. Joshua Gordon, who directs the National Institute of Mental Health.

Read more about this novel study on NPR.

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