Resetting Your Inner Clock to Boost Mood, Alertness, and Quality Sleep
An enlightened approach to insomnia, depressed mood, fatigue, and other sleep-related problems of everyday life, harnessing the power of light therapy to reset the natural clock.
Sleep problems and depressed mood often go hand in hand, forming a frustrating cycle. Michael Terman, PhD, has devoted his career to studying the brain functions that feed these disorders. His discoveries in chronotherapy have been widely recognized as game-changers by the medical establishment, and his 2010 New York Times op-ed, “Sleeping (or Not) by the Wrong Clock,” shot to number one on the paper’s list of most-forwarded online articles. In Chronotherapy, Terman and McMahan reveal the heart of his findings, a powerful program that recalibrates our internal clocks—our exquisitely designed, natural sensitivity to the timing and brightness of light exposure. These delicate mechanisms are often decimated by the modern demands of a 24/7 lifestyle.
Beginning with a questionnaire that pinpoints the problem areas, Terman helps readers decipher when their natural internal night begins and ends. The treatment process can then start, incorporating the power of natural light and, when necessary, supplemental light therapy. His approach has brought relief to thousands of sleep sufferers, as well as those burdened by bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, depression, sleep disorders due to around-the-clock work schedules, and other impediments to vibrant health. For the first time, his findings are now available for a general audience, sharing the essential elements of chronobiology in clear, authoritative, scientifically grounded chapters that are easy to apply to a variety of situations.
Chronotherapy chapters include:
PART ONE: TIME, SLEEP, AND RHYTHMS
Chapter 1: External vs. Internal Time
The clock on the wall measures twenty-four hours every day, but the clock in your brain runs a little different. How can you help them work together?
Chapter 2: The Pressure to Sleep
Chapter 3: Owls, Larks, and Hummingbirds
PART TWO: TIME, LIGHT, AND THE BRAIN
Chapter 5: Getting Light Wrong
Chapter 6: Geography and Time
PART THREE: INTERVENTIONS
Chapter 8: Nighttime Meds and Melatonin
Chapter 9: Hospitalized with Depression
Chapter 10: Beyond Light: The Charge in the Air
PART FOUR: STAGES OF LIFE
Chapter 12: Strategies for Babies and Children
Chapter 13: The Challenges of Adolescence
Chapter 14: In Later Years
PART FIVE: CHRONOTHERAPY IN YOUR LIFE
Chapter 16: Racing the Clock, Racing the Sun
Chapter 17: Chronobiology in the Home and Workplace
Chapter 18: Dawn of a Circadian Science
“Like all living organisms, we have an internal clock that sets the timing of our daily behavior and physiology. Also shared is our sensitivity to the environmental fluctuations of light and darkness. Chronobiology seeks to harness this new knowledge to understand critical aspects of the ‘when’ and ‘why’ of human behavior. Why does someone become depressed at this particular time of year? Why does one’s attention flag every afternoon at the same time? Why can’t our children go to sleep until well after midnight? Chronotherapy picks up the baton, seeking to provide rhythm-changing interventions that address these problems. And there is no one that has led the development of this field more so than psychologist Michael Terman of Columbia University. From the now-mainstream use of bright light therapy, through explanations of melatonin usage, sleep timing modifications, and dawn simulation—the full range of rhythm-shifting strategies is laid out in basic and elegant fashion. This book points us towards a new and enriched age of mental health care.”
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