Monday, October 31, 2011

Are You a Victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder? Part 3

I apologize to my readers that due to circumstances, the final post of the SAD series is going up later than planned. For those who missed the first two segments, please refer to September 21 and September 28 in the index of posts.

      What treatment is available for SAD sufferers? Antidepressants have been used with some success, along with exercise. However, medication has the potential for side effects. Researchers are pointing to light therapy as another possible solution. It appears that replacing natural, full-spectrum light, which is in short supply in the winter, can provide relief for some SAD sufferers. According to an article in Maclean's titled, Surviving the Winter, dozens of clinical studies have shown that light therapy, simply exposing a patient to bright light for a period of time each day, can be highly effective in treating two-thirds of SAD patients. The belief is that this is probably due to the restoration of proper melatonin synthesis and secretion by the pineal gland. This leads to reestablishment of the proper circadian rhythm, which is the natural 24-hour rhythmic release of hormones.
     Is there a way to tell who will benefit from light therapy? According to a report on early response to light therapy carried in The Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, a small clinical study using light therapy showed that patients suffering from hypersomnia and carbohydrate cravings tend to have a favorable response. According to the article, a number of studies have demonstrated that artificial bright-light therapy effectively treats the symptoms of depression in most, but not all, patients with SAD.
     Those suffering with certain types of depression other than SAD also may be helped with light therapy. There is evidence that exposing PMS sufferers to full-spectrum light for a period of time each day during the dark winter months could serve as a non-drug therapy to reduce their symptoms.  In a preliminary study of PMS sufferers dealing with depression, two hours of natural light was administered the week before menstruation each month for three months. All patients experienced vastly decreased feelings of depression. An article in Prevention offered the theory that, similar to patients affected by SAD, the release of the hormone, melatonin, during light therapy restores the rhythms that have been interrupted by the reproductive hormones.
     The available data seems to draw a clear relationship between the availability of full-spectrum light and our physical, emotional, and mental health. Light therapy appears to be a relatively simple, non-invasive way for some people to experience relief. Formerly, the equipment used to administer full-spectrum light was bulky and heavy. A light-producing device called Litebook is the size of a portable CD player and uses light-emitting diodes (LED's) to create an intense beam, while consuming just one-tenth the power of an incandescent bulb. This device could make a significant difference to those suffering from conditions that respond to light therapy. This includes people with jet lag. Larry Pederson, the inventor of Litebook, points out that travelers and business people generally don't have the luxury of several days to recover after a long flight. The use of light therapy could be a welcome benefit to those with heavy travel schedules between time zones.
      There is a  less expensive solution. Visit a pet store and purchase a full-spectrum florescent light designed for an aquarium. It may be necessary to sit near the aquarium light for up to two hours at a time rather than the 20 minute estimate for the costlier version, but the time can be well-spent reading or doing office work.
         After learning about the benefits of light therapy, I bought a standard full-spectrum light bulb at a health and nutrition store and installed it in a lamp. I sat near the lamp for 30 minutes to one hour each morning. After two to three months on this regimen, there was a marked reduction in my depression and my energy and motivation increased significantly. After implementing light therapy, I was able to anticpate the beauty of fall without the accompanying dread of winter. Of course, even better is the blessing of a winter vacation in Florida!
          Note:  As with any treatment of physical, mental or emotional symptoms, a medical professional should be consulted before using light therapy.  
                                                                                             © Laura Allen Nonemaker

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Donna J. Shepherd Reviews Benny's Angel

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Benny's Angel by Laura Allen Nonemaker

Benny's Angel is a God's Secret Garden Adventure. The book opens with a mystery – what happened to the beautiful flowers in the garden? In Nonemaker's sweet story, the animals call on God for wisdom to come up with a solution. God sends an angel to speak to them. By obeying God, they find that joy comes from serving God – not from your circumstances. This charming little book with its colorful illustrations will help you teach children about prayer and faith. Here's where you can pick up your copy. Available in paperback or eBook:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Signing October 16 for Benny's Angel

You are invited to bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews to a special reading of Benny's Angel, a new book for children by Laura Allen Nonemaker. The first in the God's Secret Garden Adventure series, this delightful tale uses animals, nature and a visit from an angel to teach children the importance of prayer and the value of trusting God.

Date:   Sunday, October 16

Place:   Kids Church, Second Floor
                 Evangel World Prayer Conference Center
                 6900 Billtown Road
                 Louisville, Kentucky

Time:   During the 9:00 a.m.and 11:00 a.m. services

Books will be available for purchase to be personalized and signed by Laura following each service.

Pastor Dan Betzer, author of the Dan and Louie Bible Stories, says "It requires a special talent to effectively communicate to children the wonders of God's Word. It requires expanded imagination and Laura Allen Nonemaker has an abundant share of that. In this charming book, she will take her readers into a garden of flowers, aromas, and beauty. This book will be an asset in the child's spiritual foundation and faith in God."

Benny and his whimsical woodland friends promise to find a special place in the hearts of children and adults alike.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life is Good with Enough Sleep!

This morning I woke up alert and ready to go. I couldn't wait to get started on my day. Lately, that has not been the case. Some mornings I have to push myself just to roll out of bed, especially since I have been wearing a "space boot" on one foot. However, this morning was different. Why? Because, for the first time in a long time, I got my required eight hours of sleep. The result was a livelier, more cheerful me and consequently, a happier husband as well.

I thought a lot today about the difference a good night's sleep can make. I thought about it as I gathered together two loads of clothes and started them on their way. I thought about it as I stood at my kitchen window and enjoyed the sunny view while I washed and cut up vegetables, including my daughters beautiful home-grown tomatoes, for a pot of homemade soup. Life felt good.

Then I took up my position at the computer with a long to-do list for marketing my just-published children's book, Benny's Angel. As the day wore on and I began to wear out, it became clear to me where the problem lies. I have not learned to draw a line on the number of hours I sit at the computer. I am not taking enough breaks, not finding a balance in my life that includes adequate rest.

O.K. So here I am at 8:45 sitting at my computer typing up this post to share with you. Where did today's epiphany get me? Well, at least I'm thinking about it, and as soon as I finish this post, I'll shut down the computer. Maybe.

                                                                                                           ~ Laura

Note to my followers: Those who are waiting for another installment in my series on SAD, should look for it in a couple of days. I just had to get this up tonight!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Family and Friends Gather for Book Signing

Benny's Angel, my first book in the God's Secret Garden Adventure Series, was the centerpiece last Thursday evening. With the help of her sister, Marlene, my daughter, Lisa, hosted a very special family and friends book signing in her home. The affair was well-attended and the guest list included some friends I had not seen for some time.

My daughters outdid themselves with the beautifully presented refreshments and the cake was decorated with an edible copy of the book cover. When the time came to cut it, every child wanted a piece of Benny Bunny, which posed a real challenge for Lisa. Thankfully, she was able to do some creative cutting and satisfied them all.

My heart was warmed during my reading of Benny's Angel, when little ones gathered as close as they could on the floor around my chair. Adults settled into the sofa and chairs, with others standing in the background. Even the cat, Daisy, joined us. She probably felt at home with the stuffed rabbits I had positioned around the room. The children's responses during the "pop quiz" I gave them after the reading showed me they had listened closely.

Benny's Angel was a hit with both children and parents. Book sales were brisk, with the 3-D version proving to be very popular. I can only pray that my future book signings will be as rewarding as this one.

Benny's Angel may be ordered at                  .
Coming in October: my brand new website at