ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Gene Explains How High-Fructose Diets Lead to Insulin Resistance
EYE CARE, VISION
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All

Most people will welcome the start of daylight savings time this Sunday because it starts to stay light longer, even if that means the early mornings will be dark once again.

However, that shift may not be such a welcome change for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a seasonal depression that occurs in the fall and winter and is caused, at least in part, by the lack of daylight during these seasons. Some experts suspect that light in the morning may be especially important for helping people with SAD, as well as for jumpstarting circadian rhythms in all people.

"In general, in terms of normal sleep patterns, daylight in the morning is better than light later in the day. Remember, our circadian rhythms were set eons ago to a rhythm that didn't include daylight savings time, so the shift tends to throw people off a bit," said Dr. Nicholas Rummo, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

"Daylight savings time is anti-physiologic, and it's a little deleterious, at least for several days," he said, adding that research has shown that the rate of auto accidents goes up slightly in the days following the change to daylight savings time.

For people with SAD, he noted, the shift in daylight may be even more difficult. "Normally, people with SAD start to feel better around this time of the year, and light earlier in the day is more helpful for them," said Rummo.

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that appears during the colder months of the year, and symptoms tend to be at their worst in January and February, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, a lack of interest in usual activities, social withdrawal, weight gain and a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, according to the association.

"The hallmark of seasonal affective disorder is a pattern of depression that occurs in the fall and winter months that improves in the spring. There's a definite seasonal pattern," explained Dr. Emil Coccaro, the E.C. Manning professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago. "They have a major depression in the fall and winter when there's less light and they recover when there's more and more light."

The main treatment for SAD is exposure to bright lights, he said. And, during the fall and winter, people with SAD do this using light boxes that flood extra light into an area.

Previous research, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, has suggested that bright light treatment is most effective when done in the morning for people with SAD.

Rummo said that people on the Western edges of a time zone, and those living in Northern areas, may be affected a little bit more because they already experience more darkness in the morning.

"This is something that people should be a little bit aware of," said Rummo. But, he noted, it's also important to remember that it is just an hour, and everyone, including people with SAD, will eventually adjust to the switch.

And, Coccaro added that for people with SAD, the amount of light you're exposed to during the day is likely more important than the timing of that light exposure.

SOURCES: Nicholas Rummo, M.D., sleep specialist and director, Center for Sleep Medicine, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.; Emil Coccaro, M.D., E.C. Manning Professor, and chairman, department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, University of Chicago