Firstly, wishing everyone of all religions and none a glowing Diwali to celebrate the power of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
You may have noticed lots of press about the menopause recently – October is World Menopause month. Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce in the UK – Menopause factfile In a recent Chartered Institute of Personnel Survey, 30% of women said they had taken sick leave because of their symptoms. The 2016 Wellbeing of Women survey found one in four women even considered leaving their jobs. Menopause and Employment: How to enable fulfilling working lives
As a man, that may not affect you directly but as an employer it may be worth taking notice: Although not a ‘disability’, the number of menopause-related employment tribunals almost tripled between 2018 and 2021 – Number of tribunals involving menopause triples in three years, research finds
So what’s that got to do with light?
1/ Hot flushes (or VasoMotor Symptoms) – changing the colour temperature can help you to harness the power of the hue-heat effect – Effect of illumination on perceived temperature
2 / Disrupted sleep (and brain fog) get outside, sit by a window and boost with bright light during the day – and make sure the bedroom is dark at night to support melatonin expression – Sleep, Melatonin, and the Menopausal Transition: What Are the Links?
3/ Depression and mood swings – boost serotonin, linked to oestrogen with bright light – An overlooked connection: serotonergic mediation of estrogen-related physiology and pathology
4/ Photosensitivity and Dry Eye Syndrome. Make sure light can be adjusted for comfort , minimise glare and eliminate flicker will help. It may also be worth taking a look at the type of HRT you are using (androgens are most likely to be an issue) – Dry Eye Syndrome in Menopause and Perimenopausal Age Group
It turns out that men experience something similar too – under the marvellous moniker hypogonadism! The male equivalent of the menopause, the formal name is Late-onset Testosterone Deficiency. Like man-flu, it’s real but different. The bottom line seems to be that bright light, particularly the UV wavelengths in daylight and some specialist lamps may help – Andropause: Current concepts
And a note for my horse-riding friends who are seeing their equine companions grow shaggy winter coats. Here are two papers about day length and hair growth . Essentially, maintaining a regular bright day / dark night cycle reduces winter coat growth – makes sense 😉 The effects of extended photoperiod and warmth on hair growth in ponies and horses at different times of year, CONTROLLING HAIR LENGTH IN HORSES USING EXTENDED DAY LENGTH REGIMES
I’m always a bit skeptical about claims for single-wavelength light, but as our hairlines recede and our waistlines expand, here is a paper is some evidence that red light might help the follically-challenged… – Hair Growth Promoting Effects of 650 nm Red Light Stimulation on Human Hair Follicles and Study of Its Mechanisms via RNA Sequencing Transcriptome Analysis