not that lineal a connection-AND- thoughts on lifestyle CH

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Posted by gary ( on November 22, 1999 at 14:37:21:

what you're saying is probably ABSOLUTELY true, as far as the question of an immediate clockwork response of your CH attacks to your work schedule -
but guess what -
NONE of us HAS the pristine "type case" of CH, and NONE of us is capable of seeing clearly what our case really is and relates to anyway - we're just too close to see it all...
but that DOESN'T mean the answer to the overall CH challenge isn't - at least partly - in light cycles; ESPECIALLY in the genetic side of the equation

nothing says any link between CH and light cycles is as simple as turning 'em on & off on a daily basis - everybody loves to look for a single triggering cause and a great "gee-whiz" cure
BUT most things just don't work that way no matter WHAT TV shows & movies portray

There are TWO sets of repetitive light cycles which all living beings - with a few weird exceptions - respond to
they are of course related to each other, but they are also independent of each other in many of their implications in animal behavior
Circadian light "timers" put some species of hummingbirds into hibernation EVERY night,

Annular light cycles trigger the same birds to migrate 1000s of miles, at exactly the same time, twice a year

some damned big difference,
for what some people have told me is just silly pickiness about words !
Circadian cycles - which by definition and etymology are the DAILY changes from light to dark, etc
Annular or astronomical light cycles, which involve the natural CHANGES in circadian rhythyms OVER THE YEAR
I think it's more about the rate of change of daylight amount, over time, than it is to the finite amount of daylength in a given day.

In several posts, people haven't bothered to carefully read and think about what's been said - they grab what they see as highlights & assume they know what the whole is saying -
(like skimming the TOC of a book, and trying to write a book review)
DON'T FORGET - light affects us in more than one way, it may have no effect whatever on SOME variables of the CH puzzle, but produce good results in another;
there's a LOT of "silly science" out there lately - which is culturally assessed by its ability to sell magazines & books, support new age gadget & gimmick shops, and keep circuit speakers in business
- popular doesn't mean it's right or good for you - just look at the hamburger chains!!!
my ideas relate to the annular cycles, NOT to the daily cycles;
other people may be talking about something else;

as a general statement :
a disrupted, inconsistent daily schedule is a horrible aggravator of cluster headache-
the docs are beginning to see that even, check out the clinical site links - you'll see more & more of them adding a behavior/lifestyle codicil of some type to rec'd therapy approaches

I would suggest to everybody, if they are involved in such a schedule, and they observe an effect on their headaches,

they would profit greatly by looking closely at whether they are TRULY locked into that schedule, and not rely on some magic pill to come along and suppress their CH so they can continue on an absolutely unnatural lifestyle
watch the animals around you
see how completely habitual their behaviors are
VERY predictable, at least in general;
I submit -
for every thing about which we humans say:
" I choose to make the effort to do this thing that does NOT come naturally and instinctively to me"..there WILL be a cost, subtle or obvious, perceived or not,
make the wrong choice at the wrong time and "payback is a bitch"
most people vastly OVERestimate the importance of the job they are working at this moment of time;
most people vastly UNDERestimate the importance to their health of what may seem to be very small, subtle violations of natural animal patterns of behavior
I would submit that the kind of shift work you refer to, with frequently disrupted day/night schedules, sleep realignments, etc is highly unhealthy to begin with - for anybody - CH or not;

I'm not saying bad, I'm not saying anything about whether somebody should or shouldn't do it -
I am saying that in my opinion, it's completely unnatural behavior, and as such is at best risky, if not downright unhealthy.

In many cultures, they wouldn't even consider it.
In our culture we just go to the doc and ask for a pill to make it more comfortable. Many docs will say, "you bet, take one of these each day & go to it."
I believe a wiser doc would say "look for another job".
a dear friend of mine is a long tenure biology teacher, and she puts it this way:

"It is a very very short time back, biologically, that we stood upright, put on clothes & moved indoors;
No matter WHAT we like to tell ourselves we are still - biologically - just one of many thousand species of animals that are made to be tuned completely to natural earthly cycles, completely driven by environmental forces that haven't changed for millions and millions of years - and the more we attempt to deny that, the

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