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5 Ways the Time Change May Affect Your Health – MyHealthNewsDaily

The annual leap forward that will happen this Sunday (March 13) at 2 a.m. provides an opportunity for researchers to see what the time shift — and the sleep loss that may accompany it — may do to our health.


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But while researchers have looked at a number of health trends surrounding the first day of daylight saving time — including apparent upticks in accidents, heart attacks and suicides — it’s unclear whether the adjusted clock setting is itself responsible for these health issues.

“It’s not really understood why some of these health problems that are published coincide with the time change,” said Russell Rosenberg, vice chairman of the National Sleep Foundation. “We don’t have studies that show the time change actually causes these problems.”

With that in mind, here are five health issues that studies have connected with the loss of an hour that day.

Traffic accidents

An increase in traffic accidents is perhaps the best studied health consequence of the time shift -— even if those studies have yielded conflicting results.

“Sleep loss puts people at much higher risk for motor vehicle accidents,” Rosenberg said.

A 1996 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed an 8 percent increase in motor vehicle accidents on the Monday following the time change. A 2001 study from Johns Hopkins and Stanford universities also showed an increase on the Monday following the change.

But those findings have not been universal -— a Finnish study published last year did not find a similar increase there.

While the time shift may present a problem, it also may provide a benefit: The extra hour of evening daylight in the spring may help prevent pedestrian fatalities. A 2005 study from the University of Newcastle in England indicated this was the case.

At least one U.S. agency has taken the thought to heart. Last November, as the clock shifted back to daylight standard time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned drivers that, with nightfall occurring earlier in the evening, “adjusting to the new, low-light environment can take time, and that driving while distracted puts everyone -— and especially pedestrians -— at greater risk of death or injury.”

Workplace accidents

Workplace accidents may be another side effect of the sleep loss from the one-hour time change. They increase in frequency that Monday.

“Perhaps even more scary is the spike in injury severity,” said Christopher Barnes, an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “Instead of bruising a hand, maybe you crush a hand.”

A study Barnes led in 2009 looked at the severity of workplace accidents in miners on the Monday following the time change. The researchers found a 5.7 percent increase in injuries and a 67.6 percent increase in work days lost to injuries. Barnes said the results were likely to be similar in other workplaces with similar hazards.

Sleep loss determines the difference between the relatively common near-miss that happens in mining, and a true accident, said Barnes.

“We’re closer to disaster than we realize,” he said. “The margin for error is not very big.”

“If I were in that environment, one thing I would try to do is get to bed earlier that Saturday night, when the change actually happens,” Barnes said. Also, he suggested, “Try to schedule your most dangerous tasks for other days.”

Sleep loss

In a culture where we are constantly being told we need more sleep, the start of daylight saving time piles another hour per person onto the national sleep debt.

“We’re already a highly sleep-deprived society,” Rosenberg said. “We can ill afford to lose one more hour of sleep.”

Additionally, the shift in the period of daylight can present a challenge in catching up on sleep.

“It does take a little extra time to adjust to this time change, because you don’t have the morning light telling your brain it’s time to wake up,” he said.

Taking a nap on Sunday, Rosenberg said, might help make up some of the deficit.

Heart attacks

The connection between sleep and heart attacks gained attention following a 2008 Swedish study that showed an increase of about 5 percent in heart attacks on the three weekdays following the spring time shift.

As for the reasons, “no one really knows,” said Dr. Imre Janszky, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who conducted the study. “Sleep and disruption of chronobiological rhythms might be behind the observation.”

Heart attacks have been found to be highest on Mondays, so a shift in sleeping patterns may explain that as well, Janszky told MyHealthNewsDaily.

However, there have not been follow-up studies to solidify a connection between heart attacks and the change to daylight saving time.

For those worried about heart attacks, “gradual adaptation for [the time] shift might work,” Janszky said.

Suicide

Suicide is occasionally connected to the shift to daylight saving time, in part because of a recent study showing an increase in men (but not women) after the time change.

The 2008 Australian study found an increase in suicides among men following the start of daylight saving time — an increase of roughly 0.44 per day.

The researchers suggested the clock shift leaves many without morning sunlight, which perhaps promotes winter depression, and that depression might lead to suicide.

However, a link between the start of daylight saving time and suicides is far from established.
A better-established finding is that spring is the peak time of the year for suicides.

Safeguarding your home

Each year around this time, many public health officials advise you to remember, while you’re changing your clocks, to check your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

You should, but you may have noticed that a six-month check doesn’t really line up with daylight saving anymore. It will be 7 1/2 months before you set your clock back an hour again, thanks to a 2007 law.

The smoke and carbon monoxide detector check at daylight saving is outdated, Amy Rowland, spokeswoman for the CDC Injury Center, told MyHealthNewsDaily. In fact, you should check your smoke detector monthly, Rowland said  — that’s eight times before you “fall back” in November.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily on Twitter @MyHealth_MHND.

Continue reading here: 5 Ways the Time Change May Affect Your Health – MyHealthNewsDaily

Oil, gas may soon become a luxury – Examiner.com

For those who haven’t already spent their income tax return on bills, now may be the time to consider investing in a good bike. Iraq’s largest oil pipeline was bombed, interrupting the flow of about 400,000 barrels of oil per day, according to CNBC on Wednesday.  Repairs are expected to take at least three days.

Another potential cause for concern regarding increased pain at the pump is the fact that Col. Gaddafi blew up oil pipes in Libya on Wednesday, according to the Daily Mail. The article also noted that, “Gaddafi deployed tanks and snipers to ‘shoot anything that moves’. Forces loyal to the Libyan dictator poured into the city of Zawiyah in a desperate bid to oust the hardcore band of protesters and army defectors who have taken control.”

Major-General Abdel Rahman Ben Ali al-Sayyid al-Zawy delivered a television message from Gaddafi in which he was claiming that Britain, France and the U.S. had it in mind to divide Libya and seize its oil.  In addition, the article also quoted Gaddafi as saying that, “If Al Qaeda seizes Libya that will amount to a huge disaster. If they (Al Qaeda fighters) take this place over, the whole region, including Israel, will be dragged into chaos.”  

The likelihood of America getting involved is slim to none unless the U.N. gives its approval for intervention and for a no-fly zone, according to Israel National News.

 Meanwhile, revolutionaries in Saudi Arabia are still planning to have their day of rage on Friday, and Info Wars reported that, “Options traders are betting more than ever that crude oil is heading to $200 a barrel as some websites call for a “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia and anti- government protests spread in the Middle East and North Africa.”

The issue of affordable fuel for the vehicles of American families and the trucks that transport our goods is beginning to gain some attention.  In fact Right Side News reported that, “If you think $4.00 a gallon today hits your wallet, think again. Chris Steiner wrote $20 Per Gallon, which predicts with deadly accuracy a steady rise of prices from $5.00 to $10.00 to ultimately $20.00 per gallon before mid-century.   Why?  Answer: we may have only burned 50 percent of the Earth’s oil supplies, but it’s father down, harder to get at and more expensive to extract.  Thus, costs rise!”

Whether one wants to argue that it’s harder to get at or the liberals are blocking us from being able to drill for it in places like Alaska and the Western United States is beside the point.  The fact is that it’s going to become unaffordable for everyone who’s not part of the rich elite – it’s just a matter of when.

Revelation chapter 6 verse 5 speaks of a black horse and a rider with “a pair of scales in his hand.” Verse six goes on to note that the cost of wheat spikes in price to a day’s wages and “do not harm the oil and the wine.”  So not only is there a famine coming, possibly exacerbated by the economic turmoil of hyperinflation, but the oil and wine are symbolic of luxury items.  Oil could certainly represent cooking oil, but it’s not necessarily limited to that – especially if a barrel of oil ends up costing $200 dollars and gas really does rise to $5, $10 and $20 dollars.  The highest price for a barrel of oil at this point in history has been just shy of $150 dollars per barrel, and as a nation, we were paying around $4.00 per gallon.

There is also a time of widespread death coming.  Verse 8 speaks of a pale horse (yellowish-green color) whose rider’s name is Death and Hades (the grave) follows him. This rider kills over a quarter of the earth with “sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” The good news if that Jesus will be taking care of those who have asked Him to be their personal Lord and Savoir – and for those who haven’t done so yet, He is only a prayer away.

Continue reading here: Oil, gas may soon become a luxury – Examiner.com

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The do’s and don’ts of Mardi Gras – STLtoday.com

THE DETAILS

WHEN: 11 a.m. Today

WHERE: From Busch Stadium to Anheuser-Busch InBev, Soulard

PRICE: Free

MORE INFO: mardigrasinc.com

 

 

TWEETING FROM SOULARD? Tag your Mardi Gras
tweets with #stlmg, and watch for updates from our reporters who
are out and about on Saturday at stltoday.com/go.

 

MARDI GRAS DO’S

• Do bring your ID. You could wear a Barbara Walters pantsuit
and have John Madden’s jowls, and you’d still be carded to buy
alcohol.

• Do dress accordingly. We’re always amazed by the many revelers
who wear flip-flops and tank tops in chilly temperatures. This
ain’t Rio, folks.

• Do bring money. If you want cheap beads adorned with fake
marijuana leaves — and who doesn’t? — bring plenty of cash.

• Do plan a meeting spot. You’ll forget it, but it wouldn’t
hurt.

• Do plan to use public transportation or a shuttle. Soulard
prohibits parking on most neighborhood streets. Metro is offering a
$5 shuttle from the Civic Center Metrolink station to Soulard from
9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Laclede’s Landing is offering a free shuttle from
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Second Street and Laclede’s Landing
Boulevard. And Maggie O’Brien’s, Koken Art Factory, Riley’s and
Highway 61 Roadhouse are among the bars offering shuttles to
Soulard.

 

MARDI GRAS DON’TS

• Don’t bring coolers, cans, bottles or backpacks. Security will
confiscate that flask of Jack, no matter how cute you are.

• Don’t urinate in the alleys. Those aren’t phone booths;
they’re port-a-potties. Use them.

• Don’t try to get served if you are a minor. Nothing ruins
Mardi Gras like getting arrested.

 

 

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD • On the hot list

Live on the Landshark Stage

When: 1-7 p.m. Saturday • Where:Seventh Street and Geyer
Avenue

• Trixie Delight (1:30-3 p.m.)

• Van Halen tribute band Completely Unchained (3:30-4:45
p.m.)

• Dance Floor Riot (5:15 p.m.-6:30 p.m.)

Comeback Cats

The Acro-Cats Cat Circus returns to 2720 Cherokee at 7 p.m.
Thursday. Admission is $12, $10 for kids; tickets from February’s
canceled performance will be honored.

Better than Nick Cannon

Drum lines from Howard University, Lincoln University,
Harris-Stowe State University and other historically black colleges
and universities will march together at the second annual Showdown.
See them at 2 p.m. Sunday at Chaifetz Arena. $15.

Artistic taste

Enjoy goodies from Hollyberry Catering at Contemporary Art
Museum St. Louis’ monthly Food for Thought. The tasting event
promises dishes that are inspired by the museum’s exhibitions.
12:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday. Free.

Mardi Gras at the mall

Grab a king cupcake and start celebrating early at the
Artropolis Mardi Gras Gallery Hop from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at
Chesterfield Mall. Snacks, bead giveaways and artist receptions
will be part of the fun. Free.

European accent

Acclaimed photojournalist Damaso Reyes trains his camera on the
changing face of European politics, economics and identity. At
Webster University’s May Gallery through March 25. Free.

 

 

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD • At the clubs

Steve Smooth headlines Naughti Gras

9 p.m. Saturday at Europe nightclub (715 North 15th Street).
Opening sets are by Sergio Mardona and Joshua Jett. $5-$10.
europenightclub.com.

The Mystic Knights of the Purple Haze is presenting its
23rd annual Mardi Gras Ball

8 p.m. Friday at the Casa Loma Ballroom (3354 Iowa Avenue).
Costumes encouraged. $15. 314-664-8000.

The Girls Gone Wild Mardi Gras Party

9 p.m. Friday at Pop’s (401 Monsanto Avenue, Sauget). There will
be a $1,000 prize. popsrocks.com.

Mardi Gras 2011

At Molly’s (816 Geyer Avenue) at 9 a.m. Saturday. VIP includes
access to the inside bistro and restrooms, open bar, buffet and
more. $10 general/$100 VIP. 314-241-6200, ext. 105.

The second annual Social Gras

Begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Social House Soulard (1551 South
Seventh Street) with live bands and DJs all day.
socialhousesoulard.com.

The Living Room Experience

Friday night’s 1st Friday event at the Renaissance Grand (922
Washington Avenue). Women get in free until 10:30 p.m.; doors open
at 9 p.m. 1stfriday-stl.com.

 

Continue reading here: The do’s and don’ts of Mardi Gras – STLtoday.com

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Up to 13,000 Missourians May Lose Unemployment Benefits

COMMENTARY | Business Week reports the Missouri Senate failed to accept federal unemployment benefits which would have extended benefits for 13,000 citizens currently out of work. Senate Republicans fear accepting these funds would increase the national debt.

Republican state Sen. Jim Lembke of St. Louis said people need to find work. He leads the opposition to receiving federal funding while the government is in massive debt. Missouri has a firm deadline of April 2 to accept the unemployment funds.

“Ninety-nine weeks is too long. People need to get off their backsides and get a job,” Lembke stated according to the Kansas City Star.

He later said Missouri should try to encourage the federal government to spend less money. He suggested Missourians find two or three jobs to make ends meet or they should not spend as much. Lembke feels 79 weeks is plenty of time to find employment.

Lembke is making an example of politicians in Washington while his constituents suffer. People are unable or unwilling to get jobs because it amounts to a cut in pay. Many unemployment checks are higher than minimum wage jobs would earn. The employment many people had beforehand was above $7.25 and they don’t want their bottom line affected nor do they want to start from scratch.

Missourians are going back to work. The state gained 7,600 jobs in January. However, unemployment is still steady at 9.6 percent.

What happens when people make less money than their unemployment checks is they spend less money which makes the consumer economy grow more slowly. It’s a vicious cycle whereby not only are citizens dependent upon unemployment but our entire economy needs the extra cash flow to buy and sell products.

It’s like the American economy is hooked on cigarettes. Americans are addicted to a consumer-based spending economy. When there is less money in the hands of millions of people, they don’t buy as much stuff. Sales figures and profits in companies go down, the stock market suffers and companies let workers go. The quick and easy fix is to give out-of-work Americans unemployment benefits so they can spend money.

Yes, Americans do need to get back to work. But they shouldn’t be punished for being fired thanks to a stagnant economy. Lembke needs to be reminded the housing crisis, and the subsequent recession with so many stimulus packages, started on the watch of a Republican president.

Americans are fighting for every little bit of money they can get so they have a roof over their heads and three meals a day. Perhaps the Missouri capitol can open its doors to the homeless who won’t be able to pay rent once the unemployment checks stop. After all, taxpayers fund the building and it belongs to all Missourians.

William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.

Continue reading here: Up to 13,000 Missourians May Lose Unemployment Benefits


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