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Daylight Saving Time: Is it Harmful to Our Health?

Daylight Saving Time: Is it Harmful to Our Health?

Do you lose sleep over daylight saving time (DST)?  Apparently yes, you do, about 40 minutes on the Monday after "springing it forward" and perhaps for days or weeks after that too. I'm not a medical expert, but I'm okay with the annual spring shift to DST.  I don't remember it costing me much sleep. Living close to the 49th parallel, mid-summer light comes way earlier than I need it and having an extra hour of summer evening light enables me to enjoy a round of golf after work. Conversely, I wouldn't like morning light in winter to be delayed as for much of November through early February, my walk to work is in the dark.


What's the background to DST and what are experts saying?


The first place to implement DST was Port Arthur and Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, on July 1, 1908.  It was at the encouragement of a local businessman John Hewitson to have an extra evening hour of summer sun. A man after my own heart - maybe he was a golfer as well!  Over the next few years, some other Canadian cities followed. Today Canadian DST implementation remains a hodgepodge with only 7 Provinces or Territories entirely adopting DST.  Parts of each of BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut don't do DST and the Yukon did DST but abandoned it in 2020.


Germany first introduced DST in 1916 during WW1 as an energy savings measure and the US followed in 1918 but repealed it a year later.  The US brought DST back in 1942, but it wasn't uniform among states or even localities. Then in 1966 the US standardized DST with the Uniform Time Act (except in Hawaii and Arizona) and most Canadian jurisdictions followed to align with our American neighbours. In 1974 the US opted to go to DST year round, but dark winter mornings dimmed the enthusiasm for that and the US returned DST to a seasonal event. 


So is DST a good idea? Many experts such as Dr. Samer Hattar (@SamerHattar) say annually switching from Standard Time (ST) to DST and back is detrimental to our health, having a cumulative effect on our circadian rhythm. As he discussed on an Andrew Huberman @hubermanlab podcast in October 2021 early light is important, as is reduced light before sleep time. Some of the consequences of disruption to our circadian rhythm included an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke, difficulty with memory and focus, appetite changes and cravings and increased irritation (maybe from being tired?).


Kenneth Wright, Director of Colorado University's Sleep and Chronobiology Lab agrees with Dr. Hattar and strongly feels that ST should be the norm, not DST. That's because dark mornings mean sleepier commuters, icier winter roads and more children going to school in the dark. Likewise more evening light encourages later sleep hours and that's associated numerous health problems.


So how can we minimize the time switch impact? An article by Alison Gwinn for AARP has some tips.  These include wear yourself out on Saturday, turn off electronics early, get up at the same clock time Sunday as you normally do, but get outside to take in natural light as soon as possible.  It can also include adjusting your go to bed time gradually on the preceding days. 


I don't find the DST and back transition a big of a deal. I like the longer summer evenings, but I wouldn't mind delaying the shift from ST to DST a couple of weeks, to more reliably have morning light when I go work. But if we were to abandon the twice annual clock change, I'd definitely prefer sticking to ST.  Feel free to let us know what you think and have a great, albeit shorter weekend (in many areas) this weekend! 


Finally if you've never taken time to write us at SierraSil®, we'd welcome hearing from you. Our joy is making a difference in the lives of people and their pets with mild to moderate aches and soreness, liberating them to recover joy and ability. What does Sierrasil help you to enjoy? What joints or muscles is it helping with? How did you hear about SierraSil and where do you buy it, and what place (or town or region) is home? I know it’s a short weekend for many of you, but if you can spare two or three minutes, kindly email us at Info@SierraSil.com. 


Thank you, and have a great time this weekend!

Valentine's Day: The Power of Self Love

Valentine's Day: The Power of Self Love

The thief broke into the Oakridge store and demanded "everybody down". But one lady remained defiant, standing in place. The thief barked again, "I said everybody down!" But the lady protested that if she got down, she couldn't get back up.  In some respects, it’s a funny story (and yes, true). Happily, the lady was fine but I have no idea if the thief was caught. 

A panic arose when a former athlete lost his balance and fell at home. His wife bravely tried to help him from falling, but in the process fell too. Sadly, neither were able to raise themselves from the floor. So she crawled to their phone and called for emergency help. Nothing was broken, except pride, but sadly their bodies had deteriorated to the point they could no longer pick themselves up.  

Like the lady standing up to the thief, the couple in this story had no physical disabilities other than simply not applying enough time and energy to look after their fitness.  The couple did exercise occasionally but they adopted a sedentary lifestyle, giving age far too much power. 

So this Valentine's please consider self-love!  Over a year ago, I downloaded the Peloton® app and yes, I quite like it. If you don't already know, Peloton classes are much more than just stationary bike programs.

In addition to cycling, there are all sorts of exercise classes including strength, stretching, yoga, running and even mindfulness. I've found instructors, music and class lengths which are suitable to my tastes and time requirements. The instructors are also frequently sources of motivational proverbs. Here are a few from Benjamin Alldis (www.instagram.com/benjaminalldis ) :

  • Without challenge there is no change. 
  • You’ll never have this moment again. Every single second is yours for the taking.  
  • All I need from you, is to do your best. Nothing but success in your game plan. 
  • It’s you versus you right now!
  • Let’s get you set up for greatness.  Nothing beats commitment.   

And now for some that come to mind as Valentine's appropriate: 

  • Light it up - who are you riding for?  
  • Be your healthy best not just for yourself but also the ones you love.

So today, let's consider exercise, not only for yourself but for those you love. Being reasonably fit, able to walk, to get up and down, to reach are all important markers of independent living. Being healthy and fit:

  • Helps sustain your independence;
  • Enables joining activity with loved ones, whether a spouse, grand children or friends;
  • To care for others;
  • and to not be a source of worry for others.

Obviously, we don't have full control of our health. Accidents and disease happen, as does age and natural deterioration. Life isn't perfect and sadly many people are struck by misfortune in physical or mental health, disease and traumatic injury. And being healthy is not a quick fix proposition. It takes time, energy, and self-discipline. 


But if you haven't done so before, this Valentine's commit to loving those you care for you enough, to care for yourself too.  There are so many benefits personally and for those that you love. I don't need to belabour them. But let me also highlight a September 19, 2019, Today's Practitioner article about two related studies. In one, the researcher wanted to assess how even one bout of exercise affects individuals 60 to 80 years of age. Her research showed not just immediate benefits but sustained benefits. The second study found that even moderate morning exercise improved cognitive performance throughout the day. 

Please strive to be healthy and fit. It can be hard work, but you can do it. Engage a friend on the journey. Revisit my June 2022 blog with Tommy Europe as he discusses his SHRED philosophy on the SierraSil® website or Youtube®.

Tommy Europe - Interview – SierraSil

https://sierrasil.com/blogs/blog/tommy-europe-interview

Quoting the Nike slogan, Just Do It™. It's self-love that is truly shared love, enabling you to be more resilient, less of a source of worry to those you love and potentially a pillar of support to those you love, when they need it. 

A friend who is a Palliative Care Nurse shared these eloquent thoughts:

“I have a friend who was dealing with her husband's rare cancer in his late 30's/early 40's and she specifically started going to the gym more frequently - just being so aware that she was going to have to be strong physically to support her husband through his journey.  It inspired me then and I think of it often as I am aging and it challenged me to get healthier.  We all have the right to be loved just the way we are, and our value is not found on how thin/strong/fit we are - but we are also invited in this life to not just think of ourselves - and I agree that taking care of yourself is one of the many ways we can express our love for our family.”


Thank you to my friend who wrote that and to all, Happy Valentine's and blessings to you and those you are caring for.


Michael

January Blog - Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

January Blog - Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

I've long admired Martin Luther King Jr.  With MLK day coming up in America on Monday, I've taken time to reread his "I Have a Dream" speech (text below). As I reflected on it there are so many things that come to mind, so many ideas that I could reflect on for this blog post.  

Dr. King spoke of faith, justice and freedom. He talked about commitments made (but not yet kept), service and hope. His speech was partially spontaneous, drawing on encouragement of some of the two hundred and fifty thousand plus attending the August 28, 1963 rally on The Mall in Washington DC and on his past sermons.  He drew on a deep well of frustration, his love of God and his desire for justice, looking ahead to brighter days, days of hope, but highlighting an urgency, "the fierce urgency of now". 

Do you have a dream? Have you considered your purpose?  Does your dream include service and joy? Earlier this week, Lesley (my wife) shared with me a humorous Instagram post "Just like houseplants we need water and light, only we're just emotionally more complicated". We're human, we're flawed and we make mistakes, including mis-ordered priorities (as David Brooks, a NYT writer so eloquently describes "sin") and chasing distractions. So don't beat yourself up if your dream and purpose aren't front of mind.

I've been reflecting on this. On my purpose - as I'm reading a book by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Phyllis Hendry with some friends who meet weekly online in fall and spring. I don't presume to have good or complete answers to the questions raised about my dream or my purpose. I'm a work in progress but I do feel that I have something to contribute, perhaps around my faith or to those who feel stressed or marginalized, as well as around my desire to help people be healthier to enjoy our relationships and this planet. I’d also love to see less division in our communities (whether on line, in the political forum or on university campuses), and for that, I think we need less “certainty” of opinion and more “curiosity” for the thoughts of others.

So as 2023, unfolds, what's your dream for this year and the next 10 years?  Right now, my personal goals (or resolutions if you will following on my December blog) are pretty simple. Spend more time with specific friends, take time to be still and just listen, and because it’s a new year, hey I’ve got a goal about fitness - trying to get more anaerobic exercise (e.g. short bursts such as resistance) versus my past focus which has been more aerobic (e.g. running). But I'm also pondering bigger questions, and it’s okay for me if the answers are elusive or don't come quickly. Though I think reflecting on them is good.

One of Dr. King's prayers was "Use me God, show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself". The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr clearly lived that. Sadly, his life was cut short.  Whatever your dream, may I encourage you to strive for civility and justice, and be a beacon of peace in your home, your workplace and your community place, where ever that may be. 

I wish you all the best for a safe, happy, healthy and purposeful New Year in 2023 (and thank you for reading my blog!)


Michael Bentley

_________________________________________________________

 

Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” (slightly edited) August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow [President Lincoln memorial] we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon of hope to millions of slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the colored America is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the colored American is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

One hundred years later, the colored American lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the colored American is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our Nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our great republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given its colored people a bad check, a check that has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice.

We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is not time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.

Now it the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.

Now it the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God’s children.

I would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of it’s colored citizens. This sweltering summer of the colored people’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the colored Americans needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the colored citizen is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the colored person’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.

We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for white only.”

We cannot be satisfied as long as a colored person in Mississippi cannot vote and a colored person in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of your trials and tribulations. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality.

You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our modern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you, my friends, we have the difficulties of today and tomorrow.

I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day out in the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be engulfed, every hill shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”



Here’s a link to a video recording of the speech https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=recording+of+i+have+a+dream+speech&&view=detail&mid=494EDC5065970DC0E227494EDC5065970DC0E227&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Drecording%2Bof%2Bi%2Bhave%2Ba%2Bdream%2Bspeech%26qpvt%3Drecording%2Bof%2Bi%2Bhave%2Ba%2Bdream%2Bspeech%26FORM%3DVDRE