Daylight Savings Time and Your Health

It’s that time of year again; the days have gotten longer and the promise of warmer weather is on the way! Pushing your clock ahead by just one hour shouldn’t be a big deal, but health experts say differently.

Whether we are springing forward or falling back, there is never a bad time to get the best in personal protection with Life Alert Protection. If you are an aging senior looking to maintain your independence medical alert device, you can summon help fast with just one touch of a button. No matter if you encounter a home fire, home invasion or even a devastating fall, Life Alert’s 24/7 dispatch team is available to send you the help you need fast.

Time is of the essence, so get Life Alert Protection so you are protected each hour of the day whether it be Daylight saving or not. However, if Daylight saving has got you feeling down? You’re not crazy! Check out these 8 weird ways DST affects your health courtesy of Real Simple[1].

1. The transition may briefly increase your risk of stroke.

A recent study from Finland, to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting, showed that in the two days following a clock change (either in the fall or spring), the overall risk of stroke rose by 8 percent. While Daylight Saving Time is certainly not the only risk factor, doctors speculate that the change in circadian rhythm affects those who are already at-risk for an ischemic stroke, the most common type caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain.

2. You’re not being dramatic—it does mess with your sleep cycle.daylightsavings1

It took 29 percent of Americans a full week to feel normal again after losing an hour of sleep, according to a February 2014 survey from the Better Sleep Council. What’s more, 12 percent forgot to do something important and 5 percent said they acted irrationally—including “got in shower still wearing underwear” and “went to work on a day off.”

3. It might affect heart health.

A 2012 study showed that heart attack risk increased 10 percent the Monday and Tuesday following the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. The health risk was tied to sleep deprivation, a change in circadian rhythms, and a slight shock to the immune system due 2015-03-09t22-55-04-333z--1280x720_nbcnews-ux-1080-600to the time change.

4. You’re more likely to get injured on the job.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology studied mine workers, and found that they experienced 5 percent more workplace injuries when the clocks sprang forward, an effect that researchers tied to lack of sleep. Of course, this environment is riskier than your typical office job—but beware of the stapler.

5. If you like staying up late, you might take a hit.

A German study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found “daytime sleepiness” was higher in people who identified as “evening types”—or what we call “night owls.” The study found that it could take up to three weeks for them to adjust to the time change.

6. Roads become unsafe.

Some research has shown that fatal car accidents increase the Monday after we lose an hour, likely due to sleep deprivation.

7. You’re not a good sleeper after losing an hour.

In fact, researchers from the National Public Health Institute found that the transition to spring reduced sleep efficiency (how long you spend in bed compared to how long you actually spend sleeping) by 10 percent on average.

8. You’ll spend more time glued to the computer.

It’s called “cyberloafing,” and researchers from Penn State found that losing just 40 minutes of sleep has been correlated to an increase in surfing the web, checking Facebook, and more unproductive activity. In fact, entertainment-related Internet searches spike the Monday after the beginning of daylight saving time, compared to other Mondays before and after.

While your clocks may be fickle on where they want to be set, your personal protection should never be! Get Life Alert Protection and get the best in personal protection worldwide. By simply wearing their emergency pendant around your neck or wrist, you can summon an emergency medical response; no matter what life threatening emergency you may face! Plus, unlike Daylight Savings, Life Alert Protection is 24/7! That means no matter when you may find yourself needing help, their dispatch team can send the help fast, whenever! Daylight doesn’t need saving, but you might, so get Life Alert today! For a free brochure about all of Life Alert’s lifesaving services, call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. Zabell, Samantha. “8 Weird Ways Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Health.” Real Simple. <http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/sleep/daylight-saving-time-health-effects >.

[1]

Advertisements

Kidney Health Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for kidney disease? [1] Major risk factors include, but are not limited to: diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older1. We may not spend a lot of time thinking about our hard working little kidneys, but March is Kidney Health Awareness month which means it is the perfect time to spend a little extra time on those little bean shaped organs of ours.

Our kidneys work very hard every day behind the scenes by filtering our blood and helping our bodies get rid of toxins. While nobody seems to pay much attention to kidneys, they play a major role in our overall health.  Similarly, personal protection is often overlooked as a primary source of health and well-being because not everyone believes that is a necessity. However, if you tripped and fell to the floor in your home and  couldn’t get up, what would you do? Well, with Life Alert Protection worry no more! Simply wear their emergency pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and get an emergency medical response fast. Your kidneys shouldn’t stop working and neither should your personal protection, which is why Life Alert is available 24/7Anemia-Kidney

Get better protection with Life Alert, and get to know your kidneys better by getting educated this month. No need to feel like a kidney failure if you are feeling unprepared for Kidney Health Awareness Month as Better Health Channel1 has you covered. From problems to look out for, to ways you can maintain kidney health, you’ll be a kidney expert when you’re finished reading!

Types of age-related kidney disease

Older people are more at risk of some kidney and urinary tract diseases. These include:

  • Inflammation or swelling of the kidneys – this can be caused by conditions such as glomerulonephritis.
  • Diabetes – this is the most common cause of kidney failure in Australia. Damage can occur to blood vessels and nerves, even when the diabetes is well managed.
  • Urinary Tract Infections – if left untreated, a urinary tract infection may spread into the kidneys. It is important to see a doctor if a kidney infection is suspected, because lasting damage can occur if it is left untreated. Urinary tract infections are very common, particularly in women and with increasing age.
  • Urinary incontinence – this is uncontrolled leaking of urine from the bladder, which can increase the risk of urinary tract infections. Your doctor should check any problems linked to passing urine, as they may indicate more serious kidney problems or other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate in men.
  • Renovascular disease – fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium and other substances are deposited in the inner lining of the arteries, causing narrowing or blockage of the renal artery. This affects the kidneys’ filters and reduces the blood supply to the kidneys, resulting in high blood pressure and reduced kidney function. This is the most common cause of kidney failure in the elderly.
  • High blood pressure – if left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and loss of vision.
  • Hereditary kidney diseases – including polycystic kidney disease.

Risk factors for age-related kidney disease

Some conditions that affect the kidneys and urinary tract are more common as people get older. You are more at risk of developing kidney disease if you:

  • are over 60 years of age
  • have diabetes
  • are obese
  • have high blood pressure
  • have established heart problems (heart failure or past heart attack) or have had a stroke
  • are a smoker
  • have a family history of kidney failure
  • are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Keeping your kidneys healthy

There are a number of things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy, including:

  • If you have diabetes, make sure that your blood sugar control is excellent. Follow your doctor’s advice about insulin injections, medicines, diet, physical activity and monitoring your blood sugar.
  • Control high blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Drugs used to lower blood pressure (anti-hypertensive drugs), such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin blockers, can slow the development of kidney disease.
  • If you have one of the risk factors for kidney disease, have a Kidney Health Check (blood test, urine test and blood pressure check) at least every two years (every year if you have diabetes or high blood pressure).
  • Treat urinary tract infections immediately.
  • Control blood cholesterol levels with diet and medications if necessary.
  • Drink plenty of water and choose foods that are low in sugar, fat and salt, but high in fiber. Stick to moderate serving sizes.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation only.
  • Stay at a healthy weight for your height and age.
  • Try to exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes a day.

While Kidney Health Awareness may only come around once a year for one month only, your kidneys are working 24/7, as does Life Alert.  Life Alert Protection offers 24/7 protection and while wearing their lightweight, waterproof medical alert pendant, you can summon help fast with just one touch of a button. For a free brochure to learn about all of Life Alert’s lifesaving services call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. “Kidneys-Age Related Problems.” Better Health Channel. <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/kidneys-age-related-problems>.

 

 

[1]

1

1