More Jackson County Opinions...

OCTOBER 30, 2002


Column
By:Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
October 30, 2002

8 hours sleep good, 9 hours sleep deadly
Too much sleep can kill you or so Boston University School of Medicine says.
In the past several months three longitudinal studies have found a link between getting nine hours or more of sleep and death.
None of these studies began with the intent of studying sleep and mortality rates, yet the data seemed to emerge on its own.
In July, Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University, released findings he found in the Framingham Heart Study which alarmingly suggest too much sleep is more detrimental to health than too little sleep.
In the study of 4,541 men and women, people who slept nine hours or more were 70 percent more likely to die during a 14-year period than those who slept seven to eight hours. Those who slept six hours or less were only 50 percent more likely to die.
These findings confirm results presented earlier in the year that suggested people who slept less than eight hours may live longer. But they also reject the earlier study’s claim that five to seven hours is optimal.
It is clear from the Framingham study that seven to eight is indeed the magic number.
So we should be sleeping with an oven timer, not an alarm clock.
This data is startling, especially if you consider that cigarette smoking is associated with only a 50 percent mortality risk. You’re more likely to die if you sleep nine hours or more than if you smoke.
But Gottlieb said it’s too early to jump to conclusions since the study shows an association and not cause and effect.
“It needs more study,” he said. Adding, “We recommend a lot of lifestyle changes and medications for risks smaller than this.”
So what he really means is don’t sleep more than eight hours and see a doctor if you sleep more than that, you’ll live longer.
In another study, still ongoing, researchers found a similar link between the development of heart disease and sleep in 71,167 women.
After adjusting for confounding factors like exercise, smoking, snoring and body mass index, women who slept more than nine hours were 37 percent more likely to have a heart attack during 10 years of follow up. Those who slept five or less hours were 39 percent more likely. Women who slept six hours had an 18 percent increased risk.
Because this study factored out people who had other risk factors for higher mortality, this study seems to suggest that sleep alone caused the 37 percent increased risk, yet there could be an underlying health condition making the women sleepy and ultimately killing them.
Scientists warn there are problems with the data. All relied on self reports of sleep time so people may be lying in bed, reporting they are sleeping, when they are not.
There is one thing every study agrees with: more research is needed.
But it will take time.
The best data is gleaned from a longitudinal study which follows a large group of men and women over a long period of time. I would think it would be at least a decade before any firm results are in. In the meantime, I’m sure doctors will try to explain the link by studying the physiological effects of too much sleep. They know getting too little sleep causes chemical problems in the body like insulin resistance and increased stress hormone levels. In fact, too little sleep even impairs the immune system. But there’s no good explanation for a cause and effect relationship between too much sleep.
What is clear is a very definite link between sleep and mortality.
At this point, scientists speculate that sleeping nine or more hours is a symptom of a greater health problem like sleep apnea which interrupts sleep or a more serious underlying condition.
Definitely worth a trip to the doctor.
Rochelle Beckstine is a columnist for MainStreet Newspapers.

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Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
October 30, 2002

One scary Halloween column
If Democrats, Repub-licans, Libertarians, Socialists, Communists and Goblins scare you, just stick around until the anarchists take over. They will really make you quake in your boots.
So go vote Tuesday. Then support whoever wins.
No, you don’t always have to agree with the winner to support him or her. Sometimes sincere, honest disagreement is more supportive than insincere, dishonest agreement.
Whatever, do everything you can to keep the Democracy, the Republic or whatever it is we have from morphing into anarchism. It can happen, you know. One thing really does lead to another. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing, like not vote.
Anarchism is chaos. Chaos is great confusion and complete disorder. Taking advantage of the opportunity to vote will keep that from happening here. You can kiss opportunity goodbye if you don’t take advantage of opportunity.
Now, class, are you ready for a little history?
Anarchism comes from a Greek word meaning “without government.”
The philosophy dates back to ancient times. Legends of many countries recount tales of a golden age of freedom even before governments were organized.
Anarchism also appeared among early Christian groups. As someone has said, “More inhumanity to man has been committed in the name of God than for any other cause.” And this: “Crimes committed in liberty’s name have been exceeded only by those committed in God’s name.”
Pierre Joseph Proudhon of France became the first to make anarchism a mass movement. He urged the willing cooperation of free men without any regulation or government. (Shoot, I don’t believe that would work, even in a closely-knit family.)
Like I said, one thing leads to another, and anarchism leads to terrorism as surely as a bright day leads to a dark night.
Terroristic anarchism began under the leadership of Mikhail Bakunin in Russia in the 1800s. He and his followers believed in the destruction of the government by violence and terror. Many anarchists throughout the world resorted to revolution and assassination in the belief that terror would correct what they perceived as evil. (Sound familiar?)
And so they murdered heads of government, including Czar Alexander II of Russia, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and, closer to home, President William McKinley of the United States.
After McKinley’s death, the U.S. government passed a law barring anarchists from entering the country. Question: Is that law still on the books? If so, how th’ heck do so many anarchists (terrorists) cross our borders?
Let us now revisit the death of our 25th president.
On September 5, 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., McKinley made one of the most important speeches of his career. He expressed the hope that “by sensible trade relations which will not interrupt our home production, we shall extend the outlets for our increasing surplus...The period of exclusiveness is past.”
(And I thought all those free trade movements, such as NAFTA, were bright ideas of this generation. Oh, you did, too?)
The next day, McKinley held a public reception in the exposition’s Temple of Music. Hundreds of people waited to shake his hand.
One of them was an anarchist named Leon F. Czolgosz. As McKinley approached, Czolgosz extended his hand to grasp the outstretched hand of the president. Whereupon Czolgosz fired two bullets into McKinley’s body with a revolver hidden in a handkerchief in his right hand.
McKinley slumped forward, gasping “Am I shot?”
The crowd pounced on the assassin and began beating him.
President McKinley pointed to Czolgosz and implored the crowd, “Let no one hurt him.”
Sounds a lot like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, doesn’t it?
Look, those of us who don’t have that kind of faith, forgiveness, love, compassion, outlook, stupidity or whatever we want to call it will never understand. There’s no use even trying.
I can no more understand a peacemaker’s non-violence that I can understand ans anarchist’s terrorism.
About all I can do is vote Tuesday, for whatever that is worth. Compared to no government at all (anarchism, chaos, great confusion, complete disorder), it’s worth a lot.
It’s shame that most Americans don’t think it’s worth the time and trouble to go do it.
Virgil Adams is former editor and owner of The Jackson Herald.


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