This week we are thinking about the departure of summer “daylight saving” time, which takes place next Satuday, Oct 28th. Most of us have grown up with daylight saving, which was introduced widely in WWI, to save fuel and increase harvest time. But is there a price to pay for this convenience? We already know that the accident rate goes up, right after the clocks are adjusted.

Man-made time is a purely artificial and has nothing to do with Nature. You might think “OK, well, a couple of weeks into this my body will have adjusted; everything back to normal”.

That’s apparently not true, which comes as a complete surprise to me.

Changing to daylight saving time may give people an hour more of sunlight, but it appears that their internal body clocks never really adjusts to the change, according to a German study under Till Roenneberg of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich [Oct. 24 online edition of Current Biology].  It’s only a one hour discrepancy but that’s enough to cause a significant disruption in our circadian rhythms.

As I said, it surprises me. But when you think about it logically, altering the dial of a machine changes nothing whatever to do with the Sun. Our bodies have been in tune with the Sun’s variations for millions of years. The pure social change of time cannot fool our inner clock.

Even more interesting information came to light in this study. Apparently the body-mind divides up time into 4-minute intervals (NOT 5-minute slots, as we do). Four minutes is just exactly how long it takes the sun to cross one line of longitude, says Roenneberg.

During the winter, there is a beautiful tracking of dawn in human sleep behavior, which is completely and immediately interrupted when daylight savings time is introduced in March, but it returns to normal each winter, when the clocks revert to “Nature”.

In this study, Roenneberg’s group collected data on the sleep patterns of 55,000 people in Central Europe. The researchers found that sleep time on days off work when daylight savings time took effect followed the seasonal progression of dawn under standard time, but not under daylight savings time. In other words the body was trying to keep to Nature, while being forced to get up an hour earlier!

The effects of the disparity were more marked for true night owls — those who stay up late and sleep late (I’m a morning lark person myself).

Of course this is a modern problem; only since electric lamps. Historically Man has been pretty well tied to daylight hours. The cost of candles and lamps made them a luxury but in any case you can do very little with such dim light without damaging your eyes.

Nowadays, people stay up all night and turn the lights on, which affects our biological clock. There is no question that we have been screwing around with our clocks long before daylight savings time came along.

 

They said if you masturbate you would go blind. Now they are saying erectile dysfunction drugs will make you deaf.

 

This is true! The FDA is alerting men taking the ED drugs Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra to the potential risk of sudden hearing loss. It’s reversible in about one third of cases; the rest are ongoing (which means it could turn out to be permanent).

The FDA has received over 2 dozen reports of men who had sudden hearing loss while taking Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra, both with and without ringing in the ears, vertigo, or dizziness. Apparently the hearing loss was already noted in the Viagra labeling from the time of its approval, but not in labeling for Cialis or Levitra. This is now being changed.

The FDA advises men taking Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra who experience sudden hearing loss to immediately stop taking the drug and seek prompt medical attention.

So what happens if the man has gone suddenly deaf and his wife says “Not tonight darling, I have a headache” but he can’t hear her?

Better be careful.

SOURCE: FDA: "Questions and Answers About Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and Revatio: Possible Sudden Hearing Loss."

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