Sleeping With Any Light Raises Risk of Obesity  Diabetes and More

Even dim light can disrupt sleep, raising the risk of serious health issues in older adults, a new study found. Dogs and cats who share their human’s bed tend to have a “higher trust level and a tighter bond with the humans that are in their lives. It’s a big display of trust on their part,” Varble said.

Sleep myths that may be keeping you from a good night’s rest. “Exposure to any amount of light during the sleep period was correlated with the higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity and hypertension in both older men and women,” senior author Phyllis Zee, chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, told CNN.

“People should do their best to avoid or minimize the amount of light they are exposed to during sleep,” she added. A study published earlier this year by Zee and her team examined the role of light in sleep for healthy adults in their 20s. Sleeping for only one night with a dim light, such as a TV set with the sound off, raised the blood sugar and heart rate of the young people during the sleep lab experiment.

An elevated heart rate at night has been shown in prior studies to be a risk factor for future heart disease and early death, while higher blood sugar levels are a sign of insulin resistance, which can ultimately lead to type 2 diabetes. The dim light entered the eyelids and disrupted sleep in the young adults despite the fact that participants slept with their eyes closed, Zee said. Yet even that tiny amount of light created a deficit of slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep, the stages of slumber in which most cellular renewal occurs, she said.

Objective Measurements

The new study, published Wednesday in the journal Sleep, focused on seniors who “already are at higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said coauthor Dr. Minjee Kim, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a statement. “We wanted to see if there was a difference in frequencies of these diseases related to light exposure at night,” Kim said. Instead of pulling people into a sleep lab, the new study used a real-world setting.

Researchers gave 552 men and women between the ages of 63 and 84 an actigraph, a small device worn like a wristwatch that measures sleep cycles, average movement and light exposure. We’re actually measuring the amount of light the person is exposed to with a sensor on their body and comparing that to their sleep and wake activity over a 24-hour period,” Zee said. “What I think is different and notable in our study is that we have really objective data with this method.”

Fewer than half of the adults in the study got five hours of darkness at night. Zee and her team said they were surprised to find that fewer than half of the men and women in the study consistently slept in darkness for at least five hours each day. “More than 53% or so had some light during the night in the room,” she said. “In a secondary analysis, we found those who had higher amounts of light at night were also the most likely to have diabetes, obesity or hypertension.” In addition, Zee said, people who slept with higher levels of light were more likely to go to bed later and get up later, and “we know late sleepers tend to also have a higher risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.”

What to do

Strategies for reducing light levels at night include positioning your bed away from windows or using light-blocking window shades. Don’t charge laptops and cellphones in your bedroom where melatonin-altering blue light can disrupt your sleep. If low levels of light persist, try a sleep mask to shelter your eyes. Using melatonin for sleep is on the rise, study says, despite potential health harms. If you have to get up, don’t turn on lights if you don’t have to, Zee advised. If you do, keep them as dim as possible and illuminated only for brief periods of time.

Older adults often have to get up at night to visit the bathroom, due to health issues or side effects from medications, Zee said, so advising that age group to turn out all lights might put them at risk of falling. In that case, consider using nightlights positioned very low to the ground, and choose lights with an amber or red color. That spectrum of light has a longer wavelength, and is less intrusive and disruptive to our circadian rhythm, or body clock, than shorter wavelengths such as blue light.

Source: Sleeping with any light raises risk of obesity, diabetes and more, study finds – CNN

Heart rate increases in light room, and body can’t rest properly 

We showed your heart rate increases when you sleep in a moderately lit room,” said Daniela Grimaldi, MD, PhD, co-first author of the study and a research assistant professor of Neurology in the Division of Sleep Medicine. “Even though you are asleep, your autonomic nervous system is activated. That’s bad. Usually, your heart rate together with other cardiovascular parameters are lower at night and higher during the day.”

There are sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems that regulate our physiology during the day and night. Sympathetic takes charge during the day and parasympathetic is supposed to control physiology at night, when it conveys restoration to the entire body.

How nighttime light during sleep can lead to diabetes and obesity

Investigators found insulin resistance occurred the morning after people slept in a light room. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar goes up. An earlier study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at a large population of healthy people who had exposure to light during sleep. They were more overweight and obese, Zee said.

“Now we are showing a mechanism that might be fundamental to explain why this happens. We show it’s affecting your ability to regulate glucose,” Zee said. The participants in the study weren’t aware of the biological changes in their bodies at night. “But the brain senses it,” Grimaldi said. “It acts like the brain of somebody whose sleep is light and fragmented. The sleep physiology is not resting the way it’s supposed to.”

Exposure to artificial light at night during sleep is common

Exposure to artificial light at night during sleep is common, either from indoor light emitting devices or from sources outside the home, particularly in large urban areas. A significant proportion of individuals (up to 40 percent) sleep with a bedside lamp on or with a light on in the bedroom, or keep a television on.

Light and its relationship to health is double edged.

“In addition to sleep, nutrition and exercise, light exposure during the daytime is an important factor for health, but during the night we show that even modest intensity of light can impair measures of heart and endocrine health,” Zee said. The study tested the effect of sleeping with 100 lux (moderate light) compared to 3 lux (dim light) in participants over a single night. The investigators discovered that moderate light exposure caused the body to go into a higher alert state.

In this state, the heart rate increases as well as the force with which the heart contracts and the rate of how fast the blood is conducted to your blood vessels for oxygenated blood flow.

Zee’s top tips for reducing light during sleep

  1. Don’t turn lights on. If you need to have a light on (which older adults may want for safety), make it a dim light that is closer to the floor.
  2. Color is important. Amber or a red or orange light is less stimulating for the brain. Don’t use white or blue light and keep it far away from the sleeping person.
  3. Blackout shades or eye masks are good if you can’t control the outdoor light. Move your bed so the outdoor light isn’t shining on your face.

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6 clever tips for a great night’s sleep NewsNet5, Ohio

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How To Make Your Child a Financial Whizz

Children need to start learning about money from a young age. Whether it’s the budgeting skills we need to cope with the cost-of-living crisis or the long-term planning that helps buy a house and save for retirement, the attitudes we pick up in childhood help shape the decisions we make for the rest of our lives.

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on schools to tell your child what they need to know. Personal finance lessons are not compulsory in primary schools and not all secondary schools teach crucial skills either. So, if you want them to grow up financially savvy, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.

First, get started early. Children as young as seven can grasp the value of money, how to count it and what it means to earn money and exchange it for goods, says a study for the government’s MoneyHelper service (formerly the Money Advice Service). They can understand that you sometimes have to wait and save for things and that some choices are irreversible, say the authors, who are behaviour experts at the University of Cambridge. But they may need to be a little older before they appreciate the difference between luxuries and necessities.

The power of pocket money

The study found that allowing children to make age-appropriate decisions about their money can help them create positive habits. You can start with children as young as three or four, by giving them pocket money and letting them decide how they spend it.

“Once they are old enough not to put it in their mouth, then give them some money,” says Juliette Collier of the charity Campaign for Learning tells The Guardian. “If, for example, they end up wanting to spend that money on sweeties, then make it clear they can’t spend the money on something else. Let them make choices, and experience the consequences.” Introduce the idea of saving and show children that they may need to save their pocket money for a few weeks if they want to make a larger purchase. You could encourage them by offering to pay them a bonus if they save a certain amount.

An introduction to investing

As children get older, expand the topics. Teenagers can learn about investing through their Junior individual savings accounts (Jisas). If they have an investment Jisa, talk to them about what it is invested in and why. From the age of 16 they can make investment decisions about their account, but they can’t withdraw the money until they are 18. This could be a good opportunity to let them make some decisions about their investments. 

It’s important to show them all the different assets they can invest in, such as stocks and bonds, as well as ways to do so, such as funds, investment trusts and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Doing this will reduce the chance that their first experience is with cryptocurrencies or other high-risk markets.

Before your child lives away from home for the first time, they need to learn about budgeting. Help them make a list of all their regular incomings and outgoings, such as subscriptions. Show them how much they spend each month then look at how much they have coming in. This is also a good time to discuss saving regular amounts for emergencies. Don’t forget to explain how tax and pensions affect your income. Show them your payslip so they can see how much of a wage is deducted for national insurance, income tax, and pension payments.

Finally, teach your child about debt. Discuss debts you may have, such as credit cards or a mortgage. Show them how the interest rate on debt is much higher than on savings. Explain how not repaying debts on time can affect your credit rating and your ability to borrow in the future. These lessons will hopefully help them avoid problem debts in the future.

By: Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Source: How to make your child a financial whizz | MoneyWeek by

“Instilling great money management behaviour in your children does not have to be an arduous exercise. You can help them learn by implementing a few key changes in and around your home,” Steward says.

Teach them budgeting by example – Include your children in family budget discussions from an early age. In older generations, money was often a taboo topic and not considered suitable for polite conversation. Break the cycle by talking to your children about money choices. For example, you could discuss how much money you saved over the lockdown period by eating at home, rather than eating out. Or talk to them about the monthly electricity bill and the cost of using your tumble-dryer in winter months.

Pay them in cash – You may give your child an allowance or expect them to do chores in return for a small payment. Either way, pay them in cash and then help them allocate those funds towards different costs. This is a great time to teach them Elizabeth Warren’s 50/20/30 budget rule. You could charge your children a 10% tax so that they learn the pain of being taxed early on. Warren’s rule is to divide up your after-tax income and allocate it as follows: 50% on needs (what you have to spend money on, for example, make them buy their own airtime), 30% on wants (such as the latest Playstation game), and 20% to savings. This will also open up the discussion about learning to differentiate between needs and wants.

Play money games – Learning can be fun. Include money games in family time. Monopoly is a game of luck but players also learn valuable lessons about the balance between spending and saving. The Game of Life starts each player out with a sum of money and as you advance through the game, you quickly learn that the players who choose to study are likely to have higher paying jobs and finish life on a more secure financial footing.

Take your children grocery shopping – This is less about the treats they can sneak into the trolley and more about teaching them to compare prices and shop wisely. Sometimes buying two 500g packets of pasta can work out cheaper than buying a 1kg packet of pasta. The lower-priced items are usually placed on the lowest shelves while the higher-priced items are at eye-level. When you spot a “special” sign, find out what the special is – sometimes, it’s simply the regular price with a special sticker on it.

Teach them about opportunity costs. Children are typically wired for instant gratification. Opportunity cost is simply the consequence of your financial choice, but very few people, let alone children think this far ahead. Spell it out for them until they start thinking differently. For example, “if you spend your money on this video game, you won’t be able to afford the wireless keyboard you wanted to buy next month.”….

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ExxonMobil loses bid to dismiss AG Healey’s climate change lawsuit

Massachusetts’ highest court on Tuesday rejected a bid by ExxonMobil to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state that accuses the oil giant of misleading the public about the role its fossil fuels play in causing climate change.

The lawsuit filed in 2019 by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey alleges Exxon launched an effort, “reminiscent of the tobacco industry’s long denial campaign about the dangerous effects of cigarettes,” to deceive consumers and investors about climate change.

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Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court upheld a lower court ruling that rejected the company’s argument that a state law shielded it from the lawsuit.

A phone message seeking comment was left with Exxon, which has denied spreading disinformation about the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming.

In a congressional hearing last year, the company’s CEO, Darren Woods, told lawmakers that its public statements on climate “are and have always been truthful” and that Exxon has “long acknowledged the reality and risks of climate change” and “devoted significant resources to addressing those risks.″

The Massachusetts lawsuit says Exxon engaged in a “sophisticated, multi-million dollar campaign” to sow doubt in climate science and downplay the link between fossil fuels and climate change. The lawsuit says Exxon also undertook “greenwashing campaigns” in an effort to portray itself as environmentally responsible.

“Rather than honestly disclose and mitigate climate change risks, ExxonMobil’s misrepresentations about and failures to disclose those risks have delayed the needed transition to clean energy around the world and make these existential climate-driven threats to the global economy more likely to occur,” the complaint says.

Healey called the court’s ruling a “resounding victory” in the state’s efforts to “stop Exxon from lying to investors and consumers.”

“Exxon’s repeated attempts to stonewall our lawsuit have been baseless, and this effort was no different. We look forward to proceeding with our case and having our day in court to show how Exxon is breaking the law and to put an end to the deception once and for all,” she said in a statement.

Lawyers for Exxon argued in court documents that the company’s statements about climate change and energy policy were “protected petitioning activity” even if they were made to defend the company’s reputation.

But the top court said the law Exxon claimed should protect the company in this case doesn’t apply to government enforcement actions brought by the attorney general.

It’s the latest twist in years long battle between Massachusetts and Exxon. The company previously unsuccessfully sued Massachusetts in an effort to block Healey’s investigation into Exxon and climate change.

By: Alanna Durkin Richer

Source: ExxonMobil loses bid to dismiss AG Healey’s climate change lawsuit | WBUR News

ExxonMobil said today it plans to grow shareholder value by delivering solutions that help meet the global need for energy and for lower greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer, outlined how the company’s strategy leverages its capabilities and competitive advantages at the annual meeting of shareholders.

  • Annual Shareholders Meeting highlights company’s plans to play a leading role in the energy transition
  • Strategy focused on five priorities to sustainably grow shareholder value
  • Streamlined business structure to take advantage of technology, scale and integration

“We have opportunities to play a leading role in helping society achieve its net-zero ambitions and in meeting the world’s growing demand for energy and essential products,” said Woods. “Recent events have reminded us how globally connected energy markets are. They’ve also underscored the importance of our role in creating sustainable solutions that improve quality of life, while supporting a lower-emissions future.”

ExxonMobil in April streamlined its business structure to consist of three core businesses – Upstream, Product Solutions and Low Carbon Solutions – to fully leverage the company’s competitive advantages of scale, integration, technology, functional excellence and highly skilled workforce.

ExxonMobil is focused on five key strategic priorities to sustainably grow shareholder value:

  • Leading industry in financial, operational and environmental performance, including across key metrics of safety, reliability, greenhouse gas emissions intensity reductions, earnings and cash flow growth.
  • Being an essential partner through creation of innovative solutions for customers, partners and stakeholders.
  • Upgrading the company’s advantaged portfolio to ensure it leads competition and delivers value across a range of external environments and through volatile and evolving markets.
  • Continuing to innovate, providing solutions that meet the growing needs of society reliably and affordably. This means new products, technologies and approaches that better meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs and can be deployed at scale to create meaningful impact.
  • Developing the company’s workforce and maintaining a diverse and engaged organization that provides every individual unrivalled opportunities for personal and professional growth with impactful work meeting society’s evolving needs.

Woods highlighted the company’s strong performance in 2021, noting that earnings significantly improved to $23 billion and cash flow from operating activities totaled $48 billion, the highest since 2012. Future plans include structural cost savings of $9 billion per year by 2023, compared to 2019, and more than $15 billion of investments through 2027 on initiatives to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

They include investments to reduce emissions from company operations and to advance critical technologies like carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and biofuels, which together are expected to develop into multi-trillion-dollar markets in the decades ahead.

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