Categories
Life

There’s conflicting advice on sleep. So what’s true?

Young woman sleeping on a bed on her back
Image: iStock

Sleep is vital for health. Everyone needs adequate, quality sleep. According to Healthline, effects from a lack of quality sleep can include:

  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Various mental health problems (irritability, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts)
  • Weakened immune system, which can affect a person’s ability to ward off illnesses
  • Increased risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes mellitus and heart disease
  • A vulnerable respiratory system. This leaves a person more susceptible to the flu and common colds
  • Weight gain and obesity

Is going to bed earlier healthier?

Although effects of a lack of sleep seem clear cut, the ‘right time’ is not.

Last week, The Australian published an article suggesting that going to bed earlier can have health benefits. The ideal bedtime is between 10 to 10.59 pm.

Going to bed at midnight or later may increase a person’s risk of heart disease by 25%.

According to lecturer, Dr. David Plans, the reason seems to be our 24-hour body clock.

Our study indicates that the optimum to go to sleep is at a specific point in the body’s 24-hour cycle and deviation may be detrimental to health.

Dr. Plans said that the riskiest time to go to bed is after midnight, as it decreased the body’s likelihood of seeing morning light.

Independent researcher, Dr. Neill Stanley blamed later bedtimes on modern lifestyle.

Like Dr. Plans, Dr. Stanley also advocates for people going to bed at a regular and earlier time. It’s suggested that going to bed even ten minutes earlier can increase health.

According to a large study by researchers at the University of Colorado going to bed an hour earlier may decrease a person’s risk of depression by 23%. This finding was published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal.

There is a physical affect of going to bed earlier. A late night may result a rise in blood pressure that carries on to the next day.

So, it seems quite clear cut. Going to be earlier and at a regular time increases both physical and mental health. Well, maybe… but maybe not.

Are bedtime needs determined by biology?

A dark-skinned sleeping baby
Image: iStock

A 2019 article from the ABC website drew different conclusions.

Health psychologist from Sleep Health Foundation, Moira Junge claimed that the ideal bedtime was a ‘myth’.

Dr. Junge said:

It’s a vague science to prescribe a bedtime for people.

Glorica Micic from the Adelaide Institute of Sleep Health at the Flinders University agreed.

She suggested that if people didn’t have commitments and could go to bed when tired, times will vary from person to person.

However, most people were believed to fall into a pattern. Most people fell asleep between 9 pm and midnight and wake up at 6 – 7 am.

Dr. Junge and Dr Micic advised to go to bed when you’re tired. They advised against going to bed earlier.

It’s possible to adjust a person’s sleeping and waking times slightly, often with professional help.

 

So, what’s the truth? Did Dr. Stanley and Dr. Plans debunk Dr. Junge and Dr. Micic? It’s always possible.

Personally, I can kind of see both arguments. However, I’m more willing to go with Dr. Junge and Dr. Micic. I think ideal bedtimes vary from person to person.

What do you think? Are you a night owl or early bird? Do you think one is better? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

Categories
Media

Britney Spears is free from Conservatorship

People celebrated the freedom of Britney Spears (Image from Sloan video “Britney Spears is FREE! Now What?)

Last week, Britney Spears’ supporters got the news they were all waiting for. After fourteen years, Britney Spears is free from her conservatorship.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Spears had argued for months that she should be free with her money and assets.

Finally, Judge Brenda Penny ruled in Spears’ favour.

As of today, the conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is hereby terminated.

 

In June, Spears spoke passionately at a hearing. She slammed the restrictions against her as “abusive”. Spears demanded that the restrictions end without another mental assessment.

Events started turning in Spears’ favour

Despite scepticism from legal experts, the judge granted Spears the right to choose her own lawyer. Spears chose Matthew Rosengart. This turned out to be a great choice.

Rosengart’s first goal was to have Spears’ father, James Spears, removed from the conservatorship. His next goal was to scrap the conservatorship completely.

Rosengart and his team also investigated James Spears. They found mismanagement of Spears’ finances. He told Britney that she could pursue legal action. He also suggested that the New York Times’ documentary allegations that a listening device was placed in Britney Spears’ room be investigated.

James Spears’ lawyers attacked Rosgengart’s allegations as impossible. They insisted that Mr. Spears had only acted in Spears’ best interests.

Spears’ rights taken away

In 2008, the battle between Britney Spears and her father began.

Spears alleged that her father had forced her into a psychiatric ward. People exaggerated Spears’ mental health symptoms.

Spears also told the court that nurses had invaded her privacy. She alleged that nurses forced her to take Lithium, a medication commonly used to treat bipolar, schizophrenia and depression.

In addition, a judge granted James Spears conservatorship on potentially dubious grounds. The behaviour of the judge was questionable at least.

And the kicker: despite forced psychiatric visits, etc, Mr. Spears still had Britney performing.

Campaigns on social media

YouTuber, Michael Sloan Hooks (aka Sl04n), has tirelessly exposed the corruption behind Spears’ court cases. He also exposed how Spears has been betrayed by her father, sister, Jamie Lynn Spears and former business manager, Lou M Taylor.

#FreeBritney gained momentum on Twitter in 2019. To this day, people are still using the hashtag. Britney has publicly thanked the people behind the #FreeBritney campaign, saying that it saved her life.

An injustice that shouldn’t have happened

I’ve never been a big Britney Spears fan. However, I have followed this fight a bit and am glad that justice for Britney has prevailed.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Britney Spears has been repeatedly exploited and betrayed by those she should have been able to trust.

Claims of her mental health and institutionalisation was a farce. It was used as an excuse to have all her rights and property taken away.

I hope that Britney can live her life in peace, now. I hope she can live her life happily, the way she wants.

 

Have you followed the #FreeBritney movement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Categories
Media

Alan Jones leaves Sky News Australia. Why are people surprised?

Alan Jones leaves Sky News Australia

Radio and TV anchor, Alan Jones left Sky News Australia.

Sky News Australia has made a collaboration with British media personality, Piers Morgan.

Jones announced on Facebook that Sky News Australia wasn’t renewing his contract for his nightly show.

 

Was he sacked?

Was Alan Jones sacked? It depends on perspective.

The Guardian Australia wrote that Jones was “dumped” due to disappointing ratings.

However, Guardian Australia acknowledged that Jones was offered a contract for a weekly show on Foxtel app, Flash.

Jones reportedly turned the offer down.

Andrew Bolt: “Alan was not sacked”

Andrew Bolt offers a heartfelt farewell to Alan Jones

Last week, Andrew Bolt gave Jones a heartfelt farewell. Bolt clearly has a lot of respect for Jones, as did his guest, TheAustralian’s Sophie Elsworth.

Bolt strongly claimed Jones “was not sacked”. 

Jones’ controversies

Jones’ critics conclusion Sky News Australia dumped Jones isn’t totally unfounded. His career was littered with controversies.

In the years following September 11, tensions mounted between Muslims and non – Muslims. Jones’ commentary didn’t help.

In April 2005, Jones went on a tirade against Lebanese-Muslim Australians. He described them as “vermin” who “rape and pillage”. 

A few months later, tensions boiled over and a riot erupted in Cronulla in Sydney’s south. 

Keyser Trad brought Alan Jones to the NSW Decisions Tribunal. In 2009, the tribunal awarded Trad A$10,000 in damages. Trad also demanded an apology.

In 2012,  Jones attacked then – Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. After Gillard lost her father, Jones barked that he “died of shame”. After backlash, including from his supporters, Jones apologised.

More recently, Jones caused outrage with his views on COVID-19. In July, 2GB’s Ray Hadley attacked Jones for suggesting an autopsy be carried out on a 27-year-old covid victim.

 Hadley, slammed Jones as “ill – informed”. He also slammed Sky News Australia and its CEO Paul Whittaker for letting it Jones’ comments go to air.

Jones’ controversial comments about covid didn’t stop there. He repeatedly compared covid to the flu and championed controversial treatments, such as Ivermectin.  It sparked YouTube to ban Sky News Australia for uploading their videos for a week. Shortly after that, the Daily Telegraph stopped publishing his columns.

 

While Alan Jones was a talented presenter, he was also a liability to the media companies he worked for. Through hyperbole and misinformation, Jones repeatedly put his employers in a tough position. 

He cost his employers money, and reputation. While not sacking Jones outright, I believe they deliberately gave Jones an offer he could refuse. 

 

 

Alan Jones is beyond retirement age

Let’s put the culture wars aside. Alan Jones is 80. That’s way beyond the average retirement age. I’m not saying Jones should have left Sky News Australia. But it was going to happen at some point.

Let younger people in the media

In the past, people have called out the media for ageism, especially against women.

Audiences have slammed Channel 10 and Prime7 for  letting go of middle age women and replacing them with yonger women or men. Speculations were rampant that ageism and sexism were at play. (The women were in their 40’s or early 50’s at the time).

To me, Jones’ situation different. Like I said, Jones is way beyond retirement age. So, why can’t someone younger take his spot. Give a new and younger presenter the mic!

 

Love or hate him, Alan Jones had a big impact in Australian media. He always let his views known. He resonated with many Australians.

 

But everything comes to an end; including careers. And it seems like this was Alan Jones’ time.

What do you think of Alan Jones? Are you a fan? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments below.