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How flying disrupts our body’s behaviour

When you cross many time zones, cues such as light exposure and mealtimes are disrupt- ed, putting your internal clock and the external cues your body receives out of sync.

Tania Moffat

ver feel you need a vacation to get over your vacation? Jet lag is a real problem for travellers and can last for several days, depending on your body and the direction and distance you have travelled.


Today jet lag is considered a tempo- rary sleep disorder, but for years it was written off as just a state of mind. Stud- ies have now shown that the condition actually results from an imbalance in the circadian rhythms (physical, mental and behavioural) that regulate our body's nat- ural or "biological” clock. These rhythms control sleeping and waking, the rise and fall of our body temperature, the plas- ma levels of certain hormones, hunger, mood and other biological conditions that are affected largely by our exposure to sunlight.

Symptoms come later

Any time you travel quickly between two or more time zones, as you do when you travel by air, your body’s circadian rhythms are affected. Essentially, your body’s biological clock becomes stuck on its original schedule, causing you to expe- rience symptoms such as daytime fatigue, disturbed sleep, difficulty concentrating at your normal level, gastrointestinal problems, mood changes and a general feeling of being unwell. Symptoms usu- ally present themselves within a day or two of arrival. When you cross multiple time zones, cues such as light exposure, mealtimes and social engagements are

Jet lag is temporary, but it can leave you feeling fatigued or unwell days after your flight ends.

disrupted, causing a de-synchronization between your internal clock and the ex- ternal cues your body is receiving. The more time zones you cross, the more intense the symptoms you may ex- perience. While the symptoms are tem- porary, they can affect your business or pleasure travel. Interestingly, symptoms are worse when you travel west to east, with the body requiring up to a day to re- cover from each time zone crossed. A per- son travelling from Winnipeg to Dubai, United Arab Emirates may take nine to 10 days to recover from the nine-hour time difference, but only needs five days to recoup from the flight home. Why? Jet lag seems to be worse when you lose time than when you gain it. It can also worsen

u For Her Heart's Sake We now know that women’s heart dis-

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ease is the most significant health threat facing women today. It kills one in three women every year, more women than men, and twice as many women than all cancers combined. Forty-two per cent of women die one year after their first attack versus 24 per cent of men, and 46 per cent become disabled with heart failure. Recent research has also identified that women’s hearts are different, and that there are important differences in the way women experience heart disease. With a majority of women now in their “heart and stroke prone years”, Gail is passionate about ensuring that women have

the life-saving information they

need to prevent and overcome heart dis- ease. She recently agreed to chair the Vic- toria General Hospital Foundation’s $1 million community fundraising campaign For Her Heart’s Sake.

“We lost Mom too early in her life,” says Gail. “Mom would have welcomed and championed this project, and I am proud to have the opportunity to do this in her memory and her great name.” For Her Heart’s Sake will invest in three urgent health care initiatives, includ- ing a community awareness campaign to engage, educate and empower women and others to prevent and reduce heart disease. A first step cardiac care program for women will provide urgent treatment to survivors of life-threatening cardiac events who have previously been unable to receive treatment, and a three-year clinical research study will generate new, gender-specific and ground-breaking re- search to transform future diagnoses and treatment of women’s heart disease. For Her Heart’s Sake will be funded exclusively through private donations. The campaign has raised $300,000 to

Little Spark on the Prairie

Winnipeg made headlines last month when the National Geographic named it as one of the world’s 20 must-see places in the coming New Year, assuring its readers that our “unpretentious prairie city” is worth more than a glance from the train window.” In tribute the famed magazine noted:

affectionately called the Peg by locals, blipped onto in- ternational radar screens in 2014 when the Canadian Museum for Human Rights opened here, and again this past summer when the FIFA Women’s World Cup passed through. Planted midway between Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Winnipeg is a whistle-stop on rail and road trips across Canada; polar bear and beluga whale enthusiasts know it as the starting point for their journey north to Churchill. But this unpretentious prairie city proves itself

W December 2015

innipeg, the capital of Manitoba, doesn’t usu- ally find its way onto bucket lists. This multi- cultural, multilingual metropolis of 800,000,

worthy of more than a glance from a train window. Winnipeg’s 30-block Exchange District hums with music venues, galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. Win- ter brings notoriously bone-chilling temperatures—but that doesn’t stop Winnipeggers from skating the frozen Red River to applaud winners of the annual warming- hut competition, or heading to St. Boniface, Winnipeg’s French quarter, for the Festival du Voyageur, one of the city’s many festivals. “I love the Peg,” says Martina Hutchison, an assistant at the Manitoba Museum. “But I hate to brag too much about it because I don’t want it to get any bigger.” - Kimberley Lovato

date, and is counting on the generosity of individuals, local businesses and organi- zations to reach its goal.

An urgent appeal

“Working together in our shared com- munity and beyond to support For Her Heart’s Sake has never been more impor- tant. This health threat is real and the $1 million is a necessity. We must stop heart disease from killing the women we love – our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends – making our families and com- munities healthier and stronger!” *For more information on For Her

Heart’s Sake, as well as signs, symptoms and survival tips to prevent women’s heart disease, please see the insert in to- day’s edition of Lifestyles 55.” Karen Taraska-Alcock is the owner of Hire Marketing and Marketing Lead for the Vic- toria General Hospital Foundation For Her Heart’s Sake campaign.

as you age and, unfortunately, conditions that we experience with air travel, such as the changes in cabin pressure associated with high altitudes, low levels of humid- ity, the lack of physical movement and possible dehydration can increase symp- toms regardless of time zones. Frequent travellers who struggle with jet lag should consider seeing a sleep spe- cialist or physician with training in sleep medicine. Light therapy, melatonin, pre- scription medication can all assist with symptom control. Travellers crossing multiple time zones, flying east, who are older adults and frequent flyers such as flight attendants and business travellers are at the highest risk of experiencing jet lag.

u A long day's work

wash the clothes... Continued from page 1

a woman’s shoulders. While a husband or father was away at work, the women of the house were expected to perform all the daily duties required to keep the house- hold running. And each day started early. Most women were up at or before day- break. For rural women, the day began with chores around the farm, such as collecting the eggs and milk for the day’s meals and to sell. In addition to preparing breakfast for the family, the wife may have been ex- pected to draw the bathwater in the morn- ing, and prepare the laundry and mend- ing that she would do in the after- noon. Many women also tended veg- etable gar- dens and picked fruit and berries. With her husband off at work, or working in the fields, and the chil- dren away at school

Myrna Driedger Broadway Journal

or work, the woman of the house would get down to the more difficult chores. This included cleaning the house, baking bread, doing all the family’s washing and mending of clothes, and unless she could afford help or new equipment, most of this would be done by hand. Not only did a woman have to think of each day’s meals, she also had to plan for the weeks and months ahead. Canning and preserving vegetables was an essential part of living in Canada because during the winter months fresh fruits and vegetables were simply not available. In the spring and summer, wom- en of the household, sometimes working with other family members or neighbours, would spend long hours preserving food for the coming winter.

These women were tough

And remember, she would most likely do all her work while still watching and caring for her younger children. While some might have been old enough to at- tend school, families tended to be larger in the early 1900s, so there were always younger children at home. After the chores were done, the woman of the house would prepare and serve the evening meal, then clean and wash the dishes used for the meal. The next day she would do it all again.

At the turn of the last century, women were tough. Not just because they worked long hours doing grueling labour, or be- cause they took care of their children and husbands, but because they did so in con- stricting outerwear, dresses, corsets and stockings. When Nellie McClung was a young woman, a typical day’s dress would include stockings, undergarments, a cor- set, a slip and a blouse and a long skirt or long dress. Dresses and skirts reached down to the ankles, and most sleeves ex- tended all the way to the wrist – even dur- ing the hottest days of summer. So as you can see, life was very differ- ent for women at the beginning of the 20th century. For Nellie to have had the courage and energy to do all that she did was truly remarkable. We all have much to thank her for. I hope that you value the privilege we have to choose our political representa- tives. Regardless of whom you voted for, I certainly hope that you exercised your right to vote in the recent federal election. And wouldn’t it be gratifying to see wom- en of all ideologies line up at the ballot box on April 19, 2016 to vote for your MLA in the provincial election?

Myrna Driedger is MLA for Charleswood. 5

Collect the eggs, draw the bathwater, bake the bread,

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