Working more than 45 work hours per week for at least 10 years may be an independent risk factor for CVD.

“ This research is a heads-up for hard working people. If you must, want to or just enjoy working more than 45 hours a week, counteract the risk factor by exercise, good consistent diet habits, stress control, good interpersonal relationships, mindfulness, good sleep habits and a regular lifestyle, not having wild variations in your weeks. This risk applies to most physicians in patient care; it is unavoidable. Their skills and knowledge are so needed, they have a strong reason to work excessively.” Bill Chesnut, MD.

Working long hours may be linked to higher risk of heart disease, study suggests

The New York Times (3/10, Bakalar) “Well” blog reports that research suggests “the more hours you work, the greater your risk for heart disease.” Investigators “found that for each additional hour of work per week over ten years, there was a 1 percent increase in the risk for heart disease.” The findings were published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. _________________Ama 3.10.1

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: ____March 2016 – Volume 58 – Issue 3 – p 221–226


Dose–Response Relation Between Work Hours and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Findings From the Panel Study of Income Dynamics                 Conway, Sadie H. PhD; Pompeii, Lisa A. PhD; Roberts, Robert E. PhD; Follis, Jack L. PhD; Gimeno, David PhD

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the presence of a dose–response relationship between work hours and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a representative sample of U.S. workers.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 1926 individuals from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1986 to 2011) employed for at least 10 years. Restricted cubic spline regression was used to estimate the dose–response relationship of work hours with CVD.

Results: A dose–response relationship was observed in which an average workweek of 46 hours or more for at least 10 years was associated with an increased risk of CVD. Compared with working 45 hours per week, working an additional 10 hours per week or more for at least 10 years increased CVD risk by at least 16%.

Conclusion: Working more than 45 work hours per week for at least 10 years may be an independent risk factor for CVD.


Exposure to flashes of light the night before traveling may help reduce jet lag, study suggests

“This is fascinating to read in the original article. It has a good discussion of sleep patterns. “Temporal integration of light flashes by the human circadian system“  Bill Chesnut, MDsystem.”

Exposure to flashes of light the night before traveling may help reduce jet lag, study suggests

The Wall Street Journal (2/8, Reddy, Subscription Publication) reports that research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests exposing someone to flashes of light the night prior to traveling may help reduce the likelihood that he or she will experience jet lag.

CNN (2/8, Grinberg) reports that in the study, participants slept in a “lab, where some were exposed to continuous light for an hour and others were exposed to a sequence of flashes of various frequencies for an hour.” Investigators found that “exposing people to two millisecond flashes of light, similar to a camera flash, every 10 seconds elicited two hours of change in circadian timing.”

STAT (2/8, Swetlitz) reports that “a couple of individuals in this group saw a shift in their internal clock of up to three hours.” Comparatively, study participants who were “exposed to continuous light for the hour experienced an average change to their circadian clocks of only about 30 minutes.”

Health and Diet


Prioritize Sleep!

“ This is so important for brain health and personality growth.” Bill Chesnut, MD

Cleveland Clinic Wellness newsletter_September 24, 2015

Total recall: Boost your brainpower by prioritizing sleep.
Get a good night’s sleep before, say, a family reunion and your second cousins’ names will be flowing from your tongue like water from a fountain. Sound slumber, known to protect long-term memory, also makes memories easier to access. On the flip side, poor sleep makes it harder to learn, to make decisions, and even to distinguish between friendly and unfriendly faces. Stay sharp by treating sleep like the health essential it is. Three steps to get started: 

Say hellooo to sunshine. Get out in the morning sun to normalize your circadian rhythm, which makes you alert during the day and sleepy at night (what a concept!). 

Exercise, but not too late. Evening exercise can rev you up just when you want to feel sleepy. But physical activity during the day helps you sleep longer and more deeply. 

Dim your devices at night. Blue wavelength light from electronic devices suppresses melatonin, your brain’s natural sleep-beckoning hormone. Stick with good old-fashioned paper books, or — even better — turn off the lights and practice meditation. 

You may also want to know:

Let Go of the Day to Enjoy Restful Sleep 

How’s your sleep hygiene

Stay sharp with 20% off our brain health products 


Words spoke aloud change mood.

“Want your happiness to grow? Think as a gardener. Words spoken aloud change mood, proven fact. Try it!” Bill Chesnut, MD. 

Happiness is creatable every day. Words spoke out loud, exercises, appreciation, mindfulness all work with a little practice.

Cleveland Clinic Wellness newsletter_November 15, 2015
Instead of the casino approach to happiness, which relies on Lady Luck — try the gardener’s methods.

Cultivate your soil. Just as plants need nourishing soil to grown in, so too does happiness. Think of your daily habits as your “soil.” Too much work and stress, and not enough sleep and exercise, deplete it. Nourish your soil with nutritious foods, daily exercise, relaxation, quality sleep, and time for friends — a pro-happiness environment.

Plant the right seeds. “Planting seeds of happiness takes intention, but it works,” says Jane Ehrman, Med, Cleveland Clinic behavioral health specialist. When something positive happens — anything from noticing a beautiful sunset to being offered a job you want — bask in the feeling for 20 to 30 seconds. That’s how long it takes to start to rewire your brain — or plant more seeds. “When you’re faced with something difficult, deal with it, but then focus on the positive facts within the situation,” Ehrman says.

Water and sun. Daily meditation and a few morning sun salutations will help your happiness garden thrive. Get plenty of actual sunshine and water, too!


Hitting the slopes? Just “beet” altitude sickness!

“Beet juice is handy to know about if you live in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or even higher than 5000 or 7200 feet.  Help protect your low attitude guests so they enjoy their visit.” Bill Chesnut, MD
January 12, 2016
Hitting the slopes? Just “beet” altitude sickness!
Hitting the ski slopes or another high-altitude terrain this winter? Channel your inner mountain goat all you like, but you may want to pack some beet juice for good measure. Altitude sickness — which affects about half of all travelers to elevations above 8,000 feet, regardless of fitness level — can seriously cramp your vacation style with several days of light-headedness, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Your blood vessels, which deliver oxygen throughout your body, depend on the oxygen in the air to do their job. It normally takes several days for your blood vessels to adjust to the decreased oxygen levels — a process called acclimatization — but researchers have found that drinking beet juice can speed up the process. The magic ingredient in this jewel-colored root vegetable? Nitrate. Your body converts this compound to nitric oxide, which helps to normalize blood vessel function. (That same mechanism may explain why beet juice has been shown to benefit athletes and people with heart failure.) More time enjoying the mountains? This idea just can’t be “beet”!


Common Cold Virus and Sleep.

“People who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times as likely to get sick after being exposed to a cold virus as people who snooze for eight hours or more. Three times!! That is worth turning off the screens and turning in earlier.Bill Chesnut, MD

Feeling run-down? Don’t sacrifice sleep. Getting less shut-eye is linked to a lower resistance to colds.   by Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors

The sun is shining, the weather is perfect and you’re feeling miserable. Though we usually associate colds with the winter, you can come in contact with one of the 200 viruses that cause the common cold year-round. One place where you’re likely to be exposed: long-haul flights. The more people on the plane and the more time you spend in their presence, the greater your risk of infection. According to research in the Archives of Internal Medicine, you can reduce your risk of illness by getting enough shut-eye. People who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times as likely to get sick after being exposed to a cold virus as people who snooze for eight hours or more. If they slept poorly, they were five times as likely to get sick. According to the researchers, a good goal to aim for is between seven and eight hours each night.