Sunday Reads: Of DST and the benefits of naturism for children

Did you remember to move your clocks forward one hour before you went to bed last night?

Apparently, a lot of people will be grumbling about the switch to Daylight Savings Time for a few days, and many people will be dragging their butts through the Monday workday because of the “lost hour of sleep.” At least, those people who didn’t go to bed at least one hour earlier than usual on Saturday night . . .

A majority of people, some 75 percent, “are working tired,” according to a survey quoted in a Toronto Sun article.

“Losing an hour of sleep will mean an already tired workforce will be working on even less shut-eye,” says Alex Saatjian, division director at Accountemps, an accounting staffing agency.

But it is not only job performance that will suffer, the article says. People who didn’t get enough sleep are likely to eat more junk food, have weakened immune systems, and so much more. Why, even the stock market might suffer a loss.

Researchers have found a spike in car accidents, heart attacks, workplace injuries, along with a dip in the stock market and workplace morale. Springing forward can trigger seasonal depressions – a Danish study found an 11% increase in depression cases after the seasonal change.

Which is why my partner and I went to bed earlier than usual last night, and this morning I’m wondering what all the fuss is about.

No depression here, but I am wondering why we maintain what the article calls “a nonsensical tradition” of moving our clocks forward in the spring.

But that’s another story. Grumbling about it won’t change anything . . .

On another note: The Toronto Star has a nice piece about naturism, with the focus on the benefits of “raising kids around social nudity.”

Brandie Weikle, billed as “a parenting expert and the host of The New Family Podcast and editor of thenewfamily.com,” writes about new research that confirms what most naturists already know: “(it) found that those who spend time naked or partially naked around others like their bodies more, regard themselves more positively and are more satisfied with life.”

She writes:

From a young age we are surrounded by images that suggest the only attractive body is the kind that’s worthy of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue or the front of a Calvin Klein underwear box. (Dr. Keon) West’s research found that exposure to “non-idealized” bodies counters the negative effects of all those buff bods we see on billboards.

Weikle interviews a mother of two who discovered Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in Ontario, and decided to give it a try. You guessed it: she is a confirmed naturist today.

Weikle also interviewed one of the park’s owners, Stéphane Deschênes, who teaches a course on naturism at the University of Toronto. He says he has studied all the academic articles and research studies on the effects of naturism on kids, Weikle writes, quoting Deschênes with this:

If I put on my academic hat and do my best to be critical, the most cynical interpretation is that non-sexual nudity has no impact on children. However, most studies suggest positive effects in terms of confidence, self-esteem, and body image.

And desexualizing the body. That’s the important thing.

Of course, naturists know all this stuff already. But many non-naturists don’t have a clue about this subject, beyond the wink-wink, nudge-nudge comments made on TV talk shows and the like.

There’s none of that in Weikle’s article. It’s a serious, informative and well-balanced piece of writing on the subject — and what you would expect from a responsible parenting expert.

It’s a must-read for any parents not already in the know about the benefits of naturism.

About Sunday Reads posts: This is a weekly feature giving us all a chance to point to an article or two or three that we found interesting in the preceding week, or the morning of. They can be offbeat, humorous, weighty commentary, whatever. So, if you have any recommendations, please point to them in the readers’ comments section below.

— Jillian

Photo: Families swim at naturist camping spot Monts de Bussy, Haute-Vienne, France. (Photo: Alain Tanguay/Wikipedia)

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