Thursday, August 23, 2012

A lack of sleep makes you fat

Well sort of. 

Actually, a poor sleep routine can seriously undermine a healthy diet, which leads to eating the wrong foods at the wrong times which in turn leads to putting on weight, making it difficult to lose weight or  keeping weight off. 

Or put another way, when we're tired, we're more likely to snack on bad stuff that makes us fat, so a way to avoid snacking on bad stuff that makes us fat is to make sure that we're not tired. Which won't be the case if we don't get the sleep our bodies need. 


Also, if you eat healthily then you're more likely to sleep well, as a healthy diet already contains the goodies that can contribute to good sleep...magnesium, potassium, calcium, Vitamins B & D.

So if you eat well, you're more likely to sleep well and if you sleep well, you're less likely to eat badly. 

And you'll be less likely to get, stay or go back to being fat. 

I think that's what's known as a virtuous circle.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Social animals need more sleep

All animals sleep.

In fact nearly all organisms experience a "circadian rhythm" dictated by the 24-hour cycle of night and day.

But interestingly, creatures that live in large social groups - for example, humans, dogs and baboons - seem to need more sleep than most.

The theory goes that we need to take time out from the tribe as a form of social isolation in order for our brains to carry out the vital unconscious task of working out our place in the social pecking order.

So while we just go gooey over a pile of sleeping puppies, it might well be that they're busy working out who's going to be at the front of the queue at milk-bar opening time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Man's Best Friends Don't Let the Bugs Bite

So how on earth can you tell if the place you are sleeping has bed bugs?

Bed bugs are elusive and usually nocturnal, which can make them hard to spot. They often lodge unnoticed in dark crevices, and eggs can be nestled in fabric seams. Aside from bite symptoms, signs include fecal spots, blood smears on sheets, and molts.

Bed bugs can be detected by their characteristic smell of rotting raspberries. Bed bug detection dogs are trained to pinpoint infestations, based upon tests conducted under controlled conditions, researchers have shown accuracies of 97.5%. The success rates in these tests may not reflect real-world conditions but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.

Our four legged friends can often detect in a matter of minutes where a pest controller might need an hour. In the United States, about 100 dogs were being used to find bed bugs as of mid-2009.