E-spoons E-zine
December 2011

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The sandman needs blue light, a cool brain and sweet smells to bring you a dream.  Enjoy the fruits of the man in the moon as he inspires your body's beauty therapists to give you a face-lift, fluffs up glucose metabolism and breeds real jocks. As 2011 draws to a close, to see clearly you need to keep an eye on  those distant objects, don't let BIG FISH scare you to death but be scared of the edible Christmas gifts which could quickly end up on your hips, a problem liposuction just can't fix. MERRY CHRISTMAS !

The E-spoons E-zine is a monthly compilation of stories appearing on 7 Big Spoons™ blog.  The stories are based on the latest science tit bits and will help you become a little healthier, wealthier and wiser by explaining the why.  As a friend of Spoonful of Science you have been included on our mailing list – should you wish to unsubscribe follow the link at the bottom of the E-zine.

Reading on line is exhausting so if you would prefer to read your copy of E-spoons in the loo -  downlaod the pdf here.    

The sandman needs blue light
The sand manIt’s not just your teeth that turn yellow as you age, the lenses  in your eyes, also takes on a yellow hew.  No, you don’t have to worry about being mistaken for a yellow eyed alien, since the change can only be detected using state of the art equipment. You can still see perfectly fine through a yellow lens.  But the yellow lens could account for why you’re struggling to catch that much needed shut eye.

Danish researchers suspected aging lenses were keeping older citizens awake at night.  To test out their theory they examined the lenses of 970 volunteers,  using lens autoflurometry,  a non-invasive technique that measures how much blue light hits the retina and then related this to how well the person slept
The data analysis revealed a distinct pattern.  Sleep disturbances occurred most often, when the blue light could not get through to the retina due to yellowing of the lens. So if you’re getting on in years – those sleeping blues, might be due to a blue light deficit.
Follow the link to find out what can be done to fix the problem

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It takes a cool brain to sleep
Brain cooling machineThe temperature, quite literally the °C, not some metaphorical temperature, of the brain’s frontal cortex determines how well you sleep.   Brain temperature is connected with brain metabolism.
The “awake” status of  the sleepless brain, means that the neurons keep firing away as usual.  Firing neurons are metabolically very active, they’re BURNING sugar to provide themselves with energy to keep going.  BURNING sugar means they’re generating heat.  This  heat is what  keeps restorative sleep from coming and the person suffering from insomnia tossing and turning all night.

When things are running “too” hot – we cool them off with a little “ice”.   Researchers tinkered around in the laboratory to create a ........... brain cooling machine.
To find out how to build your own brain cooling device  follow this link.
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Sweet dreams require sweet smells
When volunteers are exposed to “foul” smells such as rotten eggs, their dreams turn dark and negative. In contrast, a night of breathing in air laced with rose scents,  brings light and  fluffy pleasant dreams in the Bad smells bring bad dreamsmorning.

It is unlikely you would deliberately expose yourself to rotten egg like smells during the night.

But you may be accidentally flavouring your dreams ........

  • Where are  your gym takkies relative to your bed ?
  • What about that sweaty T-shirt and those dirty underpants you climbed out of and dropped in a heap on the floor  ?

What about the not quite finished cup of coffee or other bits of forgotten food, which are lying on the side table ?

As the night wears on, the activities of the microbes tasked with chemical clean-ups,  might be creating a few pungent odours that end up producing nasty pictures in your head , disrupting your sleep.
So strive for sweet dreams !  Read the full article
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Fruits of the man in the moon
As the International Year of Forests ends, I want to close the series with the touching story of the moon trees.
It is a story of  how one man, Stuart Roosa, who loved forests , grabbed an opportunity to take his first love to the moon and back, leaving a legacy to man and tree.  Read the story of the moon trees.
The International Year of Forests is drawing to a close –  what have you done to celebrate trees this year ?   Give a Christmas gift to the world – plant a tree !
Forest logo
Remember, forests provide shelter to people, habitat to biodiversity; are a source of food, medicine and clean water; play a vital role in maintaining a stable global climate and environment. Forests are vital to the survival and well being of people everywhere, all 7 billion of us.
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 The UN has declared 2012 to be the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, so each edition of E-spoons will take a moment to focus on this important issue. 

Your body’s beauty therapists  are only active at night
Beauty therapists at work at nightI am sure you’ve at one time or another,  purchased one of those very expensive “special” creams, which promises to be able to defy father time and keep your skin looking and feeling young.  Researchers from the Centre for Genomic Regulation,  suggest the secret to age defying beauty, may not be in that nourishing NIGHT CREAM, but rather IN THE NIGHT itself.

Guided by the body’s clock, mother nature’s beauty therapists (skin stem cells), take care of blemishes, breaks and general wear and tear on the skin. 

But skin stem cells need to time their activities to avoid being blasted by the sun, so to keep your clock (face) looking beautiful,  you need to keep the body clock ticking .............. 
To learn more about the clock watching antics of your body’s beauty therapists follow this link
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Sugar molecules jumping up and down on the bed
Fluffs up glucose metabolism
How many nights do you end up short changed  ?

  • you’re pushing the envelope to get everything done before you climb into bed or
  • you're so wired from the events of the day, that you just can’t turn off or
  • the baby is crying, the partner is snoring or the neighbour’s car alarm is howling

Researchers from Leiden University Medical Centre  in The Netherlands discovered on short night (i.e a 4 hour night instead of an 8 hour night) is enough to alter a healthy person’s insulin sensitivity.  Cells in a body that are short changed on sleep, are a lot less  responsive to insulin.
Getting enough sleep does more than just ensure you’re a fairly nice person to be around and don’t look too bad, it powers your metabolism.
Make getting your EIGHT HOURS a priority and protect yourself from developing diabetes.
Read the full article here
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Real jocks do if for 8 hours a night
Testosterone struggling to lift the weightIf you want to be a man’s kind of man – then make sure you don’t stay up too late.  Too little sleep can turn you into a sorry looking wimp because  it takes a full nights sleep to load up with testosterone.

A University of Chicago study found that a week of less sleep (5 hours a night), caused testosterone levels to drop by 10 to 15 % in young healthy males.   Low testosterone doesn’t only impact on bedroom prowess,  it can decrease muscle mass and bone density, cause poor concentration and fatigue as well as put on weight.
Be warned, it is not macho to climb into bed after the midnight, night in and night out.  

NB. Strive to be the guy with the most testosterone ie. the alpha male since HE RULES THE WORLD. 
Read the full article or check your alpha male status
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Keep an eye on those distant objects
BoardeyeWe’re always told... .... practice makes perfect.   This advice doesn’t just apply to acquired skills,  it also applies to biological skills.   If you want to see things in the distance, you need to practice i.e. spend time outdoors, under the sun, staring into the horizon.

Every hour outdoors counts for your eyes, decreasing the chances you will suffer from myopia (nearsightedness).
To find out more about why a little outdoors gives you x-ray vision for a lifetime, read the full article.
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Don’t let big fish scare you !
 Scared to deathI am sure you’ve heard the expression.........


 The stress is killing me !

 For dragonflies, this is not an exaggeration, but a reality.  The fear of being eaten is enough to send them to an early grave.
Who / what is “trying” to eat you ?
Follow the link to read how a gaping fish mouth flapping nearby, sends baby dragonfly to an early grave.    
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Be scared of the edible Christmas gifts
Killer cookiesThe holiday season brings with it numerous opportunities to EAT.  You eat more and are exposed to  extra servings of “NICE THINGS” i.e. carbohydrate laden delicacies, as you attend year end functions.  A  lot of those NICE THINGS,  end up coming home as gifts,  given by well meaning friends and colleagues,  unfortunately, these “gifts”  invariably end up on your hips.
So how do you deal with these marvellous culinary delights, that whisper “Eat me, eat me !”, every time you spy them.
Well, let’s not kid anyone, it is going to be tough, so does science offer any tools that can help you resist temptation?    
Your brain likes instant rewards, so ignoring the cookie calls, sets you up for a pigout, as the cookie reward escalates.
To beat the cookie calls you need to “obliterate” the reward.  It can be done with a little creative thinking - follow the link to find out how.
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Do you find yourself constantly craving sugar  ?

Those sugar cravings are not an indication that you have no self-control, but a sign that your body chemistry is unbalanced.  Dr Sandy can help you understand YOUR chemistry and advise you on how to fix it.
So if you’re feeling fatigued, fragile, foggy, frumpy and/or fed-up  have a  one-on-one health conversation with Dr Sandy over a cup of coffee  and find out how to get your body chemistry balanced for optimum health.
Liposuction feels like the fat problem is fixed but it isn’t
Maybe you’ve asked Father Christmas to bring you a “thin” body for Christmas and you want it NOW.   
So should you mortage the house you live in, to fix your body house ?  
  • The plastic surgeon will say yes. He is making money.
  • Your significant other might say yes too.  Your shape will improve,  temporarily at least.
  • The science says – probably NOT. 

LiposuctionThe quick fix fat removal does not last forever, in fact, within a year it is back !  Using state of the art equipment which allows the positioning of fat cells to be pin pointed with precision, University of Colorado researchers mapped the position of fat cells in people who had undergone liposuction.
They found the fat creep back, ALWAYS occurred.  The NEW fat cells  often showed up in different places, particularly around the belly, but they showed up.
NOTE :  Belly fat is the most dangerous kind of fat, because this is the fat which is most metabolically active, contributing to the numerous health risks associated with those extra pounds.

To be fair, painting a negative picture of fat creeping back following liposuction is only a half truth. Most of the time, fat returns with vengeance following any attempt to extricate it from the body.   
The problem is not unique to humans, it happens in rodents as well,  so it is unlikely just a will power thing.  Clearly, the body doesn’t appreciate losing its blubber layer and works hard to restore it.  

The why is still a little unclear, but it is driven by disturbed body chemistry.
If you are already a card carrying member of the fat club – do what you can to cancel your membership,  before you move onto becoming a premium member suffering from diabetesetc.
There is not going to be a quick fix, to get the weight off and  keep it off,  you have to fix your body chemistry.

If you want a little help, maybe ask “Father Christmas” to sign you up for my brand new “Cheat the FAT genes programme” which will be launching in January 2012.
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Other stories from the blog this month..............   

 Did you enjoy the E-zine ? 
 Like [E-spoons] December 2011 - Mr Sandman send me a dream on Facebook

 Thank you for taking the time to read the e-zine. I love hearing from readers, so drop me an e-mail to let me know which story you enjoyed the most,  did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective.

 Did you catch this months Neurotechnology Tips  ?

Neurotechnology tips provides tit bits of science to  help you buzz up your brain performance.

Click here to have a Neurotechnology Tip delivered directly to you in box next week.

December Neurotech Tips

If you think a topic is easy, then start studying it NOW ! Your brain needs periodic surprises to keep focused Pulling an all-nighter leaves your brain unable to think straight

After the inevitable  excesses of the holiday season,  will be time embarking on a little DETOXING in January .   Look out for it in your inbox on 4 January  2012 (the first Wednesday of the month). 

Yours scientifically

Dr Sandy
Phone :       +27 (0)11 452 2207
Cell :           083 262 5023
E-mail :       drsandy@spoonfulofscience.com

The cartoons were drawn by Guy Alain Ngangob– drop him an e-mail if you need a cartoon or two.   If you want to access the science articles used to compile the newsletter visit the relevant pages on the blog and follow the link.   
Copyright © 2011 by Sandra Evans.  YOU ARE WELCOME TO COPY the e-Zine's contents for use in your own  newsletter, company or club publication, BLOG or website.  Please give proper credit and a link back to http://www.7bigspoons.com.
Disclaimer : The e-zine is provided as a service.  Dr Sandy’s reports and opinions are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe.  For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

Copyright © 2011 Spoonful of Science, All rights reserved.
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