E-spoons E-zine
June 2012

Spoonful of Science banner


You'll eat better if you sleep better and you'll definitely lose more fat. Be weary of sleeping tablets their sleep benefits may be overrated, rather try out a rock-a-bye bed, if you need help sleeping like a baby and consider throwing out that really old pillow, it could be causing nightmares. Before climbing into bed check for vampires and bed bugs, so as to avoid burning in bed. Unfortunately these strategies won't help fight off the fire in your BIG BELLY but burying the burnt wood will suppress carbon emissions. But taking smelly bites and sipping wine with your dinner will help and so will finding a non-gastronomic way to satisfy your NEED for pleasure.

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 -  download the pdf here   

You’ll eat better if you sleep better
Student eating take awaySleep deprivation definitely upsets your physiology – which can cause fuzzy thinking and put you on the path to adding extra layers of fat to your thighs. But the metabolic upsets may begin with a far more simple problem.   Lack of sleep leaves you too tired to eat properly. 

Researchers from City University of New York, wondered if the connection between obesity and sleep deprivation could boil down to,  sleep deprived people just being too tired to care.

To test out their theory, they roped in a bunch of undergraduate students and peeked into their hectic lives. The group included 9 girls and 12 guys. Each student was issued with a diary.  The student was asked to record their frenzied student existence, in terms of how many hours of zees they actually caught each night and what they ate each day, for a period of 7 days.

Being a student is harder work than you might imagine.  Sleep was often problematic.  The researchers confirmed, the more sleep deprived individuals were not only sleeping less, they were eating “out” more often too.  

The reason junk food prevails in the sleep deprived  – it takes too much effort to pull together something in the kitchen,  back home.
We often hear the saying, you are what you eat.   But since what you eat, is often related to how well you sleep – maybe it is time for new mantra................
You are how you sleep !
Return to Table of Contents
If you don’t include this in your diet – you won’t lose fat
Fat cells creeping out while lady is sleepingYou’re sick and tired of looking in the mirror at the FAT version of you.   You’ve decided to go on diet.

  • Your diet programme involves cutting things out of your life..........
  • You cut out chocolates and cookies  
  • You cut out full cream milk 
  • You cut out the four teaspoons of sugar in your cup of coffee  
  • You cut back on sleep

 Okay, it might not be in your diet plan, but life is really busy, eating healthy and exercising is time consuming.  Something has to give....................  an hour or two of sleep won’t make much difference, or will it ? 
The amount of sleep DOES make a difference to how much fat you lose !
Follow the link to learn more about why dieting without getting enough  sleep, is like throwing a spanner in the dieting wheel.
Return to Table of Contents

Looking for a speaker for a parents evening or other function ?

Heffa-lump advert
 Is a FREE presentation which provides parents with tips and tools to help beat childhood obesity.
Drop me an e-mail at drsandy@spoonfulofscience.comto make a booking.


Sleeping tablets bring sleep benefits but they don’t bring  health benefits
Sleeping tablets not always a health moveYou get it, sleep is REALLY important, so you climb into bed early each night, ready to catch your required 8 hours.   


The neighbourhood noises and brain ruminations rudely interrupt your OFF time.  Two hours later, you’re in bed, but you’re still not actually asleep.

You need HELP !   Is a sleeping pill the answer ?  Follow the link to read more about the pros and cons of that sleeping tablet.
Return to Table of Contents
Rock-a-bye beds needed to get big people sleeping like babies
Swinging bedEvery mother quickly learns the secret to getting junior to fall asleep, is to keep moving.  The rhythmic to and fro movement, mesmerizes tired eyes, quieting the troubled infant until a peaceful sleep descends.  Ironically as grown ups we graduate from the swaying crib, to a rigid padded board – ever wondered why as adults we ditch the moving bed ?
Researchers from the University of Geneva invited 12 adult volunteers to catch a few zzz’s on their custom-made rock-a-bye baby bed.  The team confirmed that swinging beds are an express elevator to dreamland.  Every participant transitioned into sleep faster, when the bed was moving.  But  they didn’t just fall asleep quicker, the moving bed took the nappers deeper into the world of dreams.

Read the full post if you think it might be time to get one of these beds.
Return to Table of Contents 

Pillow talk can lead to nightmares
Pillow sprinkling fungiAs you lay your head to rest, you are banging heads and rubbing noses with a few million mycelious associates.

Researchers from the University of Manchester have found, those soft plushy cushions we’re using to support our heads, as we recoup our bodies and souls each night, are also supporting a million plus fungal spores. 

Click here to find out exactly what a team of curious researchers discovered when the teased open a couple of pre-owned pillows.

It was “A nightmare on Pillow Street”.

Dust mites eating fungi – fungi eating dust mite pooh.

Should you be worried ?  What should you do ?  Read the full story...
NB.  Washing the pillow case won’t remove the pillow peeps.Bacteria sucking another bacteria dry
Return to Table of Contents

When a vampire sucking the life out is a good thing
The odds of you being bitten by a vampire, are probably slim and none, but the fear of being sucked dry, is not necessarily completely unfounded – think mosquitoes and bed bugs.  

Even bacteria need to watch out for these scary monsters........

Find out if  bacterial vampires could be the next generation of antibiotics.
 Return to Table of Contents

If one of these moves into your neighbourhood you’re doomed

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite...

Bed bugs moving inThis is something that is a lot easier said than done.  Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, are taking over beds around the globe. One factor contributing to their growing presence is that traditional insecticides, no longer work against them. But the real reason they’re winning the bed warfare,  has a lot to do with the fact that they’re playing with an unfair genetic advantage.
Researchers from North Carolina State University tracked the take over of three multi-story apartment buildings in North Carolina and New Jersey. 
There discovery was chilling..............

A single female bed bug, who has been mated, can walk through the front door of an apartment building and quite literally ................. take over the building.  Leaving every “bed” with a bug or two over a period of time.

NOTE :  She is unlikely to literally walk in the building, she is more likely to arrive seated in someone’s favourite chair or other piece of furniture.  So if your neighbour acquires a second hand couch, be afraid, very afraid – it only takes one bed bug  to take over the neighbourhood.  
Follow the link to find out why bed bugs and cockroaches will inherit the earth and keep human beds burning.
Return to Table of Contents
Biochar storing carbon underground
 Most green thinking dwells on the idea of decreasing green house gas emissions.  For the individual, this boils down to

  • using less power, by switching things off and unplugging,
  • using more efficient appliances and light bulbs and

For the broader community it is about switching to alternative fuel sources, such as the sun, wind, waves etc.  
But a less explored idea to solve the problem of too much carbon in the atmosphere, would be simply be...

To put it back underground.

There are a couple of big engineering projects looking at ways to gather up the extra carbon dioxide that is floating about and pump it deep underground.  But capturing carbon and storing it underground is not dependent on high tech state of the art engineering.  The ancients were doing it and more-or-less anyone can do it, if they know how.  Read more ....

Return to Table of Contents

That big belly of yours is on fire if you have type 2 diabetes
Man with a belly on fireIf you’re sporting a pot belly, you probably think it is a giant sac of very full fat cells, but this is not quite true.  It is true, a big portion of that belly is filled with rather unhappy stuffed to overflowing fat cells, specifically the white kind, whose job it is to store all those extra calories you routinely gather, for a rainy day.   

But, because of their continuous whinging and whining, tucked in among the fat cells packing the belly, are lots and lots of macrophages.

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine think it is the marcophages, not the fat cells, that are the problem in type 2 diabetes.   

Read the full story to learn more about how macrophages are setting diabetic bellies on fire.

So if you’re diabetic, lowering sugar levels is not enough, you’ve  got to smother the belly flame through better body chemistry.  
Return to Table of Contents

Need help

Smelly bites are smaller bites so chew on smelly food when on diet
Eating smelly foodWhen you load up the fork – do you pile it on, so that the fork is straining under the load ?  Or is the fork virtually naked when it lands in your mouth ?
Research published in Flavour journal shows bite size depends on what is in the bite.  Smelly foods tend to be consumed in much smaller bites.  The principle does not only apply to foods which are often regarded as being “bad” smelling, such as gorgonzola cheese, it also applied to foods with a pleasant aroma too.

Follow the link to find out more about the ins and outs of biting into a sizzling scented custard desert.

If you’re thinking who cares – big fork loads could be a recipe for overeating.  Rapidly shovelling fork loads of food into the system quickly, can create a disconnect in the brain wiring monitoring how many calories you’re consuming.  A momentary delay in the “I am FULL” message, can leave you overloaded with calories.  Calories that will ultimately end up being worn – on your hips and belly, as fat. 

So choose to make your food smell by spicing things up a little.

Return to Table of Contents

A glass of wine winds down more than just your head
Sipping wine slows your digestion downA touch of alcohol will help take some of the stress out of dinner.  The biochemical stress, not just the psychosocial stress you encounter, because you’re eating with the in-laws.  

Follow the link to find out why wining and dining turns out to be good for digestion, because the alcohol slows down digestion enough to relieve postprandial stress, without bringing digestion to a screeching halt.

So, don’t be too afraid to enjoy a glass of wine, with good friends and good food.  It really is good for you. 
BUT REMEMBER – one glass takes the edge off, more alcohol than this can flatten the system, leaving you a little more stressed, not less.  And wine like most things that taste good, is not calorie free !  
Return to Table of Contents

Of course, if you over indulged in this gift from the gods, this Easter, then you need to enrol in my programme.
Cheat the Fat Genes
Learn how to “fix” the fat problem once and for all, by getting your body chemistry balanced.
Eating chocolate is a physiological necessity
Fruit fly being deprived of sexSome things feel really good, others feel like a chore.  The feel good things all have one thing in common – they trigger a splurge of the chemical dopamine,  in an area of the brain known as the Nuclear Accumbens. 
Getting PLEASURE is not a physiological nicety, it is a physiological necessity.  Even for fruit flies.....

Now when it comes to birds and bees, the “Not tonight honey, I have a headache” excuse is seldom evoked .  But in the laboratory all things are possible. Researchers from  University of Missouri-Columbia,  tormented one group of male fruit flies by depriving them of a little lady love. Another group enjoyed the embraces of multiple females.

Afterwards, both groups of flies were offered the opportunity to chow down on a fruity snack.  Some of the fruity snacks had been spiked with alcohol, a whopping 15 %.
Spiked fruit – PLEASE
Sex deprived fruit flies found solace in the spiked fruit snacks, but the flies that had been hob knobbing with female company, were content to enjoy plain fruit treats.   The research team speculate that the sex deprived flies needed a little dopamine boost,  to feel better about life the universe and things.  Sipping a little alcohol gave them that dopamine lift. Flies that had been enjoying the PLEASURE of female company, were already feeling pretty good, so they did not need a pharmacological boost.

If the humble fruit flies needs a little pleasure,  then as a human ........
You  also need to satisfy your PLEASURE need.
Follow the link to learn more about how to satisfy your pleasure need without eating the box of twinkies.
Return to Table of Contents
Other stories from the blog this month..............

Did you enjoy the E-zine ?   Forward the E-zine to a friend or

 Like [E-spoons] June 2012 - Our Beds are Burning 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 month’s 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.
Neurotechnology Tips for June  

Good and bad days begin early in the morning How you get your kicks is wired into your brain Sticking to your goal requires a moving target

Next month we'll experience some "Hairy Moments"   Look out for the July  edition of E-spoons in your inbox on 4 July 2012 (the first Wednesday of the month). 

Yours scientifically
Dr Sandy

Phone :       +27 (0)11 452 2207
Cell :           083 262 5023
E-mail :

 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
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 © 2012 Spoonful of Science, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp