More Useful Stuff
Some things are best watered down:
staying hydrated can help you fend off diabetes, according to French researchers. In a nine-year study, people who downed 500ml to a litre of water daily were 36% less likely to develop high blood sugar or diabetes than those who drank less. Study author Dr Ronan Roussel says that when you’re dehydrated, your brain pumps out more vasopressin, a hormone that tells your liver to produce glucose.
Sunbathing boosts fertility
You know the feeling – when the sun shines your libido goes through the roof, thanks to the plethoraof bare skin. It’s also due to the extra vitamin D you get from sunshine. Scientists found men with at least 30 nanograms of vitamin D per millilitre of blood had more testosterone than those with less. It also boosts sperm quality, adding to speed and penetration, according to the Medical University of Graz in Austria. So, worship the god of sex from your sun lounger – but don’t neglect your SPF!
Sleep like a baby
Mattress makers should take a cue from cradles: in a study in the journal Current Biology, men who napped for 45 minutes on a slowly rocking bed fell asleep 40% faster than when napping on a regular bed. Rocking may make you feel relaxed, and the motion itself sends signals to brain regions that help induce sleep.
We know you don’t SMS and drive (see p242 for more on that), but do you SMS and walk? Researchers in England report that focusing on a visual task impairs your hearing, which means texting while walking may be dangerous. SMSing as you cross a street may result in you not hearing an approaching car – your brain ignores sounds unrelated to what your eyes are focused on, says study author Dr Nilli Lavie.
Which tea is best for reducing blood pressure?
Hibiscus. A six-week test of 65 men carried out by Tufts University found those who drank a cup of this tea three times a day saw a significant drop in systolic pressure, compared to those who drank a placebo.