The real reason for the hangover and why you should be late in everyday

The Good Life Letter 

19th August 2016

  • New virus research doesn’t make sense, until you read this
  • Of mice and men – a tale of early morning misery
  • Why raw and pure Manuka honey is the revelation

Last Tuesday a bit of research hit the headlines that set me thinking.

A team from Cambridge University had shown that virus infections were more prominent and developed more quickly in the morning than in the afternoon.

On first reading you tend to say so what? If you are taken to muttering into your beard over your breakfast, then you might even say “how much did they get paid to find that out?”

I must admit that was my reaction because the implications of this information aren’t immediately obvious – especially as it offers no insight into what a mere mortal is supposed to do with it.

Then I began to chew more slowly on my toast and honey, contemplating the opportunities...

First, I considered the potential for the Sunday morning after the Saturday night at the rugby club...

...”Well dearest, when I got home from the game I was feeling on the top of the world, almost chipper you might say. I could have proven this to you if you had woken up for a chat rather than telling me to get off!”

“But, when I woke this morning I felt dreadful and can only think that I had contracted a virus of some kind in the early hours which would explain my headache and churning tummy!”

Chances of success? Not great, so I moved my thoughts on...

Over the winter everyone is sneezing, coughing and blowing their noses as colds and flu take their effect.

So, what a fantastic excuse for those who are forced to use public transport to have a lie in:

“I was going to come in on the early train as normal but science has shown that I risk getting an infection that way, so thought it would be safer for me to get in on the midday train instead.”

Again, I can’t see many bosses falling for that one – and anyway they would insist you walk into the office and work much later to catch up.

Clearly I needed to find out more about this research.

Mouse flu and cold sores

The report said that mice were infected with either influenza, which causes flu, or herpes virus, which can cause a range of diseases including cold sores.

Some were exposed to the pathogens in the early morning and some in the evening and the extent of the replication of the virus assessed by blood test. The mice infected in the morning had 10 times the viral levels of those infected in the evening.

The team concluded that the difference was significant as it proved that in order to develop into a major problem the viral cells needed to have access to a fully functioning body.

In the evening many of the core systems close down and are not available to the invading species – so they fail to thrive.

The late viruses were failing after essentially trying to hijack a factory after all the workers had gone home.

Further work by the researchers found that risk of infection was worse in those with disrupted body clocks such as those on shift work, or affected by conditions such as insomnia and Seasonal Affected Disorder in the winter months.

Of course it might be argued that because mice are mostly nocturnal then the overlay of these findings onto humans would be reversed. However, the researchers were clear that what they found in the mice is exactly what they expect when the trial is replicated in humans.

So, where does that leave us?

Sleep well and bolster your defences

From what I interpret of the results it seems that taking time to rest and relax in the evening is important.

If you are still charging around and worrying about the next day then your body is fully active and any viruses that you have encountered will be able to harvest their bounty.

Getting a nice relaxed sleep is also a great way to deny the little blighters the chance to raid your body, so developing a calming and soporific routine is all important – of course there are really good natural aids to sleep available if you find dropping off difficult.

That leaves us with the conundrum about what to do to prevent the morning invasion.

Clearly waking and putting a medical mask on is both impractical and plain silly – I mean how are you going to brush your teeth and swill your face with one of them on?

Also, resorting to a cocktail of antiviral pills and potions is also a non-starter, and everyone knows what a bad idea I think the flu vaccine is – medical science can’t be relied upon.

However, the answer lies in something else.

Something ancient, a wisdom of the Pharaohs’ and indeed a natural remedy so potent even medical science has to use it when their drugs and chemical warfare fail.

For thousands of years honey was THE natural defence mechanism, and by having it every morning at breakfast you will be stopping the virusses in their tracks.

Don’t miss out on the way you can put a protective barrier around yourself every morning, and really delight in doing so in the process.

Yours, as always


P.S As if it was a surprise the government has flunked the Childhood Obesity Report. As predicted they have caved in to the big food companies – it really is time to begin the food revolution at home, meal by meal.

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