Usain Bolt's Name, Vaping Lies & Multivitamins

The Weekly Dose - Episode 101

Sleeping In The Heat…

A lack of sleep makes you feel miserable at the best of times and it’s particularly unenjoyable in the heat – here’s my go-to things to ensure you have a blissful night’s rest when its roasting out!


1.     Avoid naps:

I’m usually a pro-napping enthusiast but sometimes when it’s particularly humid and hot, I try to avoid afternoon naps just in case I stray into sleeping territory (i.e naps that creep towards and beyond 5pm).

This can make you feel less sleepy at night, especially if you aren’t a regular napper

2.     Keep the bedroom cool:

Might seem strange me suggesting this but keep your windows closed in the day, then open at night and keep your curtains/blinds shut in the day and open at night.

This way the hot air outside during the day doesn’t enter your home to raise the temperature. This will help with sleep as your body needs a drop in body temperature to get to sleep.

3.     Optimal bedding:

If you can, try to use bedding that is more breathable - fibres like cotton or linen to stay cool.

4.     Lukewarm showers before bed:

Yes, freezing cold showers will paradoxically make your body equilibrate by raising your core body temperature, however a lukewarm or tepid shower will trigger a lowering of body temperature, thus making you feel sleepy!


What You Should Read…

The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires

– Grady Hendrix

I’m only a short way through this and it’s actually a bloody brilliant ready regardless of whether you enjoy vampire fiction or not.

Imagine a southern American housewife – husband is a workaholic, children are busy… the only thing keeping her sane is a book club..

Then she meets an incredible man…and some kids in town also start to go missing the same time she meets him.

So far equal parts hilarious and thrilling. I’ll give a full review once I’ve finished, but I know its going to be good.


Does Your Name Determine Your Destiny?

Ask Usain Bolt..

There is a strange word for this known as nominative determinism – the belief that people tend to lean towards careers that fit their names.

e.g. Usain Bolt – sprinter…

In fact there was also a weather presenter called Sarah Blizzard

Anyway, there is some limited research suggesting we have a preference for letters in our own names and this may affect decisions in life – perhaps a career or the place you want to live in.

Researchers in the University of Utah tried to investigate whether there is any psychology or science behind this. Using AI trained to hunt through social media, google books, google news, twitter and more to link peoples names with their professions and cities they live in – they ended up with 3,410 names.

The researcher found consistent evidence of some correlation between people’s names and a preference for major life choices starting with the same letter as their first name! Weird.

The study was cross sectional in nature and only provided a snapshot but it is still interesting nonetheless.

Maybe it’s time for this Karan to become a karate instructor!


The Truth About Vaping…

You might have heard some headlines a few years back that vaping Is “95% less harmful than smoking”. This was in fact based on complete nonsense.

I went on a deeper dive into the topic of vaping and its risks, its benefits as a smoking cessation tool and its link with the tobacco industry. I was surprised to uncover lots of murky connections and bad science.

You can watch the full video here and make up your own mind:

Do Multivitamins Help You Live Longer?

TL:DR – an analysis of 400,000 healthy adults finds no health benefits from taking daily multivitamins.

Now for more nuance and details:

Researchers in the US analysed the health records of nearly 400,000 adults with no major long term diseases to assess the impact of daily multivitamins on their risk of death over the next 2 decades.

Rather than live longer, people who consumed daily multivitamins were marginally more likely than non-users to die in the study period. This doesn’t mean multivitamins are KILLERS but it simply means that multivitamin use to improve longevity is not a supported hypothesis.

Generally multivitamins overpromise and under-deliver. Instead of using multivitamins, we need to focus on food to deliver micronutrients, macronutrients and fibre.

If someone is struggling to get key nutrients from a diet, or follows a specific restrictive diet, or has specifics medical indications (nutrient deficiency, pregnancy etc) then they may be beneficial for those select cohorts of people

Don’t Give Your Kids Digital Pacifiers…

It seems like the quickest fix, your kid is angry or throwing a tantrum… you give them an iPad or electronic device to distract them or calm them down, right?

An interesting new piece of research that looked at more than 300 parents of 2-5 year-olds found that when parent used technology as a “digital pacifier” those kids showed poorer anger and frustration management skills a year later at a follow up assessment.

This highlights the importance of letting children experience negative emotions and the crucial role parents play in the process.


If you enjoy learning interesting things about science, health and medicine – especially in written form with plenty of bad jokes then you will enjoy my book “This Book May Save your Life” – order a copy here:

If you’ve already read it, I’d love if you could leave a cheeky review on Amazon! Every little helps.

For more in depth conversations around health, be sure to check out my weekly, Dr Karan Explores podcast: