Did you know that many small animals that stay in cold environments during the winter go into a brief daily hibernation-like state? Scientists call it torpor. Torpor allows the animals to lower their body temperatures greatly, and their breathing and heart rate are so slow you can barely tell they’re alive. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Nestled in your brain is a biological clock that matches the 24 hour clock of a day. However, they may be another clock. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Turn up the heat in the body, and many body processes speed up, including the production of white blood cells and how fast they find infectious bacteria and viruses.
Sometimes we get letters here at Moment of Science asking whether psychics are for real.
Researchers agree that optimum napping time is between fifteen minutes and two hours. During a nap that’s shorter than fifteen minutes, you never enter the most restful phase of sleep. But if you sleep for over two hours, you might not be able to fall asleep when you turn in for the night.
When you have a cold or flu, the doctor (or Dr. Mom) may tell you to drink lots of fluids. But did they ever explain why you need to guzzle all that water and juice?The extra fluid helps prevent dehydration, which can make you feel even worse, and make it harder to get well.
When immune cells detect an infectious organism, they produce fever-making chemicals. These chemicals prompt the body to produce prostaglandins, which turn up the thermostat in the brain.