What happens when I...skip a night's sleep?
First, the good news:
If you get to bed for at least three to four hours you're not going to do major biological harm. "The majority of your slow-wave sleep, which is the most restorative type, occurs in the first third of the night," says sleep expert Dr Delwyn Bartlett from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. What you are likely to sacrifice, though, is stage-two sleep which is associated with relieving fatigue, and REM sleep which aids memory and recall, so do expect to feel super-tired and less mentally sharp until you catch up again.
Dr Bartlett suggests getting a dose of early morning sunlight and a nap at some point before 2pm to at least make you feel a bit better. But be warned, before bedtime creeps round again you can also expect to hit the kitchen: a short night of sleep sends levels of appetite-increasing hormone ghrelin soaring. No wonder it’s been shown that people consume an average of 20 per cent more kilojoules when they're tired.
What happens when I... floss my teeth?
You chase away the bugs:
Floss and brush your teeth and you eliminate nearly 800 million different bacterial species from your mouth, according to Dr Walter Bretz, associate professor at New York University College of Dentistry. Add some antibacterial mouthwash and you'll destroy a total of nine billion bugs, and keep them away for the next 12 hours.
You're fighting disease:
Which is good news, as mouth bacteria doesn't just cause tooth decay and gum disease, it's also linked to greater risk of heart disease, stroke and premature birth.
What happens when I... kiss someone?
You engage your brain:
Before your lips are even puckered your brain gets involved, according to research by the University of California, San Diego. As you move in to kiss, blood flows into a part of the brain called the ventral intraparietal area that helps determine exactly where you should plant your lips to avoid a lip/nose mismatch! Once connection is made, you’ll find yourself exercising 34 face muscles and 112 postural muscles and creating a major chill-out.
Smooch your stress away!
According to research by Dr Wendy Hill at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, kissing slashes levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lowering stress levels. It also raises levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin. No wonder there's now a perfect kiss prescription for a happy relationship: it's four a day – and three cuddles – if you're interested.