Guru Kate – Sleeplessness and Hot Sauce

How can I keep from falling asleep in class?

Well I hate to repeat the old adage, but the best answer is to get more sleep at night. According to Dr. William Dement of Stanford, young adults need at least eight hours of sleep per night. If everyone got this much beauty sleep, the world would be a much prettier place.

There’s all that “studying” and “making flashcards” and “reading” getting in your way. While these are lovely code words for “facebooking”, not getting sleep is counteractive to learning.

Not only do you end up with fluttering-eyelid syndrome in class, but the few hours of sleep you do get aren’t spent integrating new information into your brain. Just maintenance and recovery.

Looking for the easy way out? Try a protein-packed breakfast. Skip simple carbs, such as white bread toast. An egg omelet will provide a filling meal that is ultimate brain food. According to, proteins contain tyrosine, a compound that boosts energy levels for the long term.

So not only will you be able to stay awake during your 8:30 Languages of Small Ancient Civilizations lecture, but you’ll be able to LEARN in the mean time! What a concept.


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How is hot sauce made? What is the hottest hot sauce? Why does milk help alleviate hot taste?

Hah, wouldn’t it be great if hot sauce could be used to stay awake in class? That might be a bit too obvious. Flames spouting from ears, nose and mouth. Followed by the run out the door for a water fountain. Not recommended.

Anyways, if you are interested in making your own hot sauce, you’ll need tomatoes, Serrano peppers, white vinegar, salt and pickling spices. According to, you essentially chop, mix, distill, grind, filter and can. I think I’d prefer to stop by Fred Meyer and save my weekend.

However, if the hottest stuff to touch your lips (besides your current beau) is more your taste, try Blair’s 16 Million Reserve. Named after its rating on the Scoville scale (a measure of how hot something can be), Blair’s is pure capsaicin. This compound is actually a natural selection tool, allowing certain desert critters to spread pepper’s seeds, while others feel the burn of a thousand suns.

When capsaicin comes in contact with a taste bud, it results in a burning sensation from a nerve reaction. According to Wikipedia, capsaicin is a fat-soluble compound. This is why water does nothing when your mouth is on fire – it simply swishes around capsaicin in your mouth, exposing innocent nerves to the ultimate burn.

Milk, on the other hand, has proteins known as caseins. These bind to capsaicin molecules and render the little buggers useless. So next time you opt for too hot of hot wings, channel your inner child and order a tall glass of milk.