Science & Spirit: Charitable Sleeping, Beneficial Guilt, and Banana Cookies

Science & Spirit: Charitable Sleeping, Beneficial Guilt, and Banana Cookies


Banana peels, the negative effects of sleep loss, and the benefits of betrayal.

Sleep as an Act of Kindness

Kindness, empathy, and generosity are all foundational elements of a healthy individual and a well-functioning society. But there may be a sneaky culprit depriving us of these vital human attributes. New research from University of California, Berkeley, found that a lack of sleep causes an evident decrease in a person’s empathy, generosity, and understanding. In fact, even one night of inadequate sleep can have negative consequences.

Not only is this research imperative for understanding the widespread impact of sleep deprivation, but it also provides insight into the present state of our society. “Sleep, it turns out, is an incredible lubricant to prosocial, connected, empathetic, kind, and generous human behavior. In these divisive times, if there was ever a need for a strong, prosocial lubricant to enable the very best version of ourselves within society, now seems to be it,” stated Matthew Walker, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

Losing sleep doesn’t just affect you—it can affect the wellbeing of your entire social circle. So, prioritize good, restful slumber. It may be the best form of kindness you can offer yourself as well as those around you.

A Little Guilt Goes a Long Way

Betrayal in any relationship can ruin trust, connection, and even the relationship itself. But what about small forms of betrayal, like hiding a chocolate stash from your partner? Interestingly, new research from Indiana University found that small secrets, specifically secret consumption, can actually be good for the relationship. This kind of behavior can lead to slight feelings of guilt, but this guilt drives a partner to invest more in their relationship, for example, being more willing to watch their partner’s favorite movie.

“In our study, we found that 90 percent of people have recently kept everyday consumer behaviors a secret from a close other—like a friend or spouse—even though they also report that they don’t think their partner would care if they knew about it,” stated Kelley Gullo Wight, assistant professor at Indiana University. So, a little bit of guilt can go a long way in a relationship!

“Peeling” Adventurous? Put Banana Peels in Your Cookies!

What are you doing with your banana peels? You might find them making their way back onto your plate soon enough. Some people have been replacing pork with banana peels in a “pulled peel” sandwiches or frying them up into something akin to bacon. Now, ACS Food Science and Technology reports that incorporating banana peel flour into sugar cookies can make the treats more healthful. Even better, taste testers reported a more satisfying taste from cookies enriched with banana peel flour compared to typical sugar cookies. Grinding your banana peels into flour can create a new alternative that is rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidant compounds.

To make this banana flour, the researchers peeled ripe bananas, then blanched, dried, and ground the skins into a fine powder. If you’re interested in baking these cookies, the taste panel determined that cookies with a 7.5 percent substitution of banana peel flour had the best texture and taste compared to others with a higher percentage.

Liking our Science & Spirit feature? Dive into the science behind rituals.

Science Spirit Charitable Sleeping Beneficial Guilt and Banana Cookies

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