Weekend reads: Why is it so hard to get out of bed in the morning?

Interesting stories and studies from the past week

The Daily Briefing editorial team highlights several interesting health care stories and studies that didn't quite make this week's Briefing. What are you reading this weekend? Let us know in the comments.



Paige Bashuck's reads

The infection that makes you drunk without drinking. Staff members at a Texas ED were puzzled when a man asked to be admitted to the hospital because he was drunk—but he had not been drinking. When he took a breathalyzer, he blew five times the legal limit. Thinking that the man must be a closet drinker, the nurses put him in isolation—hours later and no booze, he’s still drunk. Turns out the man had a unique infection of brewer’s yeast in his gut that fermented any sugars he ate into alcohol—effectively rendering him drunk.

Unless the Nationals start winning, D.C. residents are going to get fat. Fans turn to fatty, greasy food when their favorite sports teams lose, according to study from a market research firm that studied the eating habits of football fans. Researchers found that fans' fatty food consumption increased by as much as 28% when their team lost. So, stadiums may win out in concession sales, but fans lose in the long run.



Juliette Mullin's reads

We smell 10 types of smells. Researchers have determined that the thousands of aromas that humans are able to smell can be categorized into 10 types of smell. Each attribute reflects "important attributes about the world," such as food and danger.

How to hug—without the awkward. Writing in the Washington Post, Peggy Drexler—who fears "registered personal-space invader[s]"—reviews the protocol for hugging in our "medium touch" culture.



Dan Diamond's reads

Why is it so hard to get out of bed in the morning? There are a number of potential culprits, one sleep specialist explains, which include failing to practice good "sleep hygiene" (which includes not watching TV or doing work in bed) or whether you're taking medications that alter your sleep patterns.

But don't overlook the obvious cause: You just didn't get enough shuteye the night before.

Why are younger runners getting slower? Race times are dropping for younger endurance athletes rather than improving, Kevin Hellicker writes at the Wall Street Journal. That's partly because many of these newer runners are less driven by, and some observers see it as a commentary on American competitiveness, a reflection of our "growing embrace of mediocrity." But I think it's a function of how racing has gone from a narrow sport, largely limited to elite runners, to an activity that you do with your friends or to achieve. And that seems like a pretty good thing.


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