News alert: Catastrophic events such as hurricanes can affect the quality of your sleep! So reports a team from a New Orleans sleep center, drawing on its experience in the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
Among other things, the findings — reported at the 21st annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Westchester, Ill. — found that "complaints related to the ability to initiate and maintain sleep showed a slight tendency to increase after Hurricane Katrina."
The study did not directly test other catastrophes such as twisters, earthquakes or tsunamis, but it might be reasonable to conclude that Southern Californians, too, will suffer shut-eye issues after the big one comes. Be forewarned.
Other gems sitting in our "surprising results" files (sent to us in press releases by earnest universities):
"Families whose meals frequently consist of fast food are more likely to have unhealthy eating habits." That's from the University of Minnesota.
"As they grow older, teenagers are spending more time in front of the computer and television and less time participating in physical activities" — another from the University of Minnesota. (Is there something about Minnesota?)
"Parents of children with sleep problems are more likely to have sleep-related problems themselves." This one, while certainly in the Minnesota spirit, is from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and Brown Medical School.
"College drinking is just as bad as researchers thought, but not worse than expected."
"People with low incomes are more likely to be under stress than their wealthier peers."
"Children who regularly have home-cooked meals and get intense exercise have a lower risk of becoming overweight."
Science. It's a wonderful thing.
— Rosie Mestel