Julia Savacool

Just One Night of Sleep Deprivation Can Cause Next-Day Anxiety

A reason to avoid all-nighters at all costs: Just one sleepless evening can sap emotional well-being. A UC Berkeley study found that 30 percent of sleep-deprived people suffered anxiety the next day, and half of them had distress levels akin to people with anxiety disorders. Even minor disruptions in sleep—a 2 a.m. car alarm—can harm how centered you feel, since sleep may mediate the fight-or-flight response. Take no chances: Sleep with earplugs in a totally dark bedroom.

The Hidden Cost of Living in a Polluted City

You’d probably guess that air pollution is bad for your heart and lungs, but how about your eyes? According to scientists at the University College London, people who live in cities with high pollution levels are at least 6 percent more likely to develop glaucoma, a debilitating eye condition that can lead to irreversible blindness. And glaucoma is 50 percent more common in urban areas versus rural.

How You Can Strengthen Your Brain by Getting a Drum Kit

Drums are more than a thing that annoys your neighbors. It seems the instrument can change the architecture of your brain. A study in the journal Brain and Behavior put 20 professional drummers into an MRI scanner. It found that longtime drumming strengthens the corpus callosum, the large structure that connects the two brain hemispheres. It’s probably because drumming requires such advanced motor functions, with the left and right hands working independently of each other.