Losing Sleep Over Sleep Trackers + Other Stories
Every week, we corral our favorite wellness stories from around the internet—just in time for your weekend reading.
The New York Times
Across the United States, physicians and medical students are performing pelvic exams on unconscious women without their legal consent. The practice has long been considered a regular part of a physician’s training, but more women are coming forward with their stories and physicians are beginning to sound the alarm on this practice, exposing it for what it really is: assault.
The kind of talk we use with babies and small children (you may know it by its higher pitch, elongated vowels, and exaggerated emphasis) appears to help them develop language skills. While we’re not entirely sure why “baby talk” patterns work, we are beginning to understand which ones work best. And according to emerging research, coaching parents toward more effective chatter could have benefits for kids’ language abilities down the line.
40 Years Ago, Doctors Vaccinated a Group of Children in Africa. Then Something “Incredible” Happened.
In 1979, when a measles outbreak in Guinea-Bassau killed 20 percent of small children, anthropologist Peter Aaby and his research team started vaccinating against the disease with the hope of saving as many kids as they could. Those they were able to treat not only survived the epidemic but also were more likely to survive other health threats: In the following two years, the number of deaths by any cause of measles-vaccinated children totaled just a third of the deaths of children who were not vaccinated. Hundreds of studies followed; Aaby’s research team found the pattern repeated itself. What they’ve been learning could have major implications for how we design vaccines—as well as for how we understand the immune system as a whole.
Sleep trackers are designed to help us understand our sleeping habits by allowing us to measure everything from our heart rate to the sounds we make at night. The hope is that this data encourages us to get better rest. But now, sleep experts are coining a new term that stems from a lack of sleep due to these tracking devices: orthosomnia, or insomnia that comes from worrying about getting good sleep.