ICYMI: The Science Behind Why We Watch Cat Videos And An Argument For Sleeping Alone

06/20/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Jun 29, 2015

ICYMI Health features what we're reading this week.

This week, we took a close look at the inner workings of the brain. We validated our cat video-watching habit (which apparently makes us more productive employees), and learned that our on-again, off-again book club membership helps our self-esteem. We cringed as we thought about our 16-year-old selves reading a Q&A with a neuroscientist who studies why teenagers are so moody and impulsive.

Finally, we spent time with a candid account of one man's experience dating with schizophrenia, reaffirming our belief that a persistent stigma still surrounds mental illness in America.

Read on and tell us in the comments: What did you read, watch and love this week?

1. Cat Videos Can Give You Energy And A Positive Attitude, Study Says -- The Huffington Post
lil bub
Research shows that opting to view cat videos in favor of hard news isn't necessarily shallow. Instead it's a highly effective form of mood therapy and stress relief.

Quote: Most people watch when they're either at work or supposedly studying. They also report that the good feelings they get from watching the clips outweigh any guilt from watching them when they're supposed to be doing something else.

2. Dating With Schizophrenia -- New York Times
Michael Hedrick has been dating for nearly 10 years, and the stigma he experiences because of his mental illness, as well as his own trust issues, make connecting with someone especially tough.

Quote: Trust is a major issue for me, the crux of my daily symptoms revolves around paranoia that people are judging me and making fun of me, so trusting someone new that fast is, in the simplest terms, extremely difficult.

3. A Rational Defense of Sleeping Alone -- The Atlantic

The ever-funny James Hamblin makes a case for couples sleeping in separate beds.

Quote: Who needs another person waking you up in the middle of the night, coughing and snoring? They flop around when they can't sleep. They get sweaty on hot nights. They flop around and the mattress is all springy -- it wakes you up.

4. Insurance Still Doesn't Cover Childbirth For Some Young Women -- NPR
While the federal government requires most insurance policies to cover prenatal care for pregnant women, it doesn't have the same requirements for labor and delivery costs, which can amount to thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Quote: Pregnancy discrimination is per se sex discrimination.

5. This Is What It's Like to Have a Seizure -- The Huffington Post


Vivid illustrations depict one woman's experience suffering from seizures.

Quote: It feels as though black ink is bleeding inward from every which way, causing my vision to slowly fade out.

6. People Are Finally Talking About The Thing Nobody Wants To Talk About -- NPR
One of the biggest obstacles to education for women in low-income countries is menstruation. Without bathrooms at school or widely available sanitary products, many girls skip class school once they hit puberty. Innovative new products could change that.

Quote: The underwear is reusable. It comes with a mesh pocket that girls can fill with whatever absorbent material is readily available, from cotton to grass to torn up fabric. 'So you go kind of like McGyver style,' she says. 'Just stuff it with anything that is safe.'

7. Why Are Teens So Moody And Impulsive? This Neuroscientist Has The Answer -- The Huffington Post
teens on phone
Dr. Frances Jensen studied brain development in her lab for years before realizing she had a parallel experiment happening at home -- with her changing teenage sons.

Quote: What you’re going to get with helicopter parenting is a kind of learned helplessness. The kids have never had to make a decision, they’re not even aware that there are decisions there to be made.

8. Maybe You'd Like Yourself Better If You Joined a Book Club or Something -- Science of Us
A new study shows that membership in multiple groups leads to higher self-esteem, but not for the reasons you'd think.

Quote: In my case, that means my multiple group memberships will only improve my self-esteem if I start to fold them into the way I think about my own identity: I'm a reader, a vegetarian, a (sometimes) runner.

9. Mercury Is in Retrograde: Why Superstitions Can Be Good For You --
Being superstitious is a resiliency tactic -- as long as you don't take your superstitions too seriously.

Quote: A sense of meaning can help you cope with a tough situation and recover faster. If you think a terrible event was meant to be, you can often find a silver lining.

Suggest a correction