WELLNESS
01/23/2016 07:02 am ET

ICYMI: Your Brain On Sleep And Why People Buy Milk During Blizzards

Health stories you may have missed.

ICYMI Health features what we're reading this week.

This week, we read up on a time-honored disappointment: institutions under-reacting to problems under their purview.

A story that tracked the history of Flint, Michigan -- where officials ignored citizens' pleas to investigate the city's public drinking water -- found that Flint's trouble with lead has much deeper roots than the latest water crisis. Another story examined an industry-funded claim that chocolate milk could help with concussions, a conflict of interest that the university that published the claim still hasn't addressed. 

And in lighter news, as the East Coast hunkers down in the face of a blizzard, we learned the psychology behind the run on milk, eggs and bread at our local grocery stores. 

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

1. Milk, Bread, And Eggs: The Trinity Of Winter-Storm Panic-Shopping -- The Atlantic

Glenn Asakawa via Getty Images

Buying perishable goods may help shoppers feel in control of what's essentially an uncontrollable situation. 

To stock up on cozy foods like milk and eggs is to clearly demarcate the storm as a time to put on sweatpants and not go anywhere. Buying a bunch of canned foods -- a more practical choice -- is decidedly less cozy, and may even carry unwanted survivalist overtones.

2. What Your Brain Is Really Doing While You Sleep -- The Huffington Post

Sleep scientists explain why getting adequate rest each night is so important.

Better sleep = better humans. Simple as that.

3. The University Of Maryland Has A Burgeoning Chocolate Milk Concussion Scandal On Its Hands -- Science Of Us

Jack Andersen via Getty Images

When the university published a press release claiming that chocolate milk improved football players' brain function after concussions and couldn't produce a study to back it up, journalists rightly freaked out.

A situation in which a glowing study of a product is partially funded by that product’s manufacturers is never a good look, but in this case things are particularly shady.

4. Lead Contamination Exists Throughout The U.S. -- But Flint Has A Special History -- Washington Post

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, started long before the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River.

We're in some sense suffering from a century of blowback -- these children are suffering from a century of blowback from this industrial history that this community represented.

5. The Living Dead -- New York Times Magazine

Jeffrey Coolidge via Getty Images

In an attempt to more accurately understand death, scientists are studying the bacteria that grow in people's bodies after they die.

Beyond our last breaths, beyond the complete cessation of brain function, some intimate truths about us -- what we once ate, the drugs and medications we once took, the homes and hospitals we once visited -- seem to persist in our microbes.

6. Cocaine Causes Your Brain To Literally Eat Itself, Study Finds -- The Huffington Post

Brookhaven National Laboratory via Getty Images

In mice, cocaine can trigger the delicate process by which cells cannibalize their insides, which can easily go awry. 

Cells of the mice that had been exposed to cocaine 'committed suicide,' (yes, you read that right) in one of several known ways of doing so that are chemically programmed into the cell.

7. The Happiness Code -- New York Times Magazine

IvelinRadkov via Getty Images

A Silicon Valley group seeks to teach self-improvement and productivity using rational thought, but it's hard to ignore the movement's cultish undertones. 

'There’s something about being in there that feels hypnotic to me,' he added. 'I wouldn’t say it’s a social pressure, exactly, but you kind of feel obliged to think like the people around you.'

Also on HuffPost:

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