Today’s Headlines: Neck Manipulation, Sugar Cravings, and Windowless Offices

Neck manipulation may be associated with stroke. All that twisting may not be so good after all. A new study has found a link between recent neck manipulation and cervical artery dissection, a condition resulting from small tears in the wall of an artery. These tears can appear after sudden trauma and expand in between the layers of an artery wall, leading to stroke if it happens in arteries found in the neck. The authors “focused on four large studies that were mainly associated with strokes involving the arteries of the neck. They found that people who had these types of strokes were more likely to have had some type of neck manipulation. But, the studies they looked at couldn’t determine what caused people’s strokes. It’s possible that people may have sought neck manipulation therapy for symptoms that were really the early stages of stroke. These tears often cause pain in the back of the neck that may be misinterpreted by both the patient and a healthcare provider.” (Reuters)

More sleep might cut your sugar cravings. Your next diet might involve lying in bed a little longer. A new study has found that sleep deprived, overweight adults who “got an average of 96 extra minutes of sleep per night, cut their cravings for sweet and salty junk food by 62 percent and reduced their overall appetite by 14 percent.” Participants in the study started at six and a half hours per night before bumping up to the optimal eight hours. Authors think cravings increase without sleep because “[w]hen we are sleep deprived, we incur a metabolic cost for being awake, so we tend to compensate for this extra energy expenditure by eating. With all the tempting snack foods so widely available, we tend to overeat and choose unhealthy foods.”(CBS)

Windowless offices may be killing your sleep. A new study out this week has found that workers with natural light in their offices “got an extra 46 minutes of sleep during the work week and reported better health overall.” Your brain normally uses natural light to time its internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Without natural light during the day, it can be tough for your brain to set this clock properly. “Even on nights when ‘windowless workers’ hadn’t been at the office, they still got less sleep,” likely because their body clock had already been set while at work. The authors suggest an “architectural design of office environments that places more emphasis on sufficient daylight exposure for workers in order to promote health and well-being.” And maybe supplement with lunch outside. (Fox)