Nothing wrong with a nap

In our workaday world, sleeping during the day tends to have some negative associations: laziness, unemployment and depression. A 60 Minutes profile from a few months ago featured a chronically depressed woman who slept for hours and hours during the afternoon -- in response to which Leslie Stahl said something like, "sleeping during the day, no one who's not depressed does that."

A new study by a Greek health organization, however, contradicts that. The human body is designed to sleep a lot at night and a little bit during the day, and according to the study, those who do (men especially) have a 37% lower risk of dying from heart disease. A catnap helps you relax and relieves stress -- even just a fifteen minute shut-eye session. It's should be no surprise, then, that European countries in which the siesta is still common practice have a comparatively low rate of heart disease deaths.

"Most people stay awake all day rather than taking a nap - but they're fooling themselves. If they're tired, they make mistakes and are more likely to have accidents. They can't think as clearly," says Noel Kingsley, spokesperson for Siesta Awareness. (Now, that's an awareness campaign I can get behind.) "There is a natural dip in energy, about 12 hours after the deepest sleep; we get drowsy and there's a drop in body temperature. We need a short nap to refresh ourselves."

According to the BBC, "before the industrial revolution and fixed working hours, it would have been perfectly normal in northern Europe for people to take an afternoon sleep before a big evening meal. People wanted to stay sharp for the big social occasion of the evening meal, so they had a couple of hours sleep around 4pm. And then, refreshed and hungry, they would wake for their dinner and then go to bed around midnight, getting up again at daylight." Nappers, you are vindicated! Anyone else care to come out of the closet and weigh in?

Also, wondering how are 9-5ers supposed to work a nap into their day? Here's one answer.

Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies

Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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