Does having an October birthday make you less likely to get the flu? Is watching TV to blame for your middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks? The latest health news.

Can watching TV cause you to get up to urinate in the middle of the night? (Getty Creative)
Can watching TV cause you to get up to urinate in the middle of the night? (Getty Creative)

Consider this your weekly checkup of sorts, to catch up on all the health news you might have missed — from what the Alabama Supreme Court ruling on frozen embryos means for the future of IVF to why the CDC is reportedly looking to roll back its five-day COVID isolation guidelines. Do you need the brand-new caffeine-packed Dunkin energy drink? Why is everyone buzzing about this new study on how women get more benefits from exercise than men? Is a cold plunge a celebrity trend you should try?

While you're getting up to speed on those health headlines, read on to find out what new studies taught us this week. From binge-watching-induced bathroom breaks to the benefits of yoga, here's what you need to know.

Is TV to blame for your late-night bathroom breaks?

Just binge-watched True Detective: Night Country? You may find yourself needing a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. According to a new study published in the journal Neurourology and Urodynamics, people who watched five or more hours of TV or videos a day had a 48% higher chance of nocturia, or waking up in the night to go to the bathroom.

Researchers have a few theories as to why this may happen. One is that more TV viewing is associated with drinking more beverages (like when you grab a soda before sitting down to watch your favorite show), which then increases the need to empty your bladder later on. A second theory is that TV may interrupt our natural sleep cycles — which anyone who's stayed up through the night binge-watching a series can attest to.

More veggies = better sleep?

According to a new study published in ERJ Open Research, individuals who eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other healthy plant-based foods are less likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. The study found that participants with diets rich in plant-based foods had a 19% lower likelihood of OSA, while those eating a less healthy diet featuring things like excessive sweets and refined grains faced a 22% higher risk.

The step count older women should stick to

You probably know by now that taking 10,000 steps per day isn’t necessary for good health, but is there a magic number when it comes to heart health? A new study from the University of Buffalo, which looked at data from 6,000 women age 63 and older, found that those who took an average of 3,600 steps a day at a normal pace were 26% less likely to develop heart failure.

Yoga can improve back pain

Got an aching back? It may be time to unroll that yoga mat. A recent study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research revealed promising results for individuals with chronic low back pain who participated in an eight-session yoga program over four weeks. The research, which involved 10 women with chronic low back pain and 11 without, found that those who participated in yoga had a significant reduction in pain intensity. The researchers believe that practicing yoga may have positive effects on how the muscles and nerves in the lower back respond when bending forward, also known as trunk flexion, making it feel less painful for those with ongoing back issues.

Do children born in October have more protection against the flu?

Is there such a thing as a healthy birthday month? According to research published this week in the journal BMJ, babies born in October are more likely to be vaccinated for the flu and less likely to be diagnosed with it compared with children born in other months.

While researchers note that the study only observed children with insurance who received care, there may be a good reason for these findings. October and September are considered the best months to receive your flu shot, as it is just before peak flu season. Kids born in October are likely making their annual wellness visits to the doctor during their birth month, getting flu shots along with other preventive care.