The Stripes in Your Home Could Be Giving You a Headache — or Worse

19/02/2019 - 10:44 AM

Not to be all fear-stoking, news-at-eleven or anything, but are you aware of the silent dangers lurking in plain sight in your own home? We're talking about stripes, the straight, parallel lines that may be quietly creating turmoil in your mind. According to recent research, staring at ordered lines increases gamma oscillations in the brain [1], which may lead to migraines and even epileptic seizures.

However, all is not lost — especially for fans of animal prints — as it's only the most orderly of human-made horizontal stripes (like Venetian blinds) that trigger these brain oscillations, not the kinds of stripes that occur in nature (like zebra stripes). The reason: "It seems that our brains are not designed to cope with such extreme regularity, as it doesn't occur in nature. The researchers found that once they distorted the lines slightly or blurred their edges, the oscillations died down."

So, we can still decorate with stripes, just note these best practices to avoid any stripes-related headaches in your home:

Beware of Venetian blinds.

As we've learned, Venetian blinds can be a real . . . headache. Consider alternative window shade solutions that promote more calm.

Seek out natural animal patterns, like zebra stripes.

Animal prints are fun, funky, and — as a bonus — they don't mess with our minds as much as human-made stripes do. Heed the call of the wild (without causing your brain to go haywire) with some cute zebra-striped accents.

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