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Health Highlights: July 11, 2014

Women in Red Seen as Romantic Rivals by Other Women: Study Interrupted Sleep May be as Bad as Too Little Sleep: Study

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Women in Red Seen as Romantic Rivals by Other Women: Study

Women who wear red are regarded as potential sexual threats by other women, according to a new study.

Researchers showed several hundred women photos of women wearing red and white dresses or red or green shirts. Women in red were seen as a sexual competitor by the participants, ABC News reported.

The study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

'We tend to take color for granted," lead author Adam Pazda, a graduate student from the University of Rochester, told ABC News. "It's not just a pretty thing in our environment that adds to the aesthetic experience in the world. Behind the scenes, it can affect us psychologically in the way we perceive others or ourselves."

Color "helps us make sense of other people's behavior when women are out in red and they are getting the cold shoulder from other women," Pazda added. "Maybe they are giving off the perception of a romantic competitor."

A 2008 study found that men believe that when women wear red, it is a "signal of sexual receptivity," he told ABC News.


Interrupted Sleep May be as Bad as Too Little Sleep: Study

Interrupted sleep may be as bad for you as getting too little sleep, a new study finds.

Researchers had 61 young adults complete computer tasks and mood surveys the day after they had a full night's sleep and the again the day after a night when their sleep was interrupted four times, NBC News reported.

On the day after interrupted sleep, the participants failed the computer task, had difficulty paying attention, were moody and felt awful. They functioned as poorly as people who got only four hours of sleep, said Avi Sadeh, professor at Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences, and colleagues.

"The affected functions are usually those related to attention and concentration. This may result [in] poor performance in learning and memory function," Sadeh wrote in an email to NBC News. "You may think that this is obvious, but previous research hasn't really addressed [the impact of interrupted sleep] systematically."

The findings are interesting, according to Dr. Charles Bae, a sleep specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study.

"[The paper] is one of the first forays into looking into the impact of interrupted sleep," Bae told NBC News. "We do know a lot about the impact of sleep deprivation and [now] we are getting more information about the impact of interrupted sleep."

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