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Health Highlights: July 11, 2014

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

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."

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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