The main purpose of a bra is to prevent ligaments in the breast from stretching, as this can lead to soreness and sagging. The larger your breasts are, the more important it is to have the support of a well-fitting bra during the day when you are sitting, standing and moving.

But: Since there is not much pull on the breast ligaments when you are quietly lying down, there is no health-related reason to wear a bra at night.

However, if you feel more comfortable sleeping in a bra, there is no health-related reason not to do so. Despite the dire warnings you may have read on the Internet, wearing a bra to bed will not increase your risk for breast cancer, according to breast expert Jill R. Dietz, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic. It is best, though, to avoid sleeping in a bra that has an underwire or is so tight that it leaves marks on your skin-otherwise, delicate nerves and tissues could be compressed, leading to breast pain, vein blockage or inflammation and/or blocked lymph flow. Instead, Dr. Dietz recommended opting for a style labeled as a "sleep bra," a type that generally has no wires or tight bands. Also, unlike nylon bras, which can trap moisture and allow an overgrowth of yeast, sleep bras typically are made of a soft, breathable, comfortable material such as cotton.

Women Have a Happiness Gene

Women, here's something to smile about. Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), a gene that is linked to happiness in women, has recently been identified by scientists. The gene was not associated with improved mood in men.

Job Stress Hurts Hearts

Over 10 years, researchers studied the link between work stress and cardiovascular health in 22,000 women (average age 57).

Result: Women with the most stressful jobs, including those with high demands and little opportunity to make decisions or use creativity, were 38% more likely to suffer heart-related events such as stroke or death than those with less stressful jobs.

Risk for heart attack was 70% higher. If you have a stressful job: Talk to your doctor about ways to protect your heart health, including effective strategies to cope with stress.

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