Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sound Sleep Helps to prevent Diseases

A good night’s sleep and strong bonds with other people appear to help older women maintain low levels of a destructive protein linked to ailments such as osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and some types of cancer. As part of the normal aging process, the amount of the protein Interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the bloodstream automatically increases. Researchers found that low level of the damaging protein sank in women who managed to sleep soundly and maintain positive contact with other people and their environments in general. The study of 135 women between the ages of 61 and 90 was reported in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences in early December. However, either of the factors was sufficient to protect the women, whose average age was 73.4 years. A woman who sleeps well could make up for having a lack of friends and other positive social contacts and vice versa. The women who participated in the study submitted to numerous blood tests,gave general information about themselves and spent a night in a clinic where researchers tested their sleep patterns. The researchers plan a second study designed to determine whether high levels of IL-6 can rob older people of sleep, leaving them tired and grumpy, thereby hindering their efforts to make positive contact with other people.



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