Older people who are deprived of company and sad and lonely at the end of a day gets elevated levels of circulating stress hormone cortisol in their blood the next morning, researchers reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.
Hormone cortisol is released in the body often in response to negative stimuli like depression or obesity. Cortisol levels also vary through out the day.
In a radical study the first of its kind, daily experiences and how they affected the cortical levels in the blood stream were studied by scientists. Daily experiences are more closely linked exponentially to stress hormone levels the studies have revealed.
Researchers followed up about 156 elderly individuals between the age group of 54 and 71 on a daily basis asking them to record in a diary how they felt at the end of the day in consequence to events of a day. Salivary swabs of the volunteers were collected thrice a day to measure levels of cortisol which is present in saliva.
It was noted that those who were upset or sad and went to bed feeling lonely had a surge in the levels of cortisol the next day indicating that the stress factor associated with the previous day's negative events did not get washed away with the sleep in between. However the extra surge of cortisol could actually benefit the forlorn by preparing them to face the hurdles of the next day bravely says lead study author Emma Adam.