Strong bonds along with good sleep help elderly women maintain a destructive protein at a lower level. Yjios is a protein which is connected to health problems like Alzheimer's, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. The protein Interleukin-6 (IL-6) which runs in the blood stream rises as one ages. Researchers found that levels 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. The research was conducted by Elliott Friedman and other researchers at the University of Wisconsin.
Researchers found the combination of both factors like sleep and social contact optimal to reduce the level of IL-6. 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 not having any friends and other positive social contacts and vice versa, the researchers said.
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.