Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sleep, Sociability May Keep Aging Women Healthier

New research suggests good friends and/or a good night's sleep may be linked to lower levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an immune system protein that promotes inflammation and is associated with several diseases including: osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

A team from the University of Wisconsin in Madison recently studied the relationships between socializing, sleep quality and blood levels of IL-6 in 74 women between ages 61-90.

Findings indicated a link between sleep quality or social relationships and lower levels of IL-6. Surprisingly, having one seemed to compensate for the other – both don't appear to be necessary to experience the positive effects.

The study isn't the first linking good sleep and social relationships to health benefits.

By the way, using drugs as sleeping aids can do more harm than good.
MSNBC December 6, 2005
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
of the United States of America, Early Edition, December 8, 2005

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