A poor night’s sleep not only makes getting through the day difficult, it also may increase your risk of disease, especially if you suffer from chronic lack of sleep. Inadequate sleep has been associated with obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer.
Studies in recent years have identified a relationship between lack of sleep and some of the top cancers in the United States: breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. In addition, research suggests that people who have sleep apnea have an increased risk of developing any type of cancer.
Across the country, at least one in 10 of us experiences some kind of sleep disturbance. Stress, illness, aging and drug treatment are the main culprits. Quality sleep, though, is essential to healing, proper immune function and mental health, making it important for adults to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Researchers continue to study what happens in the sleep-deprived body at a biological level to lead to cancer. They have found that lack of sleep increases inflammation and disrupts normal immune function. Both may promote cancer development. In addition, the hormone melatonin, which is produced during sleep, may have antioxidant properties that help prevent cellular damage.
Here are summaries of recent research linking lack of sleep to cancer:
Prostate cancer: Affecting more men than any other cancer, an estimated 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer are expected in 2014. Last year, a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Preventionfound that men who suffer from insomnia may be at increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Researchers surveyed of 2,102 men and followed the 1,347 men in the group who didn’t fall asleep easily and/or experienced disrupted sleep.
- After about five years, 135 men developed prostate cancer, with 26 of them having an aggressive form of the disease.
- Researchers identified a twofold risk of developing prostate cancer in men with sleep insomnia.
Colorectal cancer: It’s estimated that 136,830 men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014, making it the second most common cancer affecting both sexes after lung cancer. Inadequate sleep may lead to the development on colorectal cancer, according to a 2010 study published in Cancer.
- Researchers studied the sleep quality of 1,240 people about to have a colonoscopy.
- 338 study participants were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Those diagnosed were more likely to average less than six hours of sleep per night.
- Researchers calculated a 50 percent increased risk of colorectal cancer for people sleeping less than six hours per night.
Breast cancer: An estimated 232,670 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. A 2012 studysuggests that women may develop more aggressive breast cancer if they chronically lack sleep.
- Researchers asked 101 recently diagnosed breast cancer patients about the average amount of sleep they got two years before diagnosis.
- They found that the post-menopausal women who slept fewer hours had a higher likelihood of cancer recurrence.
- The study was the first to suggest more aggressive breast cancers are associated with inadequate sleep.
Connie’s comments: I use various herbs and supplements to go to sleep such as magnesium with calcium , Vitamin B complex, other herbs and melatonin. Room temperature of close to 60, dim lights, not so hungry and not so full before bedtime, quiet sounds and comfortable beddings help in getting to sleep.
I also use the Night Time formula from Pharmanex. Join here to order at:
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