Is there a link between chronic insomnia and breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer? And are shift workers and those with sleep apnea at risk for a variety of cancers? Let’s take a look.
Wa all need a good night’s sleep to heal and to boost the functioning of our immune systems and to be in good mental health. No one wants to drag through the day with poor memory and impaired alertness. So, to focus on our best, we need 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Studies reveal that lack of sleep causes inflammation, lowers our ability to fight disease, and it disrupts the production of melatonin. It is believed that melatonin may have properties that help to prevent cellular damage. And inflammation is known to be at the root of cancer formation and proliferation.
Therefore, research is being conducted which follows the sleep patterns of men and women in search of the connection between certain cancers and missing our fair share of deep sleep.
Women with breast cancer reported irregular and insufficient sleep patterns for up to two years before their cancer diagnosis. Postmenopausal women, who slept erratically, reported a return of more aggressive cancer.
Over 1,200 people, about to have a colonoscopy, joined a study looking for answers concerning colorectal cancer. Over 300 were diagnosed with cancer. Each reported less than 6 hours of sleep per night.
The group studied for prostate cancer and yielded similar results. Men who found it hard to fall asleep and experienced many times of wakefulness, each night, were more prone to prostate cancer.
Inviting Mr. Sandman for Good Health and Healing
Always follow a bedtime routine and make sure your bedroom is used for sleep and intimacy only. If after twenty minutes you cannot get to sleep, get up and do something until your body is ready for rest.
However, don’t use the time to exercise. Vigorous workouts may disrupt sleep if done less than 4 hours before bedtime.
Lastly, speak with your doctor if you find yourself with chronic insomnia. He or she can come up with a plan to make sure you get adequate rest.
As grandparents, we have lots reasons to sleep well, eat well, exercise and live a life of health and happiness. Share your best life-long habits with your grands.