See How Bad Sleeping Habits May Cause Cancer
Recent studies have shown a link between poor sleep habits and a person’s likelihood of developing cancer. Sleeping too few hours, using artificial lighting at night, sleeping during the day due to shift work hours, and sleep apnea have all been identified with an increased risk of cancer, largely due to the fact that these conditions interrupt a person’s natural circadian rhythm. Most living things follow circadian rhythms, which are identified as behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. Each living thing’s circadian rhythm responds to cycles of light and darkness. Dr Richard G. Simmons Stevens explains the importance of following a natural circadian rhythm in an article in Medical Daily, stating that melatonin, an important hormone with cancer-fighting properties, is naturally secreted when a person is in darkness. He points out that blind women have a 50 percent less chance of developing breast cancer, and women living in non-industrialized nations also have a very low prevalence of the disease.
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A study published in Current Biology involving manipulating the nighttime environment of cancer-prone mice concludes that women with chronic circadian rhythm disturbance, such as shift workers or flight attendants, have an increased risk of breast cancer.( Read the article here==>5 Hidden Breast Cancer Triggers) This is due to forcing the body to remain awake after dark, suppressing melatonin production. A study published in the Oxford Journal highlights this risk, hypothesizing that working the graveyard shift increases the release of estrogen into the bloodstream. The study concluded with a definite link between cancer risk and being exposed to light during nighttime hours, even when subjects slept in bright bedrooms. In an article in Medical Daily, Dr. David Spiegel, a professor at Stanford University, stressed that women working night shifts are prone to cancer, and notes that the World Health Organization has classified shift work as a possible cause of cancer. Women with chronic circadian rhythm disturbance not only have a higher risk of developing cancer, but also have a risk of getting the disease earlier in life.
It is important to listen to your body and keep up your natural circadian rhythm. So, the next time you want to stay up late to catch up on Facebook or watch some late-night TV, go to bed instead. The same goes for taking on late-night shifts for some extra spending money. When it gets dark, go to sleep. It just might save your life.
www.cell.com well.blogs.nytimes.com www.medicaldaily.com jnci.oxfordjournals.org