Truth or Myth: Lack of Sleep Triggers Breast Cancer?

December 30, 2012

At some point in our lives, most of us have wondered if we can be a superhuman who can bypass sleeping and stay awake 24 hours a day. Some of us take sleeping for granted, thinking that it’s only a waste of time and treat it as an unproductive activity.  Both medical experts and loving parents are diligent to remind us that we need around 8 hours of sleep each day.  Do you follow this advice religiously? If not, you probably will be empowered to after reading the facts that I have to share with you.

We already know that sleeping gives us the necessary boost to improve alertness, enhance our memory, reduce unwanted weight, repair body cells, and extend life. Without getting the adequate number of hours of sleep, we make ourselves vulnerable to several kinds of diseases. These include risks of suffering a heart attack, stroke, memory gap, obesity, and cancer.

One of the most common types of cancer that develop in women is breast cancer, which can be caused by hormonal imbalance (estrogen), bad blood pressure, excessive smoking, abuse of alcohol, imbalanced medications, and many more. Among these, the lack of sleep is another culprit that could cause breast cancer in adults. The question is whether or not this is true. In this article, we’ll try to answer that based on recent studies.

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Breast Cancer?

Correlation between Breast Cancer and Stress

A primary factor which most likely contributes to breast cancer is stress. The good news is that the market offers us with so many beauty products to conceal stress signs on our faces. With these items, we can look fine on the outside. The trouble is that, internally, we have no exact idea on how our body responses to deep stress.

After conducting several tests on a group of women, the Seidman Cancer Center discovered that stress leading to insomnia is a symptom that can be referred to as the silent killer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment reveals in a journal that there is a higher incident of breast cancer recurring to women who have high levels of stress.

So will Sufficient Sleep prevent Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment conducted a research which resulted to discoveries that there’s a strong connection between the lack of sufficient sleep and aggressive breast cancer. To verify, they conducted an experiment joined by 412 post-menopausal and pre-menopausal women. The released statement is that post-menopausal women have higher risks of developing the beginning stages of cancer when they have short hours of sleep.

Avoiding Breast Cancer

Our bodies contain some forms of cancer cells, and it is only when our immune systems grow weaker that they start to emanate actively. Also, studies have conferred that most breast cancer cases occurs after an average age of 45 to 50. By this time, the human body is no longer that capable of battling the bad cancer cells. To alleviate and decrease stress naturally, the best we have to do is to eat healthy and keep a steady sleeping schedule.

Dr. Cheryl Thompson, a medical expert, tells us to engage in eight hours of sleep every night. Note the root of the last word there: “night.” It has been observed that people who are working in late night shifts are more prone to breast and colon cancer because the release of their melatonin is forcefully controlled.

Melatonin is a natural substance that makes us feel sleepy. The production of this hormone occurs while we’re asleep and this same hormone is what protects us against harmful tumors. Additionally, our body prefers to sleep in the dark, as light suppresses the creation of melatonin.

Bottom Line

The healthier our lifestyle is, the better off we are. This lifestyle includes not only what we do when we’re awake but also the time we spend at night sleeping. So choose to sleep with the optimal hours from now on. Take charge of your health and do everything you can to avoid life-threatening diseases like breast cancer.