Two recent studies caught my eye this week. The first showed lack of sleep increases risk of recurrent breast cancer and the second says sleep apnea increases risk of death from cancer.
The first study was the first of its kind looking at data from 412 patients that showed a “strong correlation between fewer hours of sleep per night and worse recurrence scores, specifically in post-menopausal breast cancer patients.” 6 hours seems to be the magic number. Any less puts you at risk. Since this is the first study to show this, obviously more data needs to be collected.
The second study looked at sleep apnea (a condition where breathing is stopped during sleep, and the oxygen level in your blood drops blocking your ability to sleep properly) and risk of dying from cancer in 5600 patients. The worse the sleep apnea was, the more at risk patients were of dying from cancer.
While there is just a link discovered, and no causal association (ie Open umbrellas are seen when it rains, but open umbrellas don’t CAUSE the rain) it’s safe to say, you would be better off treating the sleep apnea and getting a good night’s sleep in general. If not to improve your chances of survival from cancer, then to reduce your risk of:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- heart attack
- mood disorders
- poor memory
- poor immune function
My husband just got a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for sleep apnea. This machine attaches over his nose and forces air into his lungs, so breathing is never interrupted. Those with sleep apnea are also usually very loud snorers. No…VERY LOUD snorers. I can see where sleep apnea would put someone at a high risk of dying from suffocation….by their SPOUSE.
The machine is amazing. When he wears it, I can’t hear him at all. In fact I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and because he’s so quiet, I have to hold a mirror next to his mouth. (I love cops shows…)
In light of these two studies I though it would be helpful to direct you to my post “Who needs Sleep? I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead…(that may be sooner than you think if you don’t get enough sleep).
Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to be healthy in mind AND body. Don’t forget…they’re one.
Also, that saying “Sleep tight?” It’s not proper English…It should be “Sleep Tightly”. That always bugged me.