Sleep is important, and every single person needs a very specific amount of sleep per night to make sure that they function correctly during the day. If you aren’t sure how much sleep you should be getting each night, there is a wonderful chart with sleep needs for every age compiled by SleepAdvisor.com.
Although sleep is important for everything from general health to mood and performance at work the following day, it’s actually even more important than we previously thought in terms of how it relates to certain diseases including cancer. According to WebMD, how well you sleep could possibly determine how well your body is able to fight cancer.
1.Sleeping boosts the balance of Cortisol, and Low Levels of Cortisol can Lead to Breast Cancer.
Sleep contributes to many things within your body, and one of those systems is hormone levels. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates how your immune system functions and like other hormone levels, it can be boosted by sleeping.
Levels are highest when you first wake up in the morning, and then they decrease throughout the day, which is evidence that it is replenished during sleep. Cortisol boosts the immune system by releasing cells that target the cancer, so a lack of cortisol can affect your body’s ability to fight cancer.
Studies have shown that people who sleep during the day and work at night have higher instances of developing cancer, but particularly breast cancer, because of their ‘“shifted cortisol rhythm”, as reported by WebMD.
2. Sleeping lowers blood pressure, which can increase your overall health.
Sleeping lowers your blood pressure, which is positive for any health scenario. It can also make you more calm and relaxed, more alert, and better able to solve problems more efficiently, which are all things that can make your life easier when you’re fighting a complicated disease like cancer.
3. Sleeping Boosts Melatonin Which Helps Keeps Cells Healthy
Like Cortisol, Melatonin is also a hormone, and it has antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to healthy cells. Having high levels of melatonin is crucial in the fight against cancer, because the healthy cells that are left need to be safeguarded and the ones that aren’t healthy need to be left alone so that they can heal and recover.
4. Sleeping Affects Your Mood And Thinking Positive Helps In your Fight Against Cancer
You’ve probably already noticed in general that the more sleep you get, the better you feel the next day. Lack of sleep can lead to crankiness, irritability, and a lack of positivity. In the case of doing something like fighting cancer, it’s extremely important to have a positive attitude and a fighting mentality, so sleep becomes even more important.
5. Sleeping Helps Reduce Stress, and Less Stress Helps Fight Illness.
Being carefree may not help keep you healthy, but if you are sick, being stressed out can exacerbate your illness and make it even more difficult to deal with. This is especially true for people who are already fighting cancer in particular, which is why oncologists usually make a recommendation to avoid stressful situations and scenarios, and engage in activities that will relieve stress.
6. Sleeping More Regularly Can Ward Off Prostate or Colon Cancer.
Studies have shown that there is a two times risk for prostate cancer in men who suffer from sleep insomnia. There is a fifty percent increase of colorectal cancer in people who get less than six hours of sleep per night, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Overall, sleeping more is crucial in the fight against cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it is recommended for cancer patients to sleep even more than regular people.
Because of this, they advise them to sleep more, exercise more (to encourage falling asleep at a reasonable hour), avoid caffeine, avoid alcohol right before bed as it can wake people up throughout the night, and for people who have trouble sleeping to get hypnotherapy or even sleeping medication, if necessary, to ensure that they get enough sleep to continue the fight.
Other things you can try are setting your bedroom up to be a luxurious sleeping environment, avoiding taking daytime naps, establish a regular pattern of sleeping, avoid stressful decisions or thinking before bed, and to avoid all electronic devices before bed, because the glare can keep your brain awake while you’re trying to doze off.
For more tips on sleep hygiene, and for other things you can do to ensure you get a good night sleep, whether you are fighting cancer or not, check out this list of tips from keep-healthy.com or SleepAdvisor.com