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Does lack of sleep increase your cancer risk?

Monday 17 September, 2012 by Laura

Recent studies have shown that people suffering from sleeping disorders have increased risk of cancer.

A Spanish study  released results earlier this month which found that people who have sleep apnoea, where a person has disrupted sleep due to abnormal breathing patterns and pauses in their breathing, have a higher than 50% risk of dying from cancer than people who get a good night's sleep.

The finding related to people with oxygen saturation levels lower than 90% for more than 14% of their sleeping time. So this study was focused on people with severe cases of sleep apnoea.

Scientists have said the link could be down to cells getting a lack of oxygen. However, sleep apnoea is also inextricably linked to obesity, which increases the risk of developing cancer. So it is possibly more complex than sleep disorders or lack of oxygen alone being a risk factor for cancer? More research is needed into the ‘why?' to definitively connect sleep and cancer risk.

It's also worth considering that sleep apnoea has also been linked to heart disease (cardiovascual disease) and high blood pressure (hypertension), and these conditions are also more prevalent in people that are overweight and obese.

So rather than losing sleep over whether your sleep is putting you at risk - focus on what you know you can do to cut your cancer risk. Make sure you eat a healthy diet , get your five veg and two fruit, maintain a healthy weightget plenty of exercise and keep active .

Sleepy kitten 




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