Are you skimping on sleep to squeeze in an extra hour of work? Depending on how much shut-eye you’re getting each night, you might want to stop. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is some evidence of a link between a lack of sleep and a risk of cancer.
“Sleep hygiene is critical — your immune system is refreshed during sleep,” says Brett Osborn, D.O., author of Get Serious: A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness. “One of the reasons that cancer incidence increases as a function of age is reduced immune surveillance. Our bodies simply do not identify or destroy cancer cells as well as we age. This may be the result of heightened cortisol [an immunosuppressive hormone] levels that occur as a direct result of poor sleep hygiene.”
The answer? Aim for seven or eight hours of sound sleep each night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, here are some tips:
- Try not to take naps.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Avoid caffeine and exercise four hours before bedtime.
Beaufort Memorial Keyserling Cancer Center gives you access to the latest and best cancer treatment options, including clinical trials. Visit us online to learn more.