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Good sleep may prevent cancer

Regular exercise can reduce a woman's risk of cancer, but the benefits may fade away if she gets too little sleep.

Good sleep may prevent cancer

Regular exercise can reduce a woman's risk of cancer, but the benefits may fade away if she gets too little sleep. Some studies in the past have revealed that people who are regular with their exercise regime are less likely to develop cancer. But few studies have explored whether sleeping habits affect cancer risk, particularly among women. To study the association between women's sleep patterns and the risk of cancer, researchers from America studied 5,968 women aged between 18 and 65 years. The researchers monitored the sleep patterns, diet and exercise regime of the participants. The incidence of cancer development among the women was also noted. It was found that apart from the amount of physical exercise the women did per week; sleep also played an important role in cancer risk. Those who slept less than seven hours nightly had a 47 percent higher risk of cancer than those who got more sleep among the physically active women. Further, it was noted that those who get regular exercise had a reduced risk of breast, colon and other types of cancer. This could be attributed to the fact that exercise is effective in controlling body's hormone levels, immune function and body weight, which subsequently reduces the risk of developing cancer. While it is already known that chronic sleep loss is associated with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease, depression, cigarette smoking and excessive drinking; it is yet unclear that out how getting too little sleep makes one more susceptible to cancer.
American Association for Cancer
November 2008
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