According to a new study carried out by Dr. Rachel Ben-Shlomo of the University of Haifa-Oranim and with Prof. Charalambos P. Kyriacou of the University of Leicester, just one “pulse” of artificial light at night disrupts circadian cell division.
“Damage to cell division is characteristic of cancer, and it is therefore important to understand the causes of this damage,” notes Dr. Ben-Shlomo.
The current research was carried out by placing lab mice into an environment where they were exposed to light for 12 hours and dark for 12 hours. During the dark hours, one group of mice was given artificial light for one hour. Changes in the expression of genes in the rodents’ brain cells from sleep deprivation were then examined.
Earlier studies that Dr. Ben-Shlomo carried out found that the cells’ biological clock is affected, and in the present research, she revealed that the mode of cell division is also harmed and that the transcription of a large number of genes is affected. She states it is important to note that those genes showing changes in their expression included genes connected to the formation of cancer as well as genes that assist in the fight against cancer.
Too Little Sleep Tied To Increase Cancer Risk
I know how hard it is to remember even a fraction of what we read. So, here’s reminder of some information and advice I about sleep.
Losing sleep for even part of one night can trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation. Your body perceives sleep deprivation as stress and responds by producing deadly stress chemicals. A single night of reduced sleep . As you add days, impairment becomes cumulative. Worse, you are often the last to notice or admit the signs:
- Increased mood swings, stress and irrationality
- Spike in your blood pressure
- Reduced your ability to adapt to change
- Impaired performance; sapped of your energy
- Slowed reactions
- Impaired memory, judgment and decision making no matter what you do.
These compromises in function from losing sleep have been clearly proven in clinical studies as well as in brain scans.
What Losing Sleep Does To A Body
Even more alarming is, losing sleep contributes to diabetes, obesity, weakened immune system, depression, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Also, a single night of sleeping just four, five or even six hours can impact your ability to think clearly. Sleep deprivation can cause changes in your brain activity similar to those experienced by people with psychiatric disorders.
So, lack of adequate sleep is definitely pro-aging. If that’s not enough reason to get enough quality sleep, consider the fact that sleep deprivation makes you a less active lover.
The average person needs seven to eight hours of quality sleep a night. Some need more, and some need less. That means deep, undisturbed sleep.
Helpful Hints For Deep, Rejuvenating Sleep:
- Get regular exercise, but do not exercise shortly before going to bed.
- Adopt a regular sleep schedule.
- Keep your TV out of your bedroom.
- Go to bed earlier and get up earlier, rather than going to bed later and getting up later.
- If you drink coffee or tea, drink them early in the day.
- Reduce interruptive noise, even if you need to use some type of white noise machine. Heavy drapes can also reduce noise.
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible.
- If you normally get up during the night to urinate, stop drinking liquids late in the day, and urinate right before bedtime.
- If you drink, do not have more than one or two alcoholic beverages in the evening. Excess alcohol disturbs your sleep cycle.
- Take a warm bath before bed.
- Keep your bedroom cool, under 70° F.
- Use a deep relaxation technique, or listen to a deep relaxation audio right before sleep.
- Quit working at least an hour before turning in to give your mind time to unwind.
- Supplement with:
– Melatonin (Editor’s Note: See our Melatonin Product Review for safe supplement choices)
– Sleep-inducing herbs such as kava, chamomile, valerian and/or ziziphus spinosa
– 200–500 mg of calcium citrate
– 200–400 mg of magnesium citrate right before bedtime
How well you sleep may determine how well your body fights cancer. Is a good night’s sleep your weapon against cancer?