Concentrating your focus on your sleep habits could help to prevent cancer, believe it or not! It has been known for years that how well you sleep may drastically alter the stability of hormones in the human body. Shifts from balanced hormones can disturb your sleep/wake cycle, also referred to as the circadian rhythm. An altered circadian rhythm may affect how cancer progresses through shifts in hormones like melatonin, which the brain manufactures during sleep.
Investigative research discovered in Brain Behavior Immunology
October 2003 suggested having a normal circadian rhythm may be vital in order for your body to protect against cancer. It further suggested sleep/wake rhythms that are thrown off due to stress or other issues may encourage the growth of cancer.
The antioxidant melatonin has properties that aide in the suppression of destructive free radicals in the body and it decreases the manufacturing of estrogen, which can trigger cancer
. When circadian rhythm's become upset, it may create a smaller amount melatonin and therefore may have a decreased ability to protect against cancer. Light exposure throughout the evening can also lessen melatonin levels, hence making it imperative to sleep in total darkness to reduce the risk of cancer. An additional association between cancer and an upset circadian rhythm deals with the hormone cortisol, which regularly reaches its highest levels at dawn then drops during the day. Cortisol is only one of numerous hormones that assist in regulating immune system function, including the activity of immune cells called natural-killer cells that aide the body fighting cancer.
One more mechanism that might be connected to the cancer/sleep relationship is the hormone insulin
. Scientific researchers from the University of Chicago have time and again shown that a lack of sleep will culminate in an elevated rate of diabetes due to heightened insulin resistance, and insulin has been obviously connected to cancer in studies held prior.
Sleep is extremely important. It has continuously been shown that not enough rest will result in elevated rates of cancer and diabetes, while optimizing your sleep may dramatically slow down aging in general. Below are some tips and guidelines that will allow you to maximize and get the proper amount of sleep your body requires.
1) Absolutely no TV right before bed
. TV, or any light for that matter, can disturb your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland's manufacturing of melatonin and seratonin.
2) Our body's natural biorhythm is to experience sleep roughly around 10 P.M. to 6 A.M
. The lights should be out by 10 P.M. and you should "rise-and-shine" by 6 A.M. Those who find this difficult, be aware that individuals normally followed this pattern before the electricity was ever conceived.
3) Avoid electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) in the bedroom
. A few examples are cell phones, microwaves, TV's, computers, some alarm clocks, etc. All of these can disturb the pineal gland and the manufacture of melatonin and seratonin, as well as contributing to other negative effects as well.
4) Avoid late-night and before bedtime snacks, especially grains and sugars
. These will elevate blood sugar and deter sleep. After awhile, when blood sugar drops too low, you may wake up and have trouble falling asleep again.
5) Lessen your mental activity after dinner
. Journaling might help in this process by allowing you to put your worries on paper and get them out of your mind.
6) Plan for the following day
, like formulating what you intend to get done, so it's not on your mind all night.
7) Avoid alcohol at all costs
. Even though alcohol will make individuals drowsy, the effect doesn't last that long and people will frequently wake up many hours later and be incapable of getting back to sleep. Consuming alcohol will also keep you from experiencing the deep stages of sleep, where the human body performs much of its healing.
8) Soak in a hot bath for up to an hour with relaxing fragrances
(vanilla, sandalwood, lavender) 30 minutes prior to retiring. Use the bath to let go of your daily stress, include soothing lights and music and massage your body with oils.
9) Your bed should be used for only sleep and sex
. Even reading should be done elsewhere, unless it has a calming effect, such as spiritual literature.
10) Make sure to turn all lights off
. Rest on your back or side and pay attention to the way your body feels as well as to your breathing.
11) Try reciting a mantra for five minutes
. This could be some sort of favorite sound or prayer that you recite continuously.
12) I recommend reducing or avoiding as many drugs as possible
. Numerous medications, both prescription and over-the-counter might have effects on sleep as listed under side effects.
13) If you have difficulty sleeping in your bed, try another area in your house
14) Refrain from using loud alarm clocks
. It is extremely stressful on the body to be awoken abruptly. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, they should be unnecessary. Sun alarm clocks or ones that have a progressive nature sound are the best ones have. Click Here
to take control of your health once and for all!
- Matthew J. Loop, DC
Author of Cracking the Cancer Code