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Sleep Problems and Breast Cancer

Loss of sleep due to sleep disorders has been linked with the likelihood of various other diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and depression. But now, lack of sleep for women could create additional dangers. The findings from a new study done in Japan suggest that women who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night may have up to a 60% increased chance of developing breast cancer.

More specifically, researchers found that disordered sleeping lead to lowered levels of the hormone melatonin. According to this article, the study– which evaluated almost 24,000 women aged 49-70 for an 8 year period– furthermore concluded that “melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain during sleep to regulate the body’s internal clock, helps suppress the amount of oestrogen released. Oestrogen is known to be a factor in the development of a significant number of breast cancer cases.” Women who got just one extra hour of sleep had a significantly decreased risk of breast cancer.

If just an extra hour of sleep can drastically improve your health over your lifetime, what’s keeping you from actively pursuing a better sleep routine? Setting aside more time to sleep or learning to fall asleep faster with the help of a natural sleep aid is a small commitment for a huge payoff– a healthier and longer life!

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