People with Short Sleep Time Have Increased Cancer Risk  

In an interesting study released last month, June 2014, it was found that insomniacs that suffer from the variation of insomnia characterized by a sharply shortened duration of sleep are at an increased cancer risk. The study was conducted by Dr. Julio Fernandez-Mendoza from the Penn State College of Medicine. In addition, the study considered the existence of depression in the patients studied. The study included more than 1,600 adults that had reported insomnia and were diagnosed with the type where patients sleep 5 hours or less per night.

The participants in the study had been diagnosed with insomnia based on a sleep study but had no cancer diagnosis. Patients needed to have their insomnia for at least one year with specific sleep duration of 5 hours or less on a nightly basis. After a follow-up with the participants, 12.3% of the individuals experienced cancer, either a diagnosis or death from the disease. This equates to more than double the amount of cancer experienced by noninsomniacs.

The study came about because researchers have discovered a connection between insomnia and depression as well as depression and cancer. Depression seems to be an important factor in both. Dr Fernandez-Mendoza said, “This makes sense because we do know very well two things: the strong association of depression with cancer, and the second, the strong association of insomnia with depression. They have a lot in common, particularly inflammation. They have in common fatigue also.” Future studies can include all three disorders or even further exploration of specific types of cancer. They have not yet assessed which types of cancer are most prevalent.

It is important to explore potential incidence of cancer in conjunction with sleep disorders or other conditions because the more we know about these diseases, the more we can prevent them. If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping or believe you have insomnia, schedule an appointment with FusionSleep. We will take the time to discus your concerns and find a solution if you are experiencing insomnia. Take care of your long-term health with FusionSleep.