Sleep May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer 

In a recent study, it was found that sleeping well may help protect men from prostate cancer. It was found that men with higher levels of melatonin “had a 75% reduced risk for developing advanced prostate cancer compared with men who had lower levels of melatonin.” Melatonin is a hormone that is produced at night by the body. A normal level of melatonin is often found in those that have better sleep patterns. Low levels of melatonin are associated with disrupted sleep patterns. The study followed 928 men were asked about their sleep patterns and tested for melatonin levels. “Over a period of seven years, 111 of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer including 24 with advanced disease. Men whose melatonin levels were higher than the middle of the range were 75% less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those with lower values,” said the study leader Sarah Markt. The study leader is from the Harvard School of Public Health and thinks these finding require replication and further exploration.

The implications of this study could be widespread. Men with issues sleeping can get treatment for their sleep patterns and work toward resolution of any sleep disorders they may have. If they get proper treatment, they may lower their risk of prostate cancer significantly. Markt says, “Because melatonin levels are potentially modifiable, further studies of melatonin and prostates cancer risk and progression are warranted.” If this field develops there could be potential ways of preventing an aggressive form of cancer.

Advanced prostate cancer can be fatal because it is aggressive once it has reached this stage. The director of research at Prostate Cancer UK said, “Improving our ability to distinguish which of those men are at risk of aggressive cancer that is likely to speak…would enable both groups to make better decisions about their treatment options.”

The takeaway from this study is to understand the importance of keeping a stable sleep-wake cycle. The more studies that are conducted concerning sleep, the brain, and health issues the more scientists are learning about sleep’s effect on our body. Another interesting finding was that one in five men had trouble staying asleep, indicating that the sleep disorders may be very widespread.

Contact FusionSleep to schedule an appointment to discuss your sleep pattern and its effect on your health. Our doctors can help you improve your sleep and health.