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Why a Lack of Sleep Increases The Risk of Cancer

August 18, 2016
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Simon Persson

Not getting enough sleep can raise your cancer risk. Studies of night workers show up to a 60% increase in breast cancer. When you don’t sleep enough, you make it harder for your body’s organs to repair and rejuvenate.

In this post, you’re going to learn the optimal times when you should sleep. Discover why melatonin is crucial for your health and how a shortage increases cancer.

Learn why insomnia is common among cancer patients and discover seven simple tricks you can use to beat it now.


Legal Notice

The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer.This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.

Why Sleep is Important For Good Health

Getting enough sleep is crucial for many body functions. The body needs rest to recharge and heal itself. If you stay up late, you disrupt the rhythm of the body and make yourself tired.  

During the night your liver needs you to sleep to preserve energy for its crucial work. If you skip sleep, then the liver can’t receive enough blood to function. That prohibits it from cleansing the blood.

Snow white

Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health

It can result in accumulation of toxins in the liver and bloodstream. The body´s acidity rise if toxins cumulate during a long time in the intestinal fluid of the organs. All this leads to further damage.

High blood toxicity results in secretion of stress hormones. These hormones then create more disease. To guard against all this, you need to know the optimal times to sleep. We investigate that in the next section.

The Optimal Times to Sleep

The body follows the rhythm of the sun, and during the night the bodily functions change. You should go to sleep no later than 10 pm and wake up at 6 am.

The sleep between 10 pm and midnight is the most important and is when the deep sleep is. Sleeping eight hours a day is critical for the body and will help the immune system.

Alarm clock

The deepest sleep is between 10 pm and midnight

During 10 pm until midnight, the beauty sleep occur. At that time the most vital purification and renewal happen. Oxygen consumption is 8 % less during that period. This state is three times deeper than the sleep you get after midnight. 

Through the deep sleep, growth hormones secrete at a high amount. Growth hormones are responsible for cellular growth, repair, and renewal. You can age faster if you can’t produce enough growth hormones.

Deep sleep only happens during the two hours before midnight. If you miss out of this often, you can make your body sluggish and overtired.

Tiredness trigger stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and cholesterol. In the long run, this hurts your body.

When you don’t sleep enough, your organs do not get enough energy to function well. If you have cancer, you want your body to get as much strength as possible to heal from this disease.

Ignoring these guidelines can lead to extreme fatigue. Let’s dive into how tiredness can lead to substance abuse and further destroy your body.

How a Terrible Night Leads to Bad Health Habits

Inadequate sleep is the reason many lack energy. Poor sleep combined with bad eating habits and stress exhaust people.

They then use alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, sodas and sweets to conquer this tiredness. Filling their bodies with more toxins which cause more problems.

Immunity diminishes as fatigue increases. Making your body worse at defending against bacteria, microbes, and viruses.

Woman sleeping on the sofa

Poor sleep makes you tired during the day

It's important that you sleep between 10 pm to 6 am. Even if you sleep between midnight and 8 am and get 8 hours of sleep, it still messes with the natural cycles of the body.

Find out how stress may lead to cancer and how to deal with it. Click here read this blog post.

If you need more than 8 hours of rest, then go to bed 9 pm. Most adults need around 8 hours of sleep to function well. Disruption of the night cycle can have a damaging effect on congestion and urinary functions.

Have you risen late in the morning after sleeping more than 8 hours? You might have felt sluggish like you were on a drug. When you stay up at night, you obstruct the digestive system.

Following these tips are great but what’s as important is to sleep in total darkness.You need to sleep in darkness to produce enough Melatonin. If you don’t get Melatonin, you can increase your cancer risk.

Why Low Levels of Melatonin Increases the Risk of Cancer

Melatonin is a substance found in animals, plants, fungi and bacteria. In humans and animals, melatonin secrets during darkness. Physiological functions such as sleep, blood pressure regulation, and other duties depend on it.

Low levels of melatonin in the blood increase the risk of cancer.In one study, they investigated the relationship between breast cancer and night shifts workers.

They examined 78 562 women from the Nurses' Health Study. Nurses who worked nights had 36 percent higher rates of breast cancer.

If you add all studies of nurses, flight attendants, and other night workers, things get darker. The breast cancer rate then becomes 60 percent above normal. And that’s even when considering the differences in diet.

David E. Blask has done several experiments on rats. He exposed them to light during the whole night. That suppressed the secretion of all melatonin. The rats that got exposed to light were more likely to grow cancer than those living in darkness.

Dark bedroom

Melatonin production only occurs in darkness

Melatonin relays information about the cycles of light and darkness to all the cells in the body. Including cancer cells. Light during the night messes with the molecular clocks in the brain.

Making it believe that it’s day when it's dark outside. Suppressing the natural cycles of the body make it harder for the body to fight cancer.

Published research has shown melatonin offers protection against reproductive cancers. Cells throughout the body have melatonin receptors. Even cancer cells.

So when melatonin triggers during the night, cell division slows.Let me illustrate a story how sleeping in the dark jungle gave me the best sleep of my life.

How I got the Best Sleep In My Life in The Jungle

In 2014 I went on a jungle safari group tour in Thailand. Our guide canceled our night expedition because of the stormy weather. So I decided to sleep early. We all slept in simple tree cottages.

When I closed all the doors and windows, it was pitch dark, not even a little ray of light came through. I had a hard time falling asleep because of the high noises from the crickets and other night animals.

But when I rose early in the morning, I have never felt so refreshed after a night’s sleep.

Street lamp shining at night

Street lights can seep through the bedroom window and hinder melatonin production

The problem with living in the city is that artificial street lights seep through the windows. Or we use the light from the lamps, tvs, smartphones, etc. All this hinders the bedroom from getting pitch dark.

Even small amounts of light can affect the production of melatonin. Therefore you shouldn't put the lights on. If you need to navigate during the night, use a low-wattage bulb with yellow, orange or red light.

Yellow, orange, and red wavelengths don't suppress melatonin production as blue lights do. A salt lamp illuminated by a 5-watt bulb in this color range is preferable.

Even if you sleep in total darkness, there is still another thing that you need to address as well. Insomnia.

Why Insomnia Destroys Sleep For Cancer Patients

Insomnia is common among cancer patients. It can occur between 30-50% of the cancer population. Cancer patients often report fatigue. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy is often the culprit.

Insomnia in cancer patients often occurs with psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety. Pain is another factor in cancer patients having trouble sleeping.

Insomnia Facts

  • More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress or anxiety
  • Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
  • Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men
  • 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia
  • Sleep deprivation can make you 27% more likely to become overweight or obese
  • Billions of dollars are spent annually on medical costs that are directly related to sleep disorders
  • Employers spend approximately $3,200 more in health care costs on employees with sleep problems than for those who sleep well
  • US industry loses about $150 billion each year because of sleep deprived workers


The biggest reason for insomnia is stress. To fix insomnia, you have to understand why you create it.

How Stress Causes Insomnia

We all struggle with stressful and negative thinking. All the responsibilities of life make it easy to feel stressed out. Many people don’t know how to relax and find a balance and try to distract themselves from the stress.

Some people use drugs or alcohol to hide from the pain. But most people distract themselves by doing something.

Woman having hard time falling asleep

Stress and worry negatively affect sleep

If you think about it, every moment of your life you distract yourself from your thinking. By either watching movies, reading books, listen to music or talking to friends.

When you wait for the bus, you might pick up your smartphone and fiddle with it. Or listen to songs to not feel bored or stressed.

The only time that we can’t divert from our stressful thinking is when we go to bed. In your bed, you can’t hide from all the stressful thoughts. Negative thinking can create huge pain and make it hard for any person to handle.

So instead of lying down, you get up and surf the web or do some other activity until late at night. You then go to bed when you are so tired that you collapse immediately in bed. Sleeping few hours deplete you and make you more prone to stress. Which in turn make it harder to fall asleep.

So how do escape this vicious circle? By relaxing your mind and stop worrying.

How to Relax The Mind and Beat Insomnia

The best way I found to get to bed, is to relax the mind. When I worried about life, it was hard to fall asleep. But when I learned relaxation techniques,  it was easier for me to sleep. Because I knew how to address the stress and was not afraid of facing it.

If you can’t fall asleep, then don’t get out of bed. If you lie down awake, you can get 90% recharged. The way to beat insomnia is not to run away from your negative thoughts.

But instead facing them without resistance. I’ve created a free report with 7 Simple techniques you can use to fall asleep within minutes. Download it here and end your suffering now.

So let's summarize what we learned today.


Today you learned why sleep is a cornerstone in good health.

Melatonin secretes during darkness and is crucial in maintaining good health.

The optimal time to sleep is between 10 pm to 6 am.

Insomnia is common among millions of people and leads to poor sleep.

9 Simple Steps To Sleep Like a Log and Decrease Cancer Growth

1.Buy drapery or window blinds that block the light from coming in or use a sleep mask

2. One hour before going to bed avoid watching any movies or other distractions

3. Brush your teeth and do your nightly routines ahead of time

4. Download the Free Report here to learn 7 tricks to fall asleep fast

5. At 10 pm turn off the light and make sure it’s pitch dark or use a sleeping mask

6. Turn off any devices that emit light

7. Sleep between 10 pm and 6 am

8. Don’t get up if you have a hard time sleeping, but instead lay down

9. Wake up at 6 am without an alarm clock if you can, or use one with bird sound or other relaxing music


The best way to create better sleeping habits is to incorporate what you learned. I’ve have summarized the steps you need to take to get good sleeo and help your body fight cancer above.

It may take some practice before you can start following these nine steps. Do your best, and eventually, it will become second nature.

So let’s start! Buy drapery or window blinds in your bedroom and make sure it can block any light coming in.

Turn out all the lights in your room and allow your eyes to adjust for a few minutes. See if you can identify objects and check for ‘light leaks.'

Fix the light leaks until it’s pitch dark. An even easier way to prevent light is to use a sleeping mask. A sleeping mask blocks light from touching the receptors in the eyes. Use a good brand that doesn’t leak.

Mentally prepare to get to bed at no later than 10 pm. To get in bed in time start by brushing your teeth or doing your other night routines one hour before.

Avoid watching YouTube, reading books or other entertainment. Otherwise, you can get trapped in a stressful mindset and ruin your sleep.  

Download the free guide here to learn 7 different exercises to fall asleep fast.

After using one of the relaxation techniques, go to sleep at 10 pm and turn off all lights. If you have to go to the toilet or get up, then use a salt lamp that emits red lights. Avoid using any bulb with blue light, or you mess with your melatonin levels.

If you feel restless during the night, keep still and lay down. You can still get 90% of the energy even in an awakened state. Don’t make the mistake of doing something during the night or you disrupt your sleep cycle.

Try to avoid using an alarm clock if you can. Instead, wake up the natural way. If that is not possible, try to use an alarm with sweet bird sound or relaxing music. A sudden alarm sound can create stress and affect your mood in a bad way.

So now that you managed to sleep between 10pm-6am how do you feel? Continue to sleep at these hours every day. If you fail to follow this schedule, don’t be hard on yourself, but instead try the next day again. 

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Simon Persson

Simon Persson is a holistic cancer blogger passionate about natural health remedies. When he is not blogging, he enjoys nature, cooking, sports, and learning about the latest gadgets on the market.

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