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Extend Your Life, Get More Sleep
An inadequate amount of sleep has been associated with higher risks of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death. Now colon cancer can be added to the list.
Not getting enough sleep can result in more than bags under the eyes. Getting less than six hours of sleep nightly also increases the risks for colon cancer. In a ground-breaking study published in the journal Cancer, researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, found that individuals who averaged less than six hours of sleep at night had an almost 50 percent increase in the risk of colorectal adenomas–which are precursors to cancer tumors– compared with individuals sleeping at least seven hours per night.
In the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, patients were surveyed prior to coming into the hospital for scheduled colonoscopies, and asked about overall sleep quality and hours slept nightly during the previous month.
Of the surveyed 1,240 patients, over 25 percent–338 to be exact–were diagnosed with colorectal adenomas when they had a colonoscopy. The patients with adenomas were found in general to have reported sleeping less than six hours compared to compared to those patients without adenomas.
Although the reason fewer hours of sleep may lead to colon cancer is unknown, researchers theorized that less sleep may mean less production of melatonin, a natural hormone that in animals has been linked to DNA repair. View original article here: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-02/uhcm-los020811.php