News that a combination of regular sleep and daily exercise may significantly reduce cancer risk in women, has been presented at a conference of the American Association for Cancer Research.
James McCain, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, tracked 5,968 women over the age of 18, in Maryland for 10 years. When his results were analyzed he found the most active women had by far the least risk of cancer - around 25 percent less risk. Even more intriguing was the fact that cancer was 47 percent rarer in women who slept for seven hours or more every night and who exercised in a moderate fashion for around an hour a day.
Although the exact mechanism between exercise and cancer is not fully understood, there is speculation that the interplay is between body weight, hormone levels and disorders of the immune system. Sleep and cancer may relate to the hormone melatonin, which controls quantities of sex hormones released during the sleep-wake cycle.
According to the research findings two important factors are the regularity of the sleep pattern and the fact that a minimum of seven hours is required. Sleep is improved by establishing a regular pattern throughout the week in a quiet, dark, comfortable setting.
Other well know tips a decent night's sleep include:
- A good mattress.
- Reduced stimulation before bed, so no TV, games, internet, etc.
- Not getting involved in any activity likely to get your stress levels up before bed.
- No stimulant drinks like tea of coffee.
- Not too much in the way of fluid so you need to get up during the night.
- Putting a space between the day and your time for sleep. Take a bath, meditate, listen to relaxing music, read a book.
Published On: November 24, 2008