Cancer: Could Working Late Be A Trigger?
As we all know, sleep if vital for good physical and mental health. However, you may not be aware that not getting enough sleep could increase your risk of developing cancer. Studies have found that women who work night shifts are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer. In a study which involved more than 3000 women, half of whom had ovarian cancer and half who didn’t, those with cancer were more likely to have worked night shifts for a long period of time. Researchers found that the risk was 24 percent higher for advanced ovarian cancer and there was a 49 percent increased risk of borderline ovarian cancer, compared to regular office hours.
Even women who worked night-shifts just a few years before were at a higher risk of developing the disease, but those who worked them for more than seven years didn’t appear to have an increased risk. The most common jobs associated with the study were food service industries, office and admin, and healthcare. Scientists have attributed the risk with the fact that the lack of sleep causes the body’s circadian rhythms to be disrupted which suppresses the production of melatonin. This hormone helps to regulation other hormones and rids the body of free radicals. Furthermore, those who work night-shifts sleep during the day, which means the exposure to sunlight is far lower. This causes the body to become deficient in vitamin D, which has previously been linked to cancer.
Sleep is vital to give your body time to repair itself and to allow the brain to rest and recuperate. By forcing your body to keep working beyond the stage in which it needs to rest, you’re damaging yourself physically and mentally, which can cause stress and mood related concerns. You should aim to get around eight hours each night to allow your body to rest.
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