Sleeping for a shorter period and snoring frequently could indicate poor survival in patients with breast cancer, according to a study published on April 15 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The new study states that breast cancer patients who sleep for six hours or less each night and snore five or more nights each week before their diagnosis were twice as likely to die from breast cancer as those who sleep seven to eight hours each night and seldom snored.
Lead author Amanda Phipps, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington, says that the results support evidence that sleep is a crucial factor to various health problems. Several studies have shown that chronic sleep problems speed up the tumour growth and deteriorate the cancer prognosis.
While studies that link sleep with cancer survival is generally inadequate, experts believe that poor sleep increases one’s susceptibility to inflammation, which is a crucial factor in cancer development. Nevertheless, since this factor is controllable, experts at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests getting seven or more hours of sleep per night to improve health and prevent health issues.
“Healthy, sufficient sleep is essential for individual well-being, population health, and public safety,” adds Nathaniel Watson, the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “All adults should make it one of their top health priorities to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.”
The findings were shown at the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS), named SLEEP 2015, in June. The study involved analysing 21,230 women with first primary invasive breast cancer.
The respondents were interviewed about their sleep duration, snoring and other relevant information based on the Women’s Health Initiative’s Insomnia Rating Scale. Their age, marital status, cancer site, household income, smoking habits, time interval between data collection and their breast cancer diagnosis as well as their physical activity have all been taken into account.