Sleep—we all need it. Yet, most of us don’t get enough of it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30 percent of American adults report getting 6 or less hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation is so common in our culture, it seems as if it is just a normal part of modern life.
But did you know that not getting enough sleep for just one week can effect hundreds of normal genetic expressions in your body and that lack of sleep can speed up the growth of cancer or other illnesses?
Lack of Sleep and Cancer
Sleep disturbances have been linked to cancer, especially breast cancer. In fact, one study found a 14-60 % increase in breast cancer risk in women who worked the night shift. Here are just a few more ways lack of sleep can affect you:
► Studies have shown that the sleep disorder “sleep apnea” is associated with increased cancer mortality. This is because cancer cells grow best where there is less oxygen.
► If you don’t sleep through the night (i.e. fractured sleep), this can accelerates tumor growth.
► insufficient sleep is associated with accelerated aging, cell damage, DNA shortening, depression and a compromised immune system.
Why Aren’t You Sleeping?
5 Possible Reasons and What You Can Do About Them
The reasons why you may not be getting a good night’s sleep are as unique as you are. Besides the obvious, like night shift work or sleep apnea, there are some other less-obvious factors that may be connected to sleep disturbances and insomnia:
1) Stress: We all have nights when we just can’t shut off our brain. In this case, your brain remains in the Beta and Alpha frequencies instead of moving into the Theta and Delta frequencies needed for sleep. The good news is that there are many programs on-line as well as CD’s that can help move your brain form the Alpha/Beta state to the Theta/Delta state so you can snooze.
2) Illness: Did you know that insomnia is experienced in 30-75% of cancer patients? This could be caused by stress, medications (such as chemotherapy) or pain, but either way, the unfortunate result is a situation that can actually perpetuate the growth of cancer cells. Other conditions that can effect sleep patterns are fibromyalgia, hyperthyroidism, Alzheimer’s and GERD.
3) Lifestyle: Lifestyle factors that may affect your sleep include what you eat, when you eat it and how active you are. Do you drink a lot of coffee, black tea, soda and sugary or high-carb foods or are you ingesting these items late in the day? Try cutting down on your coffee intake and watch the results. Also, try having your last meal at least three hours before you go to bed to avoid heartburn and other digestive problems that may keep you up or prevent you from getting quality sleep. Finally, move your body! Studies have directly connected exercise with better health overall, including better sleep.
4) EMF Exposure: The wavelengths emitted from your electronic devices such as televisions sets and computers have a direct effect on the melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is not only vital for healthy sleep; it is also a cytotoxic hormone that kills cancer cells, protects against estrogen overdose and boosts your immune system.
5) Hormonal Imbalance: Like many women, I experienced severe insomnia when I entered my menopause years. This is when I learned about the intricate balance between female hormones and the neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that regulate many physical and emotional processes in the body. There are six main neurotransmitters that help your sleep, while others help keep you awake. Imbalance occurs, for example, when there is not enough serotonin production and too much epinephrine. This situation can lead to insomnia.
If you think your sleep issues may be related to hormones, the best way to test them is through a simple at-home saliva and urine test that is recommended and then evaluated by a doctor. I recommend the one done by Labrix and I can personally say that because of the information I learned from these tests, I was able to put a plan in place that made sense for me. I now have a healthy sleep 95% of the time!
How Cannabis Can Help You Sleep
There are many natural plant-based sleep aids and cannabis is definitely one of them. Studies show that taking a small amount of either THC or CBD before bedtime can increase the amount of time you spend sleeping. It can also lead to a deeper, more restorative sleep and may have a beneficial effect for those who suffer from sleep apnea.
If you are struggling with sleep, know that you are not alone and don’t give up! Take proactive steps to get back to a healthy and restorative sleep. If you do, you will feel better throughout the day and, what’s more, you may also be preventing cancer.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”) is a best-selling author and specialist in Chiropractic, Bio-Energetics, Meridian Stress Analysis, Homeopathy and Digital Thermography. After 30 years in active practice, she decided to “retire” and devote her time to sharing her personal, non-toxic Breast Cancer healing journey with others. Her years of experience and research have culminated in “The 7 Essentials™ “, a step-by-step coaching program that unravels the mystery of healing the body. Her website and personal healing journey have touched the lives of thousands of women around the globe. To get your F.R.E.E. 7-day mini e-course and to receive her weekly inspiring articles on the power of Natural Medicine, visit http://breastcancerconqueror.com/.