We all know what happens when we don’t get enough sleep; we wake up groggy and cranky and then cram our body full of caffeine in order to make up for our lack of energy (we’re definitely guilty of this one on occasion). Short term effects of sleep depravation are evident and more and more studies are being conducted to find out if there are less obvious, long-term effects.
Sleep is an extremely important part of the day, but it is proving to be even more important than we thought. Just one week of insufficient sleep alters the activity of our genes, which control our response to stress, immunity, inflammation, and overall health. Quite possibly the most devastating side effect of sleep deprivation is it’s link to breast cancer.
Staying up late at night increases exposure to unnatural light which is known to lower the bodies levels of melatonin production. Lack of melatonin then disrupts estrogen production and too much estrogen promotes the growth of breast cancer. According to a study, getting six or fewer hours of sleep each night seems to increase the risk of cancer recurring among post-menopausal breast cancer patients. In addition, regularly getting too little sleep can increase the risk of aggressive breast cancer.
Now more than ever, we know that sleep is incredibly important for our mind, body, and soul. Check out this infographic to find out about even more risks we run when we miss out on our full nights sleep: