Several cancers including breast cancer have a large component of inflammation associated with them. Disruption of the circadian rhythm has been shown to be an inflammatory and breast cancer risk in animal models. Restorative sleep for 6-8 hours has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, a study in September’s issue of Epidemiology found women who lived in area of high levels of ambient light at night may have increased risk of breast cancer.
In addition, Melatonin, our sleep hormone, has been shown to have protective effects against breast cancer. Another study in The Journal of National Cancer Institute showed a link between light exposures at night to increased risk of breast cancer. It was thought to be connected to light suppressing melatonin levels which in turn can increase estrogen levels from the ovaries. More research is needed on both fronts but simple concepts for sleep are important for daily detoxification and healing. Sleep hygiene which includes a dark room with no electronics use for up to 2 hours prior to bedtime can be a daily tool for lowering risk.