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Sleep and Cancer Risk

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Can you be increasing your risk of cancer just from your sleep habits?



Sleep and Breast Cancer!


We all know that sleep is important!


When we don’t get enough sleep we see a change in our moods (crying uncontrollably over something that really isn’t that major hbu?), change in our blood sugar control (never feeling full after a late night), fatigue (poor energy due to being tired), getting sick more easily (sleep is powerful and correlated strongly with immune health). There are so many others and the list could go on and on.


The average recommendation for adults is now quite confusing. There is research stating the 7-9 hour sweet spot, but also new conclusions from experts stating that everyone is different on how much sleep they need. Of course this also depends on mental and physical exertion needs as well (sleeping for what feels like days after a tough week of exams anyone?).

Now, there is research coming forth that there is correlation with poor sleep/extended sleep duration and breast cancer. Studies conducted show a potential increased risk of breast cancer, especially estrogen receptor-positive, for people that slept longer hours at night (>9 hours) compared to those that fell within the average sleep range (6.1-8.9 hours).


“There is research stating the 7-9 hour sweet spot, but also new conclusions from experts stating that everyone is different on how much sleep they need.”

Overall, more research is showing that there are multi-factorial components involved with this. Sleep duration, quality, circadian rhythm, and sleep disorders all can factor into someone’s cancer risk, and these are all mostly a concern when it is happening long term.


It is important to make sure sleep is a priority. I try to establish a good nighttime routine and proper sleep hygiene to not only make the next day a good one, but to benefit my health in the long run.


Do you make sleep a priority?


PMID: 29130041

PMID: 30568521



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