Did you know? Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in Canada, responsible for 30% of all deaths. It is truly a scourge.
While cancer doesn’t always play fair, there are many, many lifestyle changes that can reduce our personal risk. Among these is stress-management and proper sleep.
Research shows that stress and poor sleep can throw off the rhythm of two critical hormones: cortisol and melatonin. When these are imbalanced, our risk of cancer rises.
Cortisol, known as ‘the stress hormone’, actually suppresses immune function, including the activity of cells that fight cancer.
In The Cortisol Connection, Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, explains that immune cells called ‘natural killer cells’ are reduced by up to 50 percent following exposure to stress. As it turns out, cortisol not only suppresses the number and activity of natural killer cells, but also promotes tumor growth. Elevated cortisol thus attacks on two fronts: it accelerates the growth of cancer and blocks our ability to fight the disease.
Melatonin is another hormone at play in cancer. Released during sleep at night, melatonin acts as a powerful antioxidant. It repairs damage to DNA that otherwise may mutate into cancer. Several studies, including studies of nurses working the night shift, have shown that irregular sleep lowers the production of melatonin and is associated with higher levels of cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has actually stated that irregular sleep patterns are carcinogenic. That’s how important it is to get your rest!
Getting more sleep sounds simple enough, and there’s no deprivation required. If only we could get it, right?
Our nervous system and muscles require magnesium to relax into a deep and uninterrupted sleep. Magnesium regulates cortisol and melatonin, normalizing the rhythms of the very hormones that, when disrupted, can lead to cancer. Unfortunately, most Canadians are not getting enough of this vital mineral.
If you know someone who sleeps poorly or who is under chronic stress, tell them about Natural Calm. You may add many, many healthy years to their life.