Ever hear of the “domino effect?” This occurs when one event sets off a chain reaction of similar or related events, often with messy or even dire consequences. It is also a great way to describe how the conditions of sleep deprivation, depression and cancer, including breast cancer, are connected.
The First Domino: Lack of Sleep
It is an awful feeling. You are tired and you want to fall asleep, yet your mind is spinning. All you can do is lay in bed and stare at the ceiling or the clock as the worries and stressors of the day weigh down on you.
Everyone has had this experience at least a few times in their lives. However, when lack of sleep becomes a chronic condition for whatever reason, it can have a serious effect on your immune system and may also increase your risk of cancer.
Experts say that a normal, healthy adult should have between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night. When this doesn’t happen, it can seriously affect your immune system. Lack of sleep means your body produces less cytokines, which are created when we slumber and are needed to fight off over-inflammation in the body, among other things. When cytokine production is low, inflammation increases and so does your risk of Breast Cancer.
A twelve-year study published by the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University (2010) proved the correlation between the inflammatory process and the growth of Breast Cancer cells. When scientists purposely inactivated the inflammatory process in research mice, they were able to actually stop Breast Cancer cells from developing.
You can stop the inflammation that may cause the growth of breast cancer by getting adequate and quality sleep and by following the guidelines my 7 Essentials System™ an evidence-based approach to support and help heal the body naturally.
Depression: The Hidden Factor
Lack of sleep also effects the neurotransmitters in your brain, setting your body up for another domino effect of complications. Serotonin, GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and glutamate act like “chemical messengers” in your body. They regulate many processes in the body, including cognition, focus, memory, emotional states and pain.
“In people who have bad insomnia and bad depression, it is often very difficult to tell which came first,” says Mark Mahowald, MD, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Hennepin County in a recent article. “Sleep deprivation can impair mood, and impaired mood can result in impaired quality and quantity of sleep.”
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, close to 7 % of Americans over 18 years of age have been diagnosed with clinical depression. In addition, studies have shown that insomnia is experienced in 30 to 75 percent of cancer patients.
Lack of sleep can lead to depression and has been linked to inflammatory responses that can cause cancer tumors to grow. When you are dealing with a health crisis such as Breast Cancer, avoid the “domino effect” that lack of sleep can cause. Make lifestyle choices that allow you to get the recommended 7-8 hours of quality sleep you need.
In addition, if you suffer from insomnia or are having trouble falling or staying asleep for more than two weeks, consider getting a Sleep Profile that will test your levels of the basic neuro-transmitting hormones that impact your sleep. The results of your unique Sleep Profile will determine the best course of action in healing sleep-related issues. You deserve a good night’s sleep as well as vibrant health overall—and you can get there, naturally!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”) is a best-selling author and founder of breastcancerconqueror.com. She specializes 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.