Scientists from the Netherlands (Erasmus University) have shown on experiments on laboratory mice that sleep disorders lead to more frequent occurrence of breast cancer. Researchers believe that a similar pattern may be applicable to humans.
Mice were more susceptible to breast cancer if their biological clock was messed with each week during the year. Normally, in mice with the genetic predisposition for this particular type of cancer the tumor develops in 50 weeks; however, the mice whose sleeping pattern was constantly changed the tumor developed 8 weeks earlier.
Based on these data, scientists are urging women with a family history of breast cancer to pay attention to their daily regime in order to reduce the risk of developing this disease. In particular, women should leave shift work behind, especially working night shifts.
In addition, the study once again confirmed the relationship of sleep disorders with obesity: mice who slept irregularly, at the end of the experiment gained 20% of extra weight, although the amount of food consumed was the same.