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While You Were Sleeping…

Elissa Goodman

What if I told you one of the most important things you can do to live a long, healthy, fit life is absolutely free and you don’t have to walk out your front door? 


Recently, I was even more reminded of how vital sleep is. My fiancé had an intense cold and was snoring so loud! I love him tremendously, but my lack of sleep was totally taking me down. 

Lying there awake got me thinking about the deeper effects of not sleeping. I was immediately transported back to before my cancer diagnosis. I remember thinking of sleep as a convenience. Something that is nice to do when I can.

Now I know that sleep is a necessity like breathing. And here’s what I’ve learned about how lack of sleep can lead you down the path to a cancer diagnosis.

It was practically only yesterday (in terms of human evolution) that electricity was invented. Before that, it would get dark and we would go to sleep. We’d then wake up with the sun. Research has shown that this is the way to go. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting to sleep by 10 PM and waking around 6 AM.

You may think I’m crazy for suggesting this. “How in the world can I get to sleep by 10 PM?” you say. But what if your life depends on it? Research shows that staying up until midnight regularly doubles your risk of obesity, disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer.

So, what is it exactly that sleep does to keep you cancer free?

Once the darkness falls, your body produces melatonin and you fall asleep. Once asleep, the melatonin production significantly increases. This only happens if you go to bed at a proper time AND are sure to sleep in a pitch-black room. The darker it is, the higher your melatonin production…

Not only is melatonin the hormone of sleep, but it also serves to defend against and fight cancer.

Why is melatonin a cancer fighter?

  1. Melatonin is an antioxidant, meaning it destroys oxygen free radicals that harm your cells and DNA, leading to cancer.
  2. Melatonin enhances the effects of vitamin D which fights tumors.
  3. Melatonin slows down estrogen production which causes higher breast cell production which increases breast cancer risk.

Briefly, melatonin slows tumor growth and can prevent tumors from spreading. In breast cancer, it can even prevent cancer from initiating.

I got that cancer wake-up call before, so to me, sleep is priceless!

Tonight – when you’re deciding between staying up to watch tv or getting your butt to bed, remind yourself that sleep isn’t just a convenience…sleep can mean the difference between a healthy, cancer-free life and a diagnosis that nobody wants to get.


Sleep. Just DO it!

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