We all know that a good night’s sleep is essential for our beauty regimen – it’s not called beauty sleep for no reason – but getting your 40 winks is even more important than you think.
According to a study by Dubai Health Authority the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UAE has risen by 20 per cent in the last six years.
Worryingly the study also revealed that sleep deprivation could be linked to the rise.
Inadequate sleep is already associated with other big health issues including obesity, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Don’t ever underestimate the importance of some shut eye. Quality sleep is just as important for adults as it is for kids.
Adults should aim for at least seven to eight hours of good night’s sleep, every night, to help restore and heal the body – when we sleep the body produces melatonin which has antioxidant properties that prevent cellular damage – as well as allow for healthy mental stability and proper functioning of immunity system.
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On a biological level, lack of sleep can increase inflammation and disrupt normal immune function; both of which may promote cancer development.
According to the study, women who sleep less than six hours a night could be raising the risk of breast cancer by more than 60 per cent. Melatonin, which is primarily secreted at night, may trigger a reduction in the body’s production of oestrogen. Sleep deprivation hampers release of melatonin, allowing oestrogen levels to rise.
Too much oestrogen is known to promote the growth of breast cancers.
Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, Medical Director of The London Sleep Centre Dubai says: “There is increasing evidence that by optimising sleep in patients with cancer, we can improve long-term quality of life, survival rates and a better response to treatment. By improving sleep quantity and importantly sleep quality, we can reduce the incidence of depression in cancer patients and improve their quality and quantity of life.”
If you suffer from sleepless nights these tips to fight sleep deprivation might help:
- Wake up and go to bed the same time every day.
- Do not nap in the afternoon if you intend to complete your seven to eight hours of sleep cycle during the night.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least four to six hours before bed.
- Don’t exercise at least four hours before bedtime.
- Develop sleep rituals, such as listening to relaxing music, reading something soothing for 15 minutes and having a cup of caffeine-free tea.
- Have a light snack before bed. Good options include yogurt, skim milk or cherry juice.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
- Indulge in stimulus control, which involves limiting time awake in bed and viewing the bed only as a place for sleep.
- Ensure sleep hygiene, such as avoiding heavy meals and television before bed.
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