Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity and high risk of type 2 diabetes, apart from chronic fatigue syndrome. And now, less or erratic sleep is getting linked to increase in risk for cancer, as per a study by Scripps Research Institute published in the journal eLife. The study showcases that two proteins critical for maintaining healthy day-night cycles also protect against mutations that could lead to cancer and have an unexpected role in DNA repair, possibly protecting cells from cancer-causing mutations triggered by UV radiation.
As we all know, the human body senses light and adjusts its rhythms to a day-night cycle called the circadian clock and studies have shown that people with unusual sleep schedules, such as flight attendants or night-shift nurses, are at a higher risk for certain diseases. This new link via the recent study between circadian clock proteins and DNA repair is a clue to how disrupting day-night cycles could harm health.
Moral of the story? Get a day job, switch off your phone at night, do some deep breathing, and get your 8 hours of sleep, to reduce your risk of getting cancer.