Cancer prevention, sleep and obesity: Studies may show a connection March 28, 2017 12:19

Studies show that getting the right amount of sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity, which has been linked to colorectal, breast and kidney cancers.

This is not meant to scare you, just another reason to take care of your body.

Struggling to lose weight? It may not have anything to do with your diet or activity level.

Studies show that getting the right amount of sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity. Obesity has been linked to an increased risk for several types of cancer, including  colorectal, post-menopausal breast, endometrial, esophageal, kidney and pancreatic.

“How long, how well, how deep we sleep, what time we sleep and what happens during sleep all effect our metabolism,” says Carol Harrison, a senior exercise physiologist.

Sleep and your metabolism

The simple equation for weight loss is to burn more calories or energy than consumed. But anyone who has been on a diet knows that it’s not nearly that simple. Studies show that sleep may be a part of the reason why.

Our internal clocks are called circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm determines our sleep patterns, our heart rate and blood pressure.

“If our internal timing – in other words, our circadian rhythm – doesn’t match our external timing, then it can have a negative effect on our metabolisms,” Harrison says.

And remember- regular exercise will improve your sleep. 

Written by KELLIE BRAMLET BLACKBURN- University of Texas