According to Stanford University School of Medicine researchers, a good night’s sleep may even help fight cancer. The quality and quantity of a person’s sleep can have a tremendous affect on the balance of hormones in the body. That fact makes the sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythm) a prime candidate for linking cancer prognosis to a person’s quality and quantity of sleep.

The circadian rhythm involves the hormones melatonin and cortisol. Melatonin is produced by the brain during sleep. It is a strong  antioxidant. Antioxidants remove damaging free-radical compounds. People with an altered circadian rhythm produce less melatonin. That means that their cells are less protected by the strong antioxidant affects of melatonin and more prone to cancer-causing mutations. Melatonin has also been shown to slow estrogen production. In many forms of breast and ovarian cancer, estrogen causes cancer cells to continue to reproduce. Workers on night shifts produce less melatonin and are therefore more prone to cancer. The second possible link involves the hormone cortisol. It normally reaches peak levels at dawn and declines through the day.

Cortisol  helps regulate immune system activity. This includes the activity of natural killer cells that help the body fight cancer. Research has found that women with breast cancer whose normal cortisol cycle was disrupted — their peak levels occurred in the afternoon instead of at dawn — died earlier from their cancer. The women with the disrupted cortisol cycle tended to sleep poorly, to have lost a spouse, and to have cancer-fighting ability of their immune system suppressed. -Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Keith and Laurie Nemec comments on Good Night Sleep Can Prevent Cancer:

To have a healthy immune system to fight off or prevent cancer, bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections you must get a good nights sleep.  The two hormones involved in the immune system and sleep are melatonin and cortisol.  Melatonin (only in the natural state and not in supplement form) is a powerful antioxidant consuming free radicals in the body that can cause cancer.  Cortisol is closely linked to killer cell activity which are the white blood cells that kill cancer cells.

To get these two hormones in the proper health maintaining range one needs to get to bed by 8:30 p.m. and wake up by 6:00 a.m.  This is 9.5 hours of sleep which is ideal for health and healing of a human being.  The best way to shift your sleep pattern to going to bed earlier is to start getting up earlier.  The earlier you get up in the morning the more tired you will be at 8:00 p.m. and will get to bed.  Remember this isn’t an all or none situation.  If you are used to going to bed at 11:30 p.m for each half hour you get to bed earlier your immune system is boosted proportionately.  Get up early and have your prayer time, exercise time, quiet time in the morning–early.

Also, remember night time is flesh- feeding time and spent on waste of time activities like watching television.  Get to bed early, get up early and be prepared for your day. Learn more about the importance of sleep in the Seven Basic Steps to Total Health™