New research has further linked night work to an increased risk of cancer, this time for men.
New research has further linked night work to an increased risk of cancer, claiming that men who work at night may be at an increased risk of developing the disease.
The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, noted a possible connection between working in the wee hours and having a higher risk of cancers such as prostate, colon, lung, bladder, rectal, and pancreatic, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, there was no association between the duration that men worked at night and their risk of developing cancer.
What does cancer have to do with sleep? Melatonin, the so-called “sleep hormone” we produce at night, doesn’t get the chance to be made by our bodies when we have too much light exposure (such as when we have to work during the night). Because of melatonin’s critical role in supporting our immune systems, a reduced amount of melatonin may lead to physiological changes that, in turn, lead to tumour growth.
A previous study documented similar effects in women—working the night shift increased women’s risk of developing breast cancer. Night shift workers can make some lifestyle changes that can ensure they get better sleeps and improve their health. Check out our article “Have a Good Day’s Sleep” for tips.