Cancer is a terrifying wicked disease and a case of many painful deaths. People who have been victims to cancer or affected by it after losing someone from it live in constant fear of the disease. Did you know that cancer has now been closely associated with snoring? You probably knew how snoring disrupts relationships, its association with unproductively during the day and also with obesity. You may also have heard how it can be a symptom of stress and underling sleep disorders, but that it’s linked to cancer? Isn’t that a shocker? Well, read on to see why you should pay more attention to your snoring condition.
Relationship between the Immune System and Poor Sleep
A study conducted by the University of Chicago that focused on toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) established a link between the quality of sleep we receive and the body’s immune system capability. TLR4 is the biological system in our body that protects it against foreign matter like bacteria and viruses. TLR4 is also responsible for fighting cancer. Its ability to fight cancer can however sometimes be compromised with and it may fail to recognize the cancer cells as foreign bodies.
Uninterrupted sleep compromises the growth of cancer cells as it boosts the ability of the immune system to fight cancer at its early stages. The molecule that controls the activation of the immune system is the TLR4.
Macrophages also determine how the immune system will respond to the cancer cells. These immune cells normally associated with cancer are often found clustered at tumor sites. Macrophages tend to respond with signals given to them. There are two types of macrophages:
M1 – These promote an immune system so strong it gets rid of tumor cells
M2 – These are the cells that suppress the ability of the immune system to respond to foreign bodies. So for example instead of promoting the growth of new blood vessels, they will tend to suppress the growth of tumor.
According to the findings of the study conducted by the University of Chicago, interrupted sleep was seen to increase the aggressiveness of tumor cells. The university conducted a lab experiment with mice as the subjects of study. The study put several cancer causing cells to test and the results were the same, mice that had interrupted sleep had M2 cells dominating in their body.
This study therefore concluded that lack of quality sleep compromises the ability of your immune system to respond effectively which puts you at a higher risk of contacting cancer.
How Can You Tell That You Have Disrupted Sleep?
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you often wake up feeling exhausted?
- Do you have constant cases of sore throat?
- Do you often wake up with constant jaw pain?
- Do you wake up with red eyes even when you sleep extremely early and didn’t drink excessively on the night before?
If your answer to these questions is yes then you are probably having disruptive sleep and the most probably cause of this is snoring.
Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissues in the throat as a result of the fallback of the jaw or the tongue towards the throat leading to an obstruction in the airway and consequently more pressure in the air entering the lungs.
Because the air way is obstructed, very little air is getting through to your lungs and this also makes the brain get very little oxygen. The brain is therefore worked up as even at night it needs to relax a bit but can’t do this if it has to constantly keep check of you.
Snoring could just be as simple as that, snoring. But there are instances where it could graduate to a more serious condition referred to as sleep apnea. This is a condition where your breathing frequently stops in addition to your chronic snoring. In this condition, your brain has to constantly wake you up so that you don’t fall unconscious for extended period of time and potentially die.
The quality of sleep does not depend on the total number of hours you sleep but whether your body goes through all the REM sleeping stages. If your body skips the 3rd or 4th sleeping stage then it will result in poor quality of sleep.
Although you may not remember frequently waking up from your sleep in the night, you will wake up feeling exhausted and in terrible moods. Can you now follow the connection between sleep, snoring and cancer? Snoring results into poor quality of sleep which compromises the ability of your immune system to detect and fight cancer causing cells and therefore increase your risk of getting cancer.
Relationship between sleep and hormones
The two notorious hormones for influencing cancer cells are melatonin and Cortisol. The latter, cortisol’s main job is regulation of the immune systems activity. It produces some type of cells that are known for battling cancer. The amount of cortisol is highest in the evening when it is expected that you should have had a few hours of sleep. They are then seen to subside gradually through the day.
Snorers and those who have frequent uninterrupted sleep for whatever reason have a higher probability of getting abnormal cortisol patterns. Since cortisone is a cancer natural cancer-cell killing hormone, your body’s ability to fight cancer is compromised because you body is not capable of releasing enough of this hormone.
The other hormone is Melatonin. This is also produced by your brain and higher amounts are produced when you are asleep. It contains some anti-oxidant properties which prevent the damage of cells that is also seen as a potential cause of cancer. Melatonin is mainly found in women and so also decreases production of oestrogen. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, the levels of melatonin in your body decrease and your ovaries begin producing oestrogen in very huge amounts. Excess in oestrogen production increases your risk for breast cancer.
As you can see, there is a big role that’s played by sleep in regulation of hormones and eventually in progression of the growth of cancer causing cells. When you snore, your sleep pattern is interfered with due to frequent waking up. This therefore puts you at a higher risk of developing cancer due to hormonal imbalance.
Conclusion of the Matter
Snoring is no longer a condition that can be left to chance. The long-term health risk that is presented as a result of snoring is far too huge and it is therefore your responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones from this risk.
For most people, finding a solution to the snoring problem is just in a bid to save their relationships or to make their bed mates more comfortable. However, as you can see, there is more to the effect of snoring than just disrupting relationships. Even if you don’t have a bed partner you should endeavor to find a lasting solution to your snoring habits.
The good news is that there is overpopulation in the number of anti snoring gadgets in the market today. Controlling or eliminating your snoring therefore doesn’t have to end up in some surgery. The oral anti-snoring mouthpiece devices range from very cheap to even expensive ones so you are sure to find one that fits within your budget. Choosing one may be challenging but you can go through reviews to see which ones are more favorable for you.
It is important that you quickly find a solution for your snoring even when you live alone and don’t have a bed partner or a house mate. Your snoring decreases the quality of sleep that you get, affects your immune system functions and interferes with your hormones. All of these put you at a higher risk of getting cancer and other diseases like obesity.