Study Finds a Connection Between Sleep and Breast Cancer Survival

Doctors recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. People who do not get enough sleep may experience numerous side effects that are both physical and mental (such an increased risk for obesity or depression). Now a new study revealed that sleep is crucial in breast cancer treatment as well. 

Conducted by researchers at Stanford University, the study found that women who had advanced stage breast cancer had an increased chance of surviving longer if they had good sleep quality. Study participants who had a high sleep quality lived for an average of 68.9 additional months, but those with poor sleep quality only survived for half that time (33.2 months). Additionally, people who increased their sleep quality by 10 percent reduced their mortality rate by 32 percent.

"This study emphasizes the importance of assessing sleep quality among women with breast cancer," Dr. M Safwan Badr, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, said in a statement. "Healthy sleep is critical for physical health, quality of life and overall well-being."

The study noted that quality was far more important than quantity when predicting mortality in breast cancer patients. Participants who slept a lot but had poor quality sleep still had a lower estimated survival rate. 

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