Sleep disorders or sleeping too long increase the risk of dementia and lung cancer

Doctors are studying the effects of disturbed sleep
Many people around the world have trouble sleeping at night. Such difficulties in initiating and maintaining sleep in middle age can, for example, lead to an increased risk of developing dementia. Researchers have now found that sleep problems are linked to dementia and an increased likelihood of lung cancer.

The University of Eastern Finland scientists found in their investigation that problems with initiating or maintaining nighttime sleep can lead to an increased risk of dementia and lung cancer. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.

How many hours of sleep a night are healthy?
If people sleep less or more than 7 to 7.5 hours a night, this increases their risk of developing dementia or lung cancer, the experts explain. Such sleep behavior appears to cause low levels of inflammation in the human body. In addition, disruption of our sleep hormones causes tumor growth to be driven, the authors say.

Lack of sleep increases the amount of copper in our blood
The lack of sleep is also associated with increased concentrations of copper in our blood, which in turn increases the risk of cancer, the scientists explain. If nighttime sleep is disturbed for a long time, this also increases the risk of developing dementia by a factor of 1.5. This effect can be due to the accumulation of a specific protein, which affects the brain region connected to the memory and prevents the regeneration of the brain cells.

Experts examined almost 2,700 participants
For their study, the researchers examined 2,682 male subjects over a period of 20 years. The participants in the basic exams from 1984 to 1989 were between 42 and 60 years old. The study also took into account personal health factors (e.g. smoking), the experts say.

What happens during our sleep?
During sleep, the body's energy is assigned to cellular repair, immune functions and neuronal plasticity of the brain, and memory consolidation, the authors explain. The need for sleep is individual and changes over the lifetime. The recommended sleep time for adults is usually seven to nine hours. Insufficient sleep, sleep disorders, insomnia or disturbances in the sleep rhythm can lead to excessive fatigue during the day.

What problems are acute due to lack of sleep?
Acute effects of poor sleep are, for example, difficulties with cognitive tasks, increased energy requirements, increased cell stress, lower heart rate and lower body temperature, the scientists explain.

Which chronic diseases can long-term sleep disorders lead to?
Long-term sleep disorders have been linked to some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. The researchers also found an increased risk of mortality in people who slept too short or too long, the researchers explain.

What factors increase the risk of cancer and dementia?
The underlying factors regarding the association between sleep duration and an increased risk of lung cancer relate to minor inflammation and melatonin secretion disorders, the authors say. These factors contribute to the pathogenesis of cancer and the acceleration of tumor growth. Low level inflammation is associated with sleep duration and zinc and copper levels, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The experts add an association between sleep disorders and dementia due to structural changes in the brain, minor inflammation and disorders of neurogenesis. (As)

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