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You May Want to Consider Being a Morning Person Because of This

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Although there’s admittedly a “truckload of confusion” over this proclamation, Ars Technical is reporting that a new research paper presented at the National Cancer Research Institute shows that being a morning person may cut breast cancer risk.

The paper claims investigators found evidence of the link after examining the health records from nearly 400,000 women. They also studied the women’s answers to a questionnaire on how long they slept every day, if they suffered from insomnia and whether they considered themselves a “morning” or “evening” person. At the end, though, the researchers said they specifically were trying to determine if sleep affects the risk for breast cancer.

This is a case where you absolutely need to read beyond a headline and all the way to the end of an article before drawing a conclusion as to what the topic of the article is actually about. In this instance, I can just about guarantee that many editors of publications that pick this up will fail to read all the way through their press releases, and will lead readers to believe that being a morning person lessens your risk for breast cancer.

But the truth is, the authors of this paper admit that what they’re really looking for is a connection between sleep and cancer, specifically, breast cancer. The morning versus evening conclusions are nothing but opinions — opinions concluded by self-reviews of the women in the study. So, how can they scientifically say that being a morning person lessens your risk of breast cancer? The answer is they can’t.

What they can say, however, is that numerous other studies show how important good, healthy sleep that follows your natural circadian rhythm is to your overall health, including the prevention of chronic diseases, not the least of which is cancer. But plainly, if you want to optimize your health and reduce your risk of many diseases, it’s important to pay attention to ancient patterns of waking, sleeping and eating.

If you do that, you may very well find yourself turning into a morning person, if you’re not already. That said, to be up and raring to go early in the morning, the first thing you have to do is go to bed at night and make sure that you get that classic eight hours of sleep. To that end, many studies show that sleep deprivation decreases your immune function, and raises your risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, just to name a few — so those eight hours are, indeed, important.

If you’re having trouble getting those eight hours in and you’re feeling sleep deprived, you may want to read my article, “Sleep — Why You Need It and 50 Ways to Improve It.” Here, I give you a long list of sleep tips and suggestions for implementing them and making it a goal to address your sleep needs.

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