Disrupted Sleep Could Spur Cancer Growth Through Immune System Effects

Disrupted Sleep Could Spur Cancer Growth Through Immune System Effects, Animal Study Shows.

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Disrupted sleep could accelerate cancer growth due to its negative effects on the immune system, according to new research in mice. In the study, published in the journal Cancer Research, researchers split mice into two groups. One group of mice was allowed to sleep peacefully during the day (mice are nocturnal and typically sleep in the daytime), while the other mice had their sleep disturbed every two minutes with a motorized brush that swept through their cages; these mice were forced to wake up and go back to sleep. 

The mice experienced these settings for seven days before being injected with cells from one of two different kinds of tumors. After being injected, all the mice went on to develop tumors within nine to 12 days; the researchers examined the tumors four weeks later. The tumors that came from the mice whose sleep was disturbed were twice as big as the ones from the mice who were not disturbed, researchers found.

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