December 10, 2022

Can a good night’s sleep lower prostate cancer risk?

Never underestimate the importance of a great night’s sleep. According to new research, a connection exists between higher levels of the sleep hormone melatonin along with a lower risk of cancer of the prostate.

Melatonin, made by the pineal gland in the brain, is directly affected by the total amount and excellence of sleep.

“There is a longstanding association between melatonin and cancer risk in general, whether cancer of the breast or prostate cancer,” says Dr. Timothy Roth, urologist on staff at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill.

Researchers analyzed the urine samples of nearly 930 Icelandic men to measure their melatonin levels. Additionally, the boys received a questionnaire regarding their sleep patterns. The study found that men with higher amounts of melatonin were built with a 30 percent lower risk of overall prostate cancer.

This association was particularly strong if this came to a sophisticated stage of the disease. In fact, men with higher melatonin levels were built with a 75 percent lower chance of developing advanced prostate cancer. From the men who already had cancer of the prostate, 111 in total, those with higher melatonin levels were built with a less advanced stage from the disease.

“A reasonable conclusion from this study and similar studies is that a hyperlink exists between melatonin and prostate cancer risk,” Dr. Roth says. “However, until more research arrives, we can’t confirm that higher levels of melatonin will result in less chance of prostate cancer. This study will hopefully be considered a springboard for additional in-depth research on a cause-and-effect relationship.”?

While Dr. Roth doesn’t recommend stocking on melatonin supplements, he does acknowledge the health benefits of a good night’s sleep. Seven to eight hours rest is a perfect amount for any healthy adult, he notes.

“Studies have shown that people who obtain a healthy amount of sleep generally have less chance of severe diseases, including cancers and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases,” Dr. Roth says. “Generally, individuals who get an adequate amount of sleep tend to eat better, do more exercise and ultimately lead a healthier lifestyle.”