For as long as I can remember, my sleep time has always been just about the most important part of my day. In order to function well, I need eight to nine hours of sleep per day. For some, it appears that I am just lazy and would sleep my life away if allowed to do so but such really is not the case. I require a minimum of that amount of sleep in order to function at my peak. So what happens if I don’t get enough sleep? Equally important, what happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
“The obvious benefit for any breast cancer patient is that sleep allows your body to heal. No matter the treatment given, your body is being assaulted with surgeries, chemo, radiation and/or drugs and all have an effect on its normal balance.”Barbara Jacoby
The obvious benefit for any breast cancer patient is that sleep allows your body to heal. No matter the treatment given, your body is being assaulted with surgeries, chemo, radiation and/or drugs and all have an effect on its normal balance. Therefore, sleep is most important to not only restore balance at the end of the day but also to heal. What may have been enough sleep on a daily basis previously might now need to be expanded. And depending upon the treatments, you might not be able to sleep during the same regimented hours that you have in the past. Your sleep may now be measured in small naps whenever you either can make yourself comfortable enough or just pass out from sheer exhaustion.
The more that research is done with regard to sleep, the more we are learning about how else it affects us in ways that are not as obvious. If you do not get enough sleep or enough good quality sleep, your metabolism will not work properly. As a result, our ability to lose weight is affected because of our nightly hormones. When these two hormones become imbalanced, we will experience weight gain. Interestingly, in this case, it is not the sleep that determines melatonin levels but the darkness so if you can’t sleep but are in the dark, your melatonin will rise as normal.
While there will be more studies done in the future, we can already see that sleep and the conditions under which we sleep have definite benefits and influences on us and our health. For those dealing with breast cancer, it is apparent that so much of our recovery and perhaps even our long-term defeat of cancer depend on what is happening in the bedroom at night. It certainly seems that major accomplishments can be made with some very minor adjustments.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.