Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sleeping With The Light On

I always thought sleep was good for you no matter where you are.  I envy people like my husband who can fall asleep anywhere (the couch, floor, car) or in any conditions (the lights on, television or radio on).  I am embarrassed to admit but I am like the princess in the story of the princess and the pea.  I need a dark, quiet room with a comfy bed.  Apparently, my need for a dark room is actually healthy.

Even one hour of artificial light exposure during night time sleeping hours can affect cell division thereby increasing cancer risk.  In a study conducted by Dr. Rachel BenShlomo of the University of Haifa and Dr. Charalambos Kyriacou of the University of Leicester, laboratory mice were exposed to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.  During the dark hours, one group of mice was exposed for one hour to artificial light.  The mice exposed to the artificial light had their body circadian rhythm disrupted and the process by which the body's cells divided was affected.  Damage to cell division can impair how cells form and how cells fight cancer.

Next time you go to sleep, make sure the lights are out.  You will protect your cells.  You will also save money on your electricity bill.

Stay healthy & well,

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