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Another reason to get a good amount of sleep – protection against colon cancer

Getting a good amount of sleep (for most people, between 7 and 9 hours of sleep) has been advocated for a number of health reasons. Sleep is the time when the body gets to recharge itself, and is the time when the brain gets time to get back to a good working condition (various studies have shown that when a person does not get enough sleep, the brain becomes slower in operation, and in extreme conditions, if the brain has not get rest for 2 days or more, it starts shutting down to ensure that some amount of sleep is available). In addition, getting an inadequate amount of sleep is also associated with a higher risk for health problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and so on.
Researchers are always on the quest to find out linkages between diseases and various factors that can contribute to such problems, through statistical methods (since these statistical methods enable the finding out of linkages between cause and effect, and provide an entry point to more clinical investigation). In a similar such investigation, researchers have found out that getting less than six hours of sleep had led to an increase in the risk of developing colorectal adenomas (link to article):

Researchers from University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that individuals who averaged less than six hours of sleep at night had an almost 50 per cent increase in the risk of colorectal adenomas compared with individuals sleeping at least seven hours per night.
Adenomas are a precursor to cancer tumours, and left untreated, they can turn malignant. “A short amount of sleep can now be viewed as a new risk factor for the development of the development of colon cancer,” said Li Li, the study’s principal investigator.
The patients with adenomas were found in general to have reported sleeping less than six hours compared to those patients without adenomas (control) patients.

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