Black Out Curtains, Sleep Shade
Gives Cancer Protection
...and more!

Using black out curtains or a sleep shade provides many health benefits. Before taking melatonin as sleep aid or supplement, try black out drapes or wearing an eye mask ... your best and most natural way to maximize your melatonin protection.

Research has proven that artificial night light suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin production is essential to get deep restorative sleeps and ward off major diseases like cancer.

And, research confirms that blocking out artificial light helps to greatly reduce tumour growth in breast cancer and prostate cancer. Other studies show when you eliminate exposure to artificial light your deep restorative sleep is enhanced.

Melatonin as Sleep Aid News:
Your body's best natural melatonin production is when it's dark. Research has proven as soon as artificial night light reaches your retina, melatonin production is suppressed. Black out curtains or wearing a sleep shade (sleeping mask) ensure that artificial lights don't interfere with the body's natural protection.

Is artificial light suppressing your melatonin protection?
Here's how to tell if your room is dark enough:
Tonight, when you go to bed, turn off the lights like you normally do, close your eyes for 10-20 seconds, then open them. Take a good look
... can you see:
• electronic lights from your TV, DVD, clock/alarm/radio or computer
(Kudos to you if you have no electronics in your • light seeping in around your bedroom door. Or, if your bedroom door isn't closed, is there any visible light from the hall or other rooms?
• plug-in night lights
• artificial light seeping in or around your window coverings from the street or your neighbours' outside lights, or your own

Here's how to maximize your body's natural melatonin production?
1. Wear a sleeping mask; your easiest and the most affordable alternative to installing black out drapes. A sleep shade might feel a little strange at first, but it soon becomes comforting ... not unlike when car seat belts were first enforced, or
2. Install black out curtains (make sure they fit tight to all four edges. Better still have them fitted to cover some of the wall on either side. Ensure they hang flush (no space) from the ceiling. If ever there was a case for sleeping in total darkness, this is it. I hope you think so too and will take immediate action.

Tip #1:

If installing black out curtains isn't convenient, why not get night masks for the whole family. Also, sleep masks make great gifts for other cherished loved ones.

Artificial Light & Breast Cancer
Women', a January, 2006 publication by Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Canada, reviewed a National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded study, in a articled titled: "Artificial light at night stimulates breast tumour growth".

"... study in laboratory mice show that night time exposure to artificial light stimulated the growth of human breast tumours by suppressing the levels of a key hormone called melatonin. The study also showed that extended periods of night time darkness greatly slowed the growth of
these tumours."

" ...results suggest that the increasing night time use of electric lighting, both at home and in the workplace, may be a significant factor."

(If you are a shift worker and/or a women susceptible to breast cancer you are at a greater risk. Read the full article here to reinforce the importance of installing black out curtains or wearing a sleep shade.)

Still think it's too much trouble installing black out curtains or wearing sleep shades, here's more evidence ... especially if you are a shift worker.

Night Shift -- Deadly!
If you work the night shift, you no doubt are aware of how your social life, sleep habits and overall mood can be impacted. But are you aware of shift work's increased cancer risk?

A study of women in Denmark's military found there was a substantial increased breast cancer risk with women who worked a lot of night shifts. Recently (June 12, 2012), on a CBC Radio program, The Current, Johnni Hansen, epidemiologist with the Danish Cancer Society discussed the study's findings. (starts at 1 min. 37 sec.)

Also on the same program (9 min. 59 sec.) Anthony Pizzino, national director of research in occupational health and safety, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) discusses the recent research evidence of night work risks and the future possibility of recommending limiting the number of night shifts.

As well, Diane Boivin, Director of the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada explains circadian rhythms' function and potential health and safety risks when circadian rhythms are disrupted.

She recommends shift workers incorporate counter measures such as minimizing number of consecutive nights, make shifts as short as possible, and "try to keep the most healthy lifestyle as you can" ... "even more important for night shift workers because we know that there's all these health issues associated with it." (12 min. 11 sec.)

Note: The "Graveyard Shift" interviews start at 1 min. 37 sec.)

Note: The "Graveyard Shift" interviews start at 1 min. 37 sec.)

And men, you are also at risk!

Artificial Light & Prostate Cancer
An article citing a University of Haifa study, published in 2009, by Science Daily, "Artificial Light At Night: Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer, study states".

"At the very first stage of the study, it already became clear that there is a marked link between the incidence of prostate cancer and levels of night time artificial illumination and electricity consumption. Several different methods of statistical analysis were used to arrive at this conclusion."

Attention: All men susceptible to prostate cancer.

Be sure you read the full article here to reinforce why you too should plan to either wear a sleep shade (eye mask) or install black out curtains.

Combat Prostrate Cancer
If prostate cancer concerns you, a pomegranate a day ("pomme" -- French for apple) might just keep more than the doctor away.

These three studies suggest pomegranate as a solution for combating prostrate cancer:

1) Allan Pantuck, M.D., director of cancer research at UCLA, specializes in prostate research. With no other treatment, he studied 50 men with recurring prostate cancer and previous surgery or radiation.

For the study they drank 8 oz. of pomegranate juice each day. Within weeks, their PSA levels were stabilized and doubling times were increased four-fold (short doubling times increase death risk). The results also showed a decrease in cancer cell growth (12%) and increase in cancer cell death (17%).

2) In their study, the National Cancer Institute concluded that foods containing ellagic acid (such as in pomegranates) can block aromatase, an enzyme which produces estrogen.

3) The University of Quebec in Canada research also showed that pomegranates can inhibit estrogen production. In this case, it was the punicic acid in pomegranates that inhibit the aromatase enzyme.

All indications suggesting that pomegranate can help delay prostate cancer and need for more invasive procedures.

However, prevention is your best medicine. Be sure to sleep in a totally darkened bedroom, either with black out curtains or a sleep mask.
... real men wear sleep masks.

Tip #2:
How do you know if your bedroom is dark enough?
If you wake in the a.m. (anytime pre/post dawn) and you can see any light seeping in around your window coverings or under closed doors, then you need to install blackout drapes or use an eye mask nightly!
Total Blackout! Try it -- for the health of it!

How to Sleep Better Tonight is an article you may like to read

Go to The Night Time Sleep Aid Secret from Black Out Curtains

Return to Sleep Hygiene from Black Out Curtains

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