Sleeping well 'aids cancer fight'

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The Independent Online

A good night's sleep may help to protect against cancer, scientists claimed yesterday.

A team of American scientists, led by Professor David Spiegel, from Stanford University in California, suggested that restless nights may disrupt hormone balances and make a person more vulnerable to the disease.

Previous studies have shown that cancer patients who have group therapy or a strong social network fare better than those who do not. According to the new theory, this could be because people with stronger social support sleep more soundly, causing less disruption to the body's hormone balance.

Dr Spiegel said: "Psychosocial factors affect your behaviour patterns, such as exercise, what you eat and drink, and your sleep."