Sleeping is as vital to the human body as eating, drinking and breathing. Despite this it can be difficult to get enough sleep every night for a number of reasons.

The NHS states that adults need between seven to nine hours of kip every night. This is not always possible for many people due to long working hours, family life, stress, illness or insomnia among other reasons.

In fact it is thought around one in three of us will face problems with our sleep at least once in our lifetimes. This can create some serious health issues.

Poor sleep has previously been linked to problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and dementia.

And now a study has found that experiencing a certain common sleep problem could make you more likely to develop a specific cancer.

Research, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, revealed that men who wake up for around 30 minutes or longer at night have an increased risk of prostate cancer.

This is the most common type of cancer among men in the UK, and the second most deadly accounting for around 12,000 fatalities annually.

As part of the study, a team surveyed more than 34,000 male participants without a history of prostate cancer.

Scientists then measured sleep characteristics including wakefulness using a wristwatch-like device called an actigraphy.

They were followed over a period of 7.6 years over which time 1,152 participants were diagnosed with prostate cancer risk.

It found those who recorded 30 minutes or more of wakefulness after falling asleep had a 15 to 20 percent greater risk of the disease compared to those who didn’t wake at all, or at least for less than half an hour.

And those who woke up for 60 minutes or more had an even greater risk of prostate cancer.

The study concluded: “Of the sleep characteristics studied, higher wakefulness after sleep onset—a measure of poor sleep quality—was associated with greater prostate cancer risk.”

However, the team noted that further research is needed specifically using “more diverse study populations” for the results to be confirmed.

They added: “In the meantime, for everyone, obtaining adequate duration of sleep, maintaining consistent timing of sleep, and ensuring good sleep quality, when possible, is important for good overall health and well-being.”

Disrupted sleep is not currently a recognised symptom of prostate cancer.

But there are a number of symptoms that could cause you to experience poor sleep.

These tend to only appear when the cancer is advancing, in its early stages it is often asymptomatic.

The NHS lists symptoms as:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently – often during the night
  • Need to rush to the toilet
  • Straining/taking a long time to urinate
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling like your bladder hasn’t emptied fully
  • Blood in your urine or semen.

If you experience any signs of prostate cancer you should speak to your GP.

You May Also Like

Norovirus mistake which can actually make you more contagious

It’s the bug sweeping the UK after a 75 percent surge in…

Scientists claim to have found ultimate hangover cure – in the form of a gel

In the UK we are not known to shy away from drinking…

Expert reveals simple eye exercise to make you look 10 years younger

An expert has revealed a simple eye exercise that can make you…

I'm an anal health expert – this is my number one tip to relieve constipation

Constipation is among the most common health problems — studies show one…