The Week in Sleep News: September 9, 2022

This week we dive into blue light research as well as how sleep apnea can now be directly linked to increased cancer risk.

Two people reading newspapers in bed. Text reads: Sleep News Week of September 9, 2022.

Here’s the sleep news for this week:

Sleep pays off

After a night of great sleep, we might brag about being champion sleepers, but one woman in Kolkata, India, can claim that title for real. Triparna Chakraborty slept for nine hours a day for 100 straight days in order to win the title of “The First Sleep Champion of India” as well as over $6,000. The competition looked to raise awareness about the importance of sleep quality which Chakraborty says resonated with her after completing her 100 day sleep marathon. “You win or lose, but you will definitely learn the importance of quality sleep in these 100 days' process. It will also improve your sleep quality on having learned the right kind of skills to sleep soundly,” she told India Today.

Sleep apnea directly linked to increased cancer risk

Researchers at to the European Respiratory Society International Congress on Monday presented evidence that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at an increased risk of health issues, including developing cancer and thrombosis. In those over 74, obstructive sleep apnea was associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and blood clots.

Previously it wasn’t known whether obstructive sleep apnea or other underlying factors contributed to the increased risk of cancer in people with obstructive sleep apnea. However this new study confirms that oxygen deprivation due to obstructive sleep apnea is independently associated with cancer. Researchers hope these findings highlight untreated sleep disorders as a risk factor for cancer and encourage doctors to screen people with obstructive sleep apnea for cancer more frequently.

Blue light continues to be studied

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland studied the effects of certain types of blue light on sleep quality. In particular, the scientists were curious to see if blue light that only affects intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (eye cells that play a major role in setting the body’s internal circadian rhythms) negatively affected sleep quality. What they found is that while the type of blue light that only affects intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells decreased melatonin production by 14%, it had no negative impacts on sleep quality.

This doesn’t mean you’re in the clear to start scrolling for an hour right before bed though. The researchers say that this study only shows that exposure to bright light in the evening for a short window of time does not necessarily impact sleep.

In sleep-centric social media...

Adam reminds us that the worst thing about growing up is realizing sleep won't fix everything wrong with you.

A tweet reading: adulthood is going to bed thinking your back pain will improve by morning only to realize that’s not how your body works anymore.
@adamgreattweet / Twitter

There's truly nothing worse than having to move your furry friend off the bed when they're comfortable.

A man moving his dog off his bed gently.
@adventuringwithnala / TikTok