Obstructive Sleep Apnea is recognized as a chronic disease. Sleep disturbances which prevent a refreshing and restorative rest is twice as common in cancer patients as the general population. In people with cancer, total time of sleep is reduced and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep which helps in reorganizing brain function. People with lung cancer have increased insomnia. Daytime, especially late day, napping is a sign of chronic sleep disturbance. Head and neck cancer has a strong connection to loud snoring which is a form of sleep disrupted breathing.
Inflammation underlies sleep disturbances and cancer. Acidosis is inflammation in which cancer flourishes. People with cancer have hypoxia-lack of oxygenation. Cytokines are increased which increase anxiety, depression, and sleep loss. Chemotherapy increases inflammation. Radiotherapy or radiation therapy increases inflammation. Amount of cancer pain directly affects the amount of sleep we get. Opioids, for the pain control, decrease sleep efficiency by creating sleep arousals.
Melatonin helps to prevent cancer by encouraging a regular sleep cycle which is strengthening to the immune system.